09-19-2012, 03:55 PM
We arrived at the marina around seven-fifteen or so. I opened the truck tailgate and pulled out the wet-dry vac, a box of rags, a caddy full of cleaning solutions, a mop, a bucket and the day's supply of fresh water. Andi just retrieved her gift box.
I wheeled everything onto the dock with the hand truck and transferred everything onto the boat. I directed Andi to put her parcel in the cabin, then gave her a dust cloth and furniture polish to clean the cabin and bunks. She wasn't too enthusiastic about it, but I recalled the magic words: "Remember, this is for Criss Angel".
Down she went. I went up to the bridge to polish the brass on the instrument panel.
"Aunt Vicky,' Andi called up. "Do you think these bunks are big enough for Criss? They're awfully small."
"He'll be fine," I assured her, still going over the instrument panel. "When you're done with the cabin, do the bathroom, too." No answer. Well, no arguements, so I should be grateful. Cleaning the tiny lavatory is no fun, I admit, but if Andi was going to prove herself grown up, she had to take on grown-up responsibilites and do the dirty work.
After polishing the brass, I made the standard safety inspection required by the US Coast Guard: lights, guages, horn (I scared Andi half to death with that one!) radio, sonar, engine. No damage to the hull, none on the window glass. Life jackets stored away in seating compartments, ready for use. I went over that boat with a fine-toothed comb--"good enough" has never been in the USCG vocabulary. I knew from experience that on Labor Day weekend, Coast Guard ships would be out in force, ever on the lookout for every infraction from not having a life vest on to boating under the influence, especially with a big name celebrity showing up. God only knew what he would bring with him--or who.
Stepping down into the cabin, I was amazed at the transformation. The woodwork shone, the brass gleamed, even fresh linen on the bunks. Andi's gift box sat prominantly on one of the bunks; there was even a lollypop on one of the pillows (and to think her mother couldn't even to get her to clean her room!). The lavatory was clean enough to perform surgery: fresh towels, new roll of toilet paper, everything. I had to admit, Andi did a hell of a job. But where was she? Crashed out on one of the deck chairs above after a hard morning's work. Well, I guess she deserved a break. I congratulated her on a job well done.
We spent the better part of the morning prepping the boat, finishing around eleven. Pretty good time, but then, I had a pretty good helper. As we drove home, Andi once again pleaded to go on the Labor Day trip with Criss Angel. I debated with myself as I drove: on the one hand, I thought, she was too young and she'd just be in the way. On the other hand, she did prove some responsibility in cleaning the boat with me, and did a great job, too. In the end, I decided to hinge a little and turn to parental authority.
"Tell you what," I said. "When we get home, I'll talk to your mom and see if she thinks it's okay."
Andi was elated. "Oh, thank you, Aunt Vicky!", she squealed. She hugged my neck, making it difficult to drive. "Thank you a hundred million billion times!" She laid a big wet one on my cheek and launched into everything I needed to know about Criss Angel but never bothered (or cared) to ask.
Well, when we arrived at Andi's house, I talked to her mom as promised. Of course, Vy said no. She was too young, she insisted, and she did not trust this Criss Angel guy at all. He could be a drunk and a pedophile for all she knew, and there was no way on God's green earth she was going to allow her precious little girl to come in contact with such a vile fiend as he. Andi would be safer at home, Vy decreed, and that was the end of the matter.
Andi was crushed, her dreams of a shipboard romance with Criss Angel sinking like the Edmund Fitzgerald. She reacted in the customary manner of all teenagers: sran sobbing to her room. I merely shrugged and headed on home. Those were the breaks, I thought. Like Mick Jagger sang, you can't always get what you want.
Last edited by Veritas; 09-19-2012 at 04:09 PM.