May 31, 2004

Let Me Tell You About MY Weekend...

With apologies to Douglas Adams, the following story is 60% 100-percent-true, 20% 50-percent-true, and 20% PIDOOMA. Names have been changed where necessary to protect the, well, nobody's really innocent in this story so let's refer to them as the 'less guilty.' With the legalities out of the way, let's proceed.

flower_goddess and I got to the Secure Undisclosed Location just in time to watch a cloudless sky go grayer than John F'in Kerry's charisma. Great. Third trip in a row to the SUL where the weather decided not to play nice. Nevertheless, it was basically a neighborhood party moved [censored] miles north, with water and a few different people. Between showers in the early afternoon, DA and I kibitzed while Firestone helped Carmine fix his alleged boat and confirmed money sink. This part of the summer ritual never changes: every year, Carmine would fix something different on his boat (apparently 'boat' is an acronym for 'Break Out Another Thousand') and declare victory, then promptly use said boat exactly once and break something else. Well, this year, with Firestone's extreme competence, they were able to fix where the replenerating frobnobdicator was impingizing on the Johnson rod (I think that's what Firestone said - it was all Greek to me because I'm a software guy and this was quite clearly a hardware problem), and Carmine once again declared victory. He managed to put the boat in the water without crunching the left side trailer light again (which story cannot be told until the Statute of Limitations expires), but he was hedging his bets since he had his son drive it away from the launch.

Celebratory beers were popped all over the cul-de-sac as Carmine Jr. accelerated out of the dock area and made a few high speed passes, but an uncomfortable hush spread over the assembled throng as he slowed to re-enter the no wake zone and the engine quit.

And wouldn't restart.

DA sent his son Rico out on the jet ski to tow him in, and Carmine and Firestone went back to work. After a while, they thought they had the problem isolated to a bad starter (although even I had to wonder why a bad starter would have caused the engine to stall in the first place). After much wailing and gnashing of wrenches, and a string of obscene invective that was most impressive but which decorum precludes me relating here, Carmine held the object of his torment (at least this time around): a starter with a completely seized shaft. Nobody had a replacement locally, which I thought kind of strange since the area has about a thousand lakes and each lake seems to have at least three marinas, and I'm told this is a very common kind of engine and an even more common kind of starter. Fortunately, Firestone knew a guy who knew a guy who'd arrested a guy in Fort Wayne who once may have seen a starter like Carmine needed. It wouldn't be until Sunday until he could get the part up to us at the Secure Undisclosed Location, though.

We all hammered a couple more beers with Carmine in sympathy for his latest setback [note to mlah: it was at this point where I drank the beer you requested me to], and soon it was time to get ready for dinner. DA and I wrestled with the charcoal grill and eventually prevailed (although I was convinced that Ashton Kutcher had personally replaced half our lighter fluid with water, and was filming us from the woods for an upcoming episode of Punk'd), doing up some primo coney dogs and buffalo wings. flower_goddess's pasta salad was very well received, as usual. Brief aside: back in the days before we started dating, I was pretty thin - being raised by parents whose idea of good home cooking was bologna tents and mock meatballs left me woefully unprepared for the culinary heaven that flower_goddess inflicts upon me to this very day. But I digress. Meanwhile, next door at Kenny and Leen's trailer, The Detective was grilling his way through fifteen pounds of fajita meat, which he claimed was dog but which I thought tasted more like cat or maybe fox, and there was major chowing down all around.

Not long after dinner, Deej and Rusty stopped by and asked if anybody was interested in going to the Parrot-Dice Club with them to see The Unregistered Firearms, an up-and-coming slam-jazz duo from a Shipshewana neighboorhood that the Amish try to pretend doesn't exist. By that time, though, we were locked in a high-stakes game of Six Degrees. Rabbit had just stuck Chumley with a combo of Benji (the dog) to Roseanne, and nobody wanted to leave until Chumley either got it or gave up. Besides, we were all so liquored up by then that nobody thought they could safely drive the mile-and-a-half to the club, and we damn sure weren't going to walk that far. So Deej and Rusty took off, and I'll pick up the story of what happened Sunday in tomorrow's entry.

Posted by Chris at May 31, 2004 07:06 PM

Category: Tales Of My Neighborhood