Monday, March 25, 2013


This was written over a year ago, but never posted. The names were changed to protect the silly people. You know who you are.

I have a Sunfish sailboat. It's fun. I raced it for a few years with some success, passing old people and small children around the race course. I now have the "fish" on Sodus Bay. During the week, when not working, I can get out for some fun and relaxation, and cool off. I was always talking up dinghy sailing/racing to my friends, trying to get them interested, so maybe we could get some weeknight racing happening on Sodus Bay. It never took hold, but I did have a friend who was remotely interested. I just needed to press a little.

Sunfish racing on the Irondequoit Bay

My buddy, we'll just call him The Tweaker, kept asking when I was going to get the Sunfish out to the marina, as he would like to try dinghy sailing again, and would love to take someone else's boat out for a spin. "Why don't you get your own Sunfish, so I can beat your sorry ass in some match racing", I told him. Well, that was all I needed to say, as Tweaker soon took up the hunt for a cheap Sunfish. Now, my pal was taking his dear old time looking, trying to get the deal of the century no doubt, so I thought I'd help him out by mentioning it to another friend of ours, we'll call him, Gassy. Old Mister Gassy has a knack for finding old Sunfish in pretty decent shape for two to three hundred dollars. Letting Gassy know Tweaker was in need, well, that got him all...gassed up. He must have called Tweaker and I about twenty times in the last few months. Maybe we should have answered, but anyhow, Gassy was a new man, with a mission, and unfortunately for Tweaker, a new "Sunfish". Gassy can be persistent, and loves nothing better than a good deal.

When I finally decided gassy had suffered enough, I answered the phone, and listened to the incredible deal he had on a Sunfish. "Cool, bet Tweaker is excited", I said. "Can't get a hold of him, but the deal was too good to pass up, so I bought it. Let him know he owes me $250.00", Gassy replied.
Um, Tweaker is a really picky guy. I don't see this going well, and Gassy is pretty stubborn, so this will be an interesting transaction, or argument. Either way I was going to be sitting ringside and loving it.

Days later, to my surprise, Tweaker called and asked for help, and the use of my old Chevy van to pick up the new Sunfish found for him. "You seen it?", I asked. "No, and I'm a bit concerned that it's not a Sunfish. Gas was not very informative, and I don't want the trailer." Tweak seemed a tad edgy, and I'm a bit shocked he wanted to go see it, let alone buy it. On a Friday night I headed out to the storage unit to get the roof rack for hauling the fish, then on the way to Tweaker's my engine started running funny. Kind of a rough idle. Arriving, I checked all fluids while Tweaker found the right socks to wear. Like I said, picky. So, with the engine checked out, and Tweak with all his gear he thought he needed, including extra jackets, pants, underwear, funny hats, and snowshoes. OK, I made some of those things up. But it did seem like a lot of stuff. We now headed out to see Gassy's ultimate find.

We arrived at Gassy's to the sounds of a barking dog and a woman trying to strangle it. By the way, Tweak not only had a color printed map, but a photo of the house. So while Mrs Gassy choked the puppy, we walked up to the........not a Sunfish. No, not a Sunfish. I immediately started a smirk, as I got a nasty glare from Mister Tweaker. I was already coming up with some sarcastic jabs at the the new owner of faded mustard colored sort of sunfish looking thing, with flaking fiberglass, and a rather large drain hole. But while my tongue got ready, out from the darkness of the garage came a farting sound, and a limping figure resembling Jabba the Hut, or the Mucinex guy who lives in your nose. "Isn't it a steal? What do you think gentlemen? Gassy was walking the slowest old man walk you could pull off without a cane, or walker, and he had the biggest smile going, as we were inspecting his prize. "Gass, what the hell is this thing?"  "It's a sunfish, what else.", Gas said sternly. "Um, no. It's not" said Tweak. Gass went on describing that it was close enough and that it was a steal. "You'll love it!, Guaranteed. You owe me two hundred and fifty dollars."

Sunfish like sailboat
 Much to my amazement, Tweak agreed to buy the ugly thing after poking at it and grumbling to me that it was all my fault. We checked out the Sunfish like boat, and sail, and could not identify the faded little vessel. This will take some research. Tweak and I proceeded to put the ugly thing on the top of the van. After Tweak spent an hour tying the mystery craft down, we were under way. A hurricane could not blow that freaky thing off my roof. Spiderman would be proud.

Isn't she a beauty? Now cough up the $250.

We left Mister Gas waving in the driveway, and started the long drive back to Tweakers place. The van was running a bit sluggish just a few minutes underway, and then the temperature gauge pegged indicating an overtemp on the radiator. We pulled over, popped the hood and looked around for steam or a leak. Nothing. What the hell. The radiator hose from the engine was not hot at all! Don't get it. We diagnosed for a bit, then I decided to make a run for it. The temp would peg, then go down, then peg again. It did this the whole half hour ride to Tweakers. We would also lose our heat. I'm thinking thermostat issue, but we're moving so let's go.
We got to Tweakers in the dark, and unloaded the freak from my rooftop. We carried the thing around back, on wet grass, on a sloping hillside. From there we brought the boat inside the basement walkout, realizing just how small his basement was, and how large a Sunfish gets inside a house. After many gallons of sweat and some bruised knuckles it was in, and I was on my way. Phew.

As I drove home laughing about the whole evening of comedy, about a mile out the van started sputtering and slowing down. I slowly pulled over when the old Chevy just died. I mean died. It sounded like it coughed it's last breath, weezed, and then lights out. Damn it! After finishing up banging my head against the steering wheel, I called AAA, and had her towed to a garage. Next day I find out that I blew a head gasket. Son of a....

Is there a moral to this odd story? I don't know. I amusingly got Gassy involved with the Tweaker, as I knew it would be fun watching the interaction, but I was rewarded with a dead van. So maybe I should have left well enough alone? Kept my nose out of it? Don't mess with people for your own amusement? All of the above?

To this day, tweaker has never sailed the damn freak boat, which turned out to be a Star type Sunfish knock off with some freaky unknown rig. He lugged it all the way to the Midwest  where it is probably inverted and covered with snow.  My Sunfish was given to my daughter, sitting in her yard, inverted and covered in snow. My van lives to this day, and is happily rusting away in Florida.  I never got a chance to race the FrankenStarCloneFish to prove my superiority over Mister Tweaker as a dinghy sailor. Maybe once he gets to Florida we'll give it a go. We all go to Florida eventually.



  1. Excellent story, I know Tweaker and don't need to know Gassy. Lets see, in that line of naming you would be Meatless.

  2. Excellent story, I know Tweaker and don't need to know Gassy. Lets see, in that line of naming you would be Meatless.

    1. Not sure I like the name Meatless. For those who don't know I'm a vegetarian, it could have other meaning. I am sure you've just given Tweaker a new name for me.

    2. OK Mr. Meatless, let me set afew things straight. Well... actually the story was pretty accurate. Pretty sure the blown head gasket was karma. If you had just let me sail your sunfish think how much you would have saved ;o).
      BTW, the Frankenstarclonefish is now collecting dust instead of snow in a basement in Michigan. Hopes are high... Think Mr. Mucinex will give me my trailer?