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My Friend's Boat

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In Boots' world, the lives of his friends can be as interesting as his own.

I have a friend; okay, maybe I had a friend. He does caterwauling to loosen up his voice. You see, he sings opera in 14 languages, and can cuss in 12 of them. I know because he just lives about a quarter mile from me down in a canyon and his voice  caries quite well in this rock canyon . 

He has to keep his voice exercised through caterwauling because, one, he’s old and two, he teaches school. The school is hid away up in the mountains and is for “troubled” kids whose parents can’t handle them but have enough money to pay someone else to. Sort of a boot camp for semi-retarded young Republicans. 

Now, a couple of years ago he got a wild hair and decided to build a canoe from scratch. He ordered a set of plans from some magazine and went to work; as it turns out he has a nice large shop he inherited by marrying well. It took a while but he actually built a very nice canoe. As neighbors we were surprised with his accomplishment, but proud of him nevertheless. 

After floating down the river once he hung that canoe in the ceiling of his shop and there it hangs still. 

Then, hee got the wild idea he wanted to build a sailboat so again he ordered a set of plans from a book and started ordering all the high priced lumber the plans ask for. It was at this point he realized he could have bought a sailboat for half the price of the lumber but, not to be denied the pleasure of self accomplishment, he started sawing up this expensive lumber. He also had to order all this brass and stainless steel that only came from England. He found a man from Spokane who makes sails and was a long-time sailor who had made his own sail boat and sailed around the world. This would be a man to take advice from: “No, no that pole in the middle you hook the sail to needs to be much taller, and better make room for more sail. Now you need to laminate these special boards at just the right taper to make the mast taller and stronger, there’s a man in Coeur d’Alene  who specializes in this lumber.” You people do know that this is supposed  to be a one-man runabout, right? This is starting to look like the Mayflower. 

Three guys over two hundred pounds each were standing in the middle of the hull admiring their work and patting each other on the back for a job well done when there came a snap, crackle, and pop. Actually, it sounded more like an explosion, as the bottom of the hull gave way from the weight.

After searching the shop for what was left of the plans, it was discovered there was no mention of a floor made of lath to be attached to the ribs, a place to walk to distribute the weight throughout the boat. Bad words and dirty names were soon to be heard.

When it was time to take the boat to the lake, it was too large to put on a car top so George, up the creek, built a trailer to haul it on. Covering all the children’s ears (and some of the women’s), when it was discovered the boat wouldn’t fit through the door it brought on chest pains, wet pants and foaming at the mouth. 

After taking out the big picture window, frame and all, and with the use of a back hoe, the ship was finely extracted from its resting place and setting squarely on its trailer among shouts and hurrahs; many friends and neighbors made up the entourage, following the boat down to the lake for the christening. As the Titanic was backed slowly into the lake, cheers were heard throughout the crowd, until it slowly sank to the bottom of the lake. Only three in the crowed could remember the snap, crackle, pop of the hull earlier.     

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Author info

Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

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neighbors, From the Mouth of the River, boats, boat-building

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