You might recall I’ve had a boat jones since last February, when that totally free wooden boat was so cruelly claimed by some undeserving person with a pickup and a tow hitch.
Well, great news: I have my boat at last!
It all started with the bathroom floor. Thirteen years ago when we moved into our home, we knew the bathroom would need a complete remodel, its only attractive features being that it’s larger than our kitchen and sometimes smells better. Well, the years passed, and except for occasionally replacing the roll of toilet paper on the spindle, not much happened.
It’s funny – ha ha! – how things you tolerate for years, even decades, suddenly start to become unbearable. Like underwear, for example. Suddenly that textured orange linoleum, so cutting-edge in 1955, was an anathema to me (I’m pretty sure I’m using that word correctly, even though it sounds like an uncomfortable medical procedure.)
I broached the subject of the bathroom floor with Mr. W. Now, Mr. W is a man of vision. He was quick to point out that our “big picture” plans already included a floor-to-ceiling remodel of the entire room. He assured me no expense would be spared in transforming the space from a simple craporium to an oasis of comfort for me, his treasured bride. He described for me in wondrous terms the deep, jetted spa tub nestled in natural faux stone flagging, with a window of glass squares offering me a panoramic vista of our driveway.
He painted a picture of me gently lowering my aching body into the lavender-scented water, my breasts bobbing lightly on the swirling surface like soft pillows as I adjusted the setting to “liquefy” and let my cares melt away. In a crescendo of poetic imagery, he concluded by describing the bowl of chocolate bon-bons on the surround, the semi-erotic reading material (“Threaded Fasteners: An Educated Re-look”) at my fingertips and the flock small colorful birds flitting about the room, all highly trained to poop directly into the toilet.
Well, it sounded pretty tempting, let me tell you. But three things held me back. First, I had a feeling that by the time this dream lavatory was a reality, I’d need a slender Estonian bath attendant to help me in and out of the tub, lest I slip on the stone flagging and break a hip.
Second, I had a sneaking suspicion that Mr. W was secretly rather attached to the orange linoleum, ever since he discovered an image of Sarah Michelle Gellar topless in its swirly pattern.
And third, you never want to get in the way of a woman possessed of both poor impulse control and a wrecking bar. In just over an hour, the lino and its soggy particle board underlay were in lawn bags out in the driveway.
What does all this have to do with my boat? Hold your horses, I’m getting to that. You see, in order to remove all the old flooring, we had to pull the toilet, leaving only two working toilets to meet the elimination needs of our family of four.
You might think that would be more than adequate. You’d be wrong. Because in a bizarre twist of fate, we were walking past the apartments down the street and came across two sackfuls of TOTALLY FREE canned goods!
We collected all the cans we could carry and toted them back home, where I incorporated them into our weekly menu. Wednesday we feasted on “Tuna Surprise” (the surprise was that the cans of tuna were only slightly distended); on Thursday, we enjoyed “Frontiersman Hearty ‘n’ Savory Chili Beans” (now we know what really fueled those covered wagons.) By Friday, after I secretly replaced part of our burgers with mashed garbanzo beans, a cloud hung over our happy family, one that even an exhaust fan set up by the east door couldn’t dispel; and Saturday morning every porcelain throne was occupied, even the one out in the yard. I was forced to go down the street to the gas station.
On the way, I passed a yard sale in progress. And there it was: a beautiful twelve-foot kayak. Right away a vision formed in my head: I was alone on the bay, my paddle dipping smoothly in and out of the water, the prow of my kayak cutting through the surf like chili through an accountant. Peace and tranquility washed over me; my soul was soothed by the music of sandpipers and the sweet perfume of minimally treated sewage as it was pumped into the bay through cast iron pipes.
I made the deal on the spot, then fetched Mr. W to help me load Omoo into the brown bus. Stay tuned!
Coming soon in Part 2: “Why it’s never a good idea to name a boat after Herman Melville’s tragic sea voyage”; and Part 3: “Dropping your deodorant down an open heat register really stinks.”