Saturday, October 5, 2013

McRunningbear's Navy



The thing barely fit atop the rail car; at 80 feet it only left seven to spare. It was quite impressive even though its paint was peeling and its hull was covered in a mixture of dried slime and dead yet clingy mini-mussels. Like any other WW2 combat machine it was surely rare, perhaps one of a kind, so its cost had to be enormous. Still, in spite of my awe, only one question came to mind.

"The lake is 46 feet at its deepest, and no slip has yet been built for a boat over 65 feet. Why the hell would you want to float a submarine in an inland, freshwater lake that's so full of fisher-fools and propeller heads that its water is near invisible under all the tin and fiberglass of wretched excess?"

He looked at me and smiled. Tim had a secret, and it was probably a doozie.

"Remember the family history research I've been doing in the winters?"

He'd been obsessed actually; everyone that knew him was nauseated by his constant chattering about this gravesite and that fine threaded connection to a horse thief or a bootlegger.

"Sure. So you found out your grandfather was a Japanese Type A class midget submarine pilot and he willed you his boat?"

"Nah, but nice try" he laughed. "I found out I was an eighth Lakota and a long lost member of the Mdwanketon Sioux. Once they gave me a check for my back share of the tribe's casino profits since its inception, there was too big a lump in my mattress so I had to spend a little. So, ya think it'll be a chick magnet?"

I was stunned at his revelation, and quickly running through daydream scenarios in which I was able to loan a few million to build a new garage; the best one of which had my best pal Tim just offering me his entire fortune because he wanted to run off and be a monk in the spirit of Carlos Castenada.

"Yea" I chuckled, "it'll be a magnet for something; that's for sure! But I'm thinkin more the water cops than the babes."

He'd have laughed I'm sure, but he didn't hear me as he was busy crow barring open a crate that had been come along strapped to the front of the rail car.

"Gimme a hand will ya? I've got three weeks before I have to crane this monster into the water and I really want to get it painted before I do."

In his collection were various steel brushes, a few pneumatic grinders and chisels, and at least four five gallon pails of marine paint and the requisite equipment for re-enlivening an old, weary hag.

As he pulled out one bucket so as to inspect his booty I asked "So what color are we making your majesty's flotilla? Grey? Khaki?"

"Yellow" he said as he popped the can's top and made clear that he was not only insane but tasteless. "I want to make sure if I do happen to submerge, the jet-skiers can see me coming when I surface. Once we go through all this work I don't want any bloody splats on my shiny new hull."

I had to admit, he had a point. Though a few less jet-skiers wouldn't be such a bad thing.

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