I had an old beater, a Datsun I wanted to rebuild with a blown engine and no transmission, sitting in my back yard for twenty-odd years. My wife decided one crisp Spring day that I needed to plant some vegetables, especially eggplants, green peppers, and butternut squash. Therefore the hulk, mostly used for random wasp and mud dauber nests, had to go.
I used a pulley and come-along to winch it onto an old trailer of a similar vintage as the car and toted it to a local used car dealer. They were having a sale where they'd give you a thousand dollars towards anything on the lot if you pull, dragged, or towed it in. It was the first time that I've been at a car dealership where the sales folks actively avoided me. Eventually the lot manager had to deal with me because there was a trailer filled with weeds and a dead car sitting right in front of his showroom.
"Here for the sale?" he asked, an eyebrow raised as a few local wasps started checking out the new digs on my trailer.
"Yup. What'cha got that's cheap?"
He had me move my trailer towards the back corner of the lot and showed me some overpriced junkers. I noticed something next to a small shed where the business stored their Firestone tires.
He looked where I was pointing and said, "I dunno. Let's go see."
The mystery thing turned out to be an old boat, an old green Sears Sea King circa 1965. The name of this fine watercraft was the Gum Ripper. "Must've been owned by an orthodontist," the sales manager said with a chuckle. "I'll trade you outright if you can get that boat out of there. It's really faded now, but it used to be bright emerald green. It might polish up nicely."
We made the deal and he had a forklift take the hulk off of my trailer. I slipped the driver a ten-spot and he used the forks to yank the boat out of the weeds and set it on my trailer. I took my new toy home with a smile.
An hour later I wasn't smiling any more. My wife was livid I brought another pile of junk home. I spent Friday night in the garage sleeping on the dog bed. Saturday morning I was up early and working on my boat. There was an outboard motor sitting inside the back so I set it up and got it running. The rest of the boat needed fiberglass work, so I went over to AutoZone and got some bodywork material. By the end of the day the Gum Ripper looked like it had a lot of ugly cavities, but it would float.
The wife came out to tell me the boat was ugly and she didn't want me to stay in the house anymore. I decided that it was time to visit Ireland in a round-about way with my new green Sea King. I left a letter on the workbench, loaded up the boat with several gas containers, and drive fifteen miles to the boat ramp at the Utah Great Salt Lake. I loaded up the gas cans and put the mighty Gum Ripper into the brine. She floated with a little dribble due to a small crack I missed, but she was otherwise good to go. I set off towards the middle of the deepest section and cut the engine.
By now I figured my wife would find the letter asking her to give my remains to my brother, Karl. Whatever is left should fit into an envelope as long as they don't include the metal or fiberglass parts. I knocked over the gas canisters and popped the lids, followed by the flick of a Bic lighter and a warm, loud woooosh. I'll get to Ireland via first class mail. The rest of me will probably end up in hell with my boat. At least we can laugh about the name tattooed on its ass.