I was nearly to Baldwinsville NY, sailing west towards Lake Erie on the Erie Canal, about a half hour before sunset. The boat was running fine, but a 20¢ gasket on the secondary fuel filter broke just 2.4 miles from my destination and there I was, stranded in front of this guy's trailer site. Picture a nice small camp, nothing nearby, with a ratty 27 foot camping trailer, I think this was an old Rambler trailer, and a bunch of people hanging around the campfire. Looked nice, people having a good time. I went ashore to borrow a phone to call the Boat US towing service.
The guy who was renting the trailer, Al, walked up with beer in hand, no shirt of course, introduced himself - nice enough so far. But then there's the rest of the cast of characters....Dennis, skinny, long hair nearly to his waist and tattoos everywhere, and drunk - he was also only wearing shorts. George - short, stocky, stumbling drunk out of his mind. Do you discern a pattern here? Then there's Carol Ann, who is a brunette version of Ellie May Clampett from the Hillbillies...her mother, who is NOT Granny, but damn near as old. A creepy woman in black, hat and all, who sat and stared into the fire the entire time I was there. Carol Ann's son, Peter, 25. A woman about 35 or so, said she was a Gypsy, about as flaky too, and who apparently had arrived with George and didn't know anyone else. There were others but they were bit players in this drama.
me put it this way...another partier, Lee, loaned me his wife's phone to call Boat US, who indicated they would contact the tow captain and call me back. While I was waiting, Dennis fell in the fire, too drunk to realize it. Burned his legs badly, so badly the tattoos there were burned off. One couple took him to the hospital...and didn't return.
This left Granny and the Woman in Black pissed off because both thought they were going to jump
his bones - and he was no prize, believe me. Were I a woman, I'd hate to ever get that lonely. I actually wouldn't have thought it possible, but I was coming to realize, this IS YeeHaw Junction.
Worse however is that I now became a possibility for Granny, since Dennis was out of the picture. Oh no! And I can't leave until I get a phone call back from Boat US, who I'm hoping will come get me at 6:30 the next morning. Or sooner!
While all of this is happening, Al is being as chummy as possible with Ellie May - er, Carol Ann, who is actually his niece. At one point, he tells me she had a fling with his brother (who is of course also her uncle), and he wouldn't mind a bit of that action for himself. Also, apparently, two of her ex husbands (no idea how many she has!) committed suicide. You have to wonder about that one...
The Gypsy, Jessica, had avoided George so assiduously that he got drunker still, and how he did that without alcohol poisoning I have no idea, then fell on and destroyed the beer cooler, then left. This left Jessica with Peter, the 25 year old, and they kept wandering behind the trailer where it was nice and dark.
I was grateful for this because prior to this, Jessica the Gypsy wanted me to row her out to my boat, coincidentally named Gypsy Wind, which she found just fascinating. Fortunately, I had to remain and wait for my phone call, but things were getting dicey. I'm trying to be polite and social here since Lee is helping me out, and I have three scary women who are looking at me like I'm the winning lottery ticket.
My return call still hadn't come, so I was starting to panic...I needed to get out of there. It was getting dangerous by this point. Carol Ann has decided to chat me up and her mother is resenting the competition - and I didn't have the nerve to tell her there was no competition in any case.
The woman in the black dress continued to stare into the fire and say nothing; more than a bit creepy let me tell you. A bit later, noticing my lack of interest, Carol Ann heads into the trailer and falls asleep in her uncle's bed. Al, of course, was pleased that she was wouldn't have to sleep in her tent, or some such reasoning...
Finally, my call came. YES! Yes, the tow was arranged for the next morning. Yeee Haw - er, I mean, yahoo! I could make my excuses, tell everyone how nice it had been to meet them, and head back to the boat, anchored at a distance that none of these people would be likely able to swim....I hoped, although, earlier when I was trying to fix the problem, Al had tried to canoe with Carol Ann out to the boat and tipped over. Neither one can swim, but it led to the high point of the evening.....picture Ellie May in a wet t-shirt contest and you'll get the idea.
So that was my Saturday evening. I grew up in a blue collar mining town, so I kind of understand
redneck mentality - but the main difference was, we wouldn't sleep with
anyone closer than a third cousin! Ok, just kidding, but you know what I mean.
The towboat the next morning was, of course, late by several hours.
GET ME OUT OF HERE!