Apr 1, 201302:01 PM
Running In Fog: HeartLand Boating Humor
If I Was in Charge
Shopping is not my favorite thing. Like most guys, I like to know what I need ahead of time, walk into the store, find it, buy it and get home to do better stuff. Like read or garden or boat. Naturally, I also want to save money. As you all know, I am cheap. “Frugal” is the new cool word for cheap.
So, being cheap — I mean frugal — I don’t like paying for the accessories or options I don’t need. And I don’t like paying extra for the stuff I like. So, as you can imagine, boat shopping with me is always a pleasure.
In the showroom or lot, I always sort by needs and wants. As in, I need a certain engine, but I want a different color. And being frugal, I always ask if they have a coupon online that I don’t know about. I figure that, if they do, I can run to the car, boot up my circa-2006 laptop, hook up to the dealership’s Wi-Fi and their printer, zap that baby out and save $8,000. (I’m still looking for a dealer that has a coupon like that, by the way.)
Then, I always get sidetracked and start chatting with other customers. We compare notes and lists of needs and wants.
That’s how I met Carol.
Carol and her husband had been shopping for a new boat for a little over a year. They couldn’t find exactly what they were looking for. In Carol’s words, her husband was about ready to surprise her with a boat in her next Christmas stocking if she couldn’t find one on her own.
We grabbed a free cup of coffee at the dealership and sat down for a 10-minute breather in between the hard work of finding the right boat.
“You know,” said Carol, as she dumped her third sugar packet in her coffee, “if I was in charge, you’d pick out the hull and then check off the stuff you wanted and they would build it for you.”
“You can do that,” I said. “It’s called a custom build.”
“Yeah, well, since I’m not building a personal megayacht, I mean a custom build in a runabout.”
“Tell me more,” I said. “What would you put on a boat? What’s your wish list?”
“If I was in charge,” she said, “my boat would have a tall windshield, so my hair doesn’t end up in my face. It would have nice, wide seats that are all soft but with good back support.”
“Practical ideas, both,” I said. “What else?”
“My boat would have a little spot next to the cupholder for a snack. But it would have a removable liner, so I could get the crumbs out afterward. And the steering wheel would be neoprene, so it would be more comfortable to hold onto. And the carpeting would snap in and out. That way, it would be removable for cleaning, and it would be easy to call the boat manufacturer for a new color.”
“Wow, you have some big ideas.”
“Oh,” said Carol, “I’m just getting started. My boat wouldn’t be just one or two colors. It would be striped, so no matter what the weather or the water color or the time of day, a part of my boat would always be visible.”
“A striped boat, now there’s a happy thought.”
“Safety is always a happy thought!” said Carol.
“Horizontally striped or vertically?” I asked. I was kind of poking fun at her, but she didn’t notice. She was waving her hands around in the air and sitting ramrod straight in her chair. The sugar and caffeine were talking, was my guess.
“Oh, vertically striped, definitely. We would want every color visible, even in heavy seas.”
“And do you get very heavy seas on your lake?”
“Don’t be a smart (bleep).”