Too Late

Much  happens, much goes unrecorded and life goes on about its business with or without us so let’s catch up a bit.  I will try to leave out the important stuff and delve deeply into the trivial.  When last I communicated I was on the brink of inspiring a brilliant new technology.  Some of you,  who we refer to as deep readers – those with strong comprehension and retention skills – will recall that I was proposing a revolutionary, new eco-friendly vehicle that would capture its own carbon and subsequently turn that into diamonds.  TOO LATE!   Imagine my surprise upon reading, just weeks later, in the Wall Street Journal that Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s state oil company, has tasked it’s young engineers with developing a prototype vehicle that stores CO2 in its trunk to be later used in cement production.  I still like the diamond idea better and think we could also turn the carbon into briquets and sell them to Weber for their grills…..or…..turn the carbon back into trees then sell them to Saudi Arabia to take care of that shade deficit they have in the desert. Another reason we have so much carbon hanging around is that we’re just not using as much carbon paper as we use to; but that’s a different issue altogether.  As surprised as I was, think what a shock it must have been to all the science deniers, which includes the greater part of certain political party, to read that even one of the largest oil producers in the world recognizes that CO2 emissions  are a problem!

Right now – I am sitting in the shade of our beach umbrella in my Tommy Bahama beach chair staring into the eye of Florence.  Brave, I know.  Currently she is still 800 miles away and on a course set to bypass us and hit four other states plus the District of Columbia.  So while Susan is strolling the beach I’m enjoying a sunny, 90 degree day with a nice ocean breeze, a Coors Light and the awareness that this hurricane could change course and most fittingly head for our new home on “Florence” point. We were standing  on our deck earlier today at high tide with a contractor calculating that a 12 ft. ocean surge would hit me about waist high in our living room – well, actually all of our rooms.  Our contractor saw no need for hurricane glass as apparently it floats no better than regular glass. He was in favor of going ahead with a full remodel commenting that with larger windows we will have a better view of the rising sea waters than almost anyone!  The good news is that in our remodel we may be able to reuse some of our sliding glass doors.  We just need to buy some Silicone Dry-Lube to make them slide better.  So at the local hardware store I approached the counter with my dry-lube in hand and the girl at checkout asked if we’d found what we were looking for and what our phone number is?  The conversation went like this:

Jim:  Yes we were looking for dry-lubricant to make some old parts slide better. (which put a twinkle in her eye)  You asked for our phone number. Would you  like to call us?  Call anytime. We’re always around and never busy.

Sales girl: (With a sly smile) We’re all about customer satisfaction and might like to find out if your dry-lube was all that you’d hoped for.

(Pause………… while I determine the “slipperiness”of this slope)

Jim: Well.  Thank you.  My hopes run high.              (True story)

I seem to have gotten off course here.  While I’m relaxing at the beach,  Susan’s sister is fleeing Wilmington, NC  in her Tesla –  racing ahead of the storm.  I ponder……..If an electric car drives through a deep puddle, do you get electrocuted?  Is it like throwing a toaster in the bathtub?  I envision…….up and down the coast, long lines at the gas stations and what appear to be piles of bacon bits at the electric charging stations!

Susan is back from her walk on the beach.  I should not let her walk alone.  It gave her time to realize, again, that she wants to live on a sailboat. So….the conversation went like this:

Susan:  I’d like to live on a sailboat.

Jim:  I know.

Susan:    Since we have to move out while our house is remodeled, let’s buy a sailboat and live on it instead of paying rent somewhere.  That way when the house is done instead of having just paid rent we’ll have a sailboat.

Jim:    Good idea.  We don’t know how to sail.

It is now the next day. We are out running several errands ( picking up dry-lube) and Susan stops at one of the local marinas.  The conversation goes like this:

Sailboat sales rep:   Hi, my name is Don.  Can I help you with anything?

Susan: Yes.  I’d like to buy a sailboat.

Don:  Great!  Do you know what kind?

Susan:  Yes. A blue one.  I’ve always liked the blue ones….and sometimes green if it’s the right color green.

Don: ………..Hmm.  I see.

Susan:  And white sails.  I always think they look nice with white sails.

Don:  Nice choice. We can do that.  How big a boat are you looking for?

Susan:  Well…..pretty big.  We want to live on it for several months and Jim would like room for the piano. He also prefers that we don’t  spend much even though he’s making diamonds.

Don:  That limits our selection somewhat.  Perhaps we should talk about the engine. Are you thinking inboard or outboard.

Susan:  Oh, I don’t want a motor. I want a sailboat!

Don (eyes widening):  It will be easier for you to get in and out of your slip and the harbor if you have a motor.

Susan:  Will it be easier to get out of our slip with dry-lube?

Don:  Yes…………..lets move on.

Susan:  OK.  Then I’d like a solar powered motor….electric, like my sister’s car..  Also could we find a boat that doesn’t have all those strings all over the deck?

Don:   Strings?

Susan:  Yes.  Most of those boats out there look like they have strings and wires all over them.  Kind of messy.  Except I do like that one rope that I could coil up on the dock.    Also do these boats all have cable?

Don:  No, but you can get internet access in the marina.

Susan (slightly disappointed): Oh…..And another thing, which of these boats don’t tip over –  because we don’t know how to sail.

Don:  I sensed that might be an issue.  I’m very sorry Susan, the boat that you’re looking for only comes in red.

Susan (undeterred):  Thank you.  I guess we’ll keep looking.

Later.  We are now on the deck as darkness is falling and in the distance there are bold flashes of lightening;   now I wonder if it’s just another Tesla driving through a puddle?  Susan is a little down. In addition to not having a sailboat she is saddened that she didn’t marry more of an outdoorsman who wouldn’t mind living in a tent for six to nine months while our house is under construction.  I tell her that what ever she decides is fine with me.  Happy wife, happy life!

Tomorrow is a big day.  We attach pontoons to our house.

OK. Because you asked.

Q:What detergent do flood victims use to wash their clothes?           A:    Tide!

Stay dry out there!

From the Grump-stump




  1. Betsy

    Oh my goodness!! I’m dying about the bacon bits part. Scratch that- the whole thing is hilarious. Thank you for this update. Will look forward to the next one!

  2. Tom Colbert

    Great Gracie Allen thing Susan had going with the yacht broker. Fact is there are plenty of used sailboats desperatly for sale; thus plenty available for rent. Problem is a sailboat must be at least 150’ long ( $ 15,000. per day ) to be as comfortable as a Motel 6 room ( $ 49.50 per day ). Sailboats , like horses, are best enjoyed from afar. I say set up the tent in your living room !

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *