The Weird Couple
Rich filled his water and gas tanks; thus by sundown, ready to set sail at a moment’s notice.
Rich stocked up on items like motor oil and filters before abruptly leaving Maine. He changed the oil and filter while in Strait of Magellan and supposed it might be time to change it again. The next morning he changed the oil and inspected the spark plugs; they appeared in good condition.
He found a small cafe that served fried oysters and potatoes. There were several tourists and they shared where they came from and a few amusing stories about their vacation trips to the Fiji Islands. Two couples were from England, one from Canada, and one from Chicago—a doctor and social worker, the Grillos.
They looked as if nearing 50. He was a little on the flabby side, a comb-over, and hideously thick mustache. She was thin, stiff strawberry blond hair, and plastered makeup.
Rich shared some of the ordeals of his voyage, leaving out the dangerous human interactions encountered. He reasoned if he did amuse them with his adventures they might come across as unbelievable—the invention of an artful mind.
Nevertheless, the folks from Chicago graciously paid for Rich’s meal. Rich gave thought to invite them on the boat for a day on the bay, yet dismissed it. Rich had a creepy feeling about them. They tried to elicit some sort of perversions from him. They talked freely about private things. Rich had not felt this way since the time at the county fair over three years earlier when a rodeo hand tried to seduce him.
They brought up the possibility of taking a day of sailing. “They must have read my mind,” he thought. Rich lamely deflected their forwardness. They were near the point of being insistent.
“The three of us on the bay as free as our passions will allow us,” she said.
“Yes,” the man said, “wouldn’t that be fun? I’ve never been on a sailboat before and how enchanting on the South Seas.”
“The South Seas are indeed enchanting,” Rich said hiding his concern. “but not so much when it’s pouring down rain.”
“Rain!” she said.
“Yes,” Rich said, “I heard the rain will be late today.”
“I was thinking more like tomorrow,” the man said and leaned over the table to whisper. “Have you ever tried marijuana?”
“No,” Rich said.
“It is a great way to relax,” she said.
“Yes,” the man said, “it is back in our room.”
“You mean tomorrow, right?” Rich said feigning excitement.
“Of course, tomorrow will be fine,” the man said.
“Why don’t we spend the rest of the day together?” she said. “There are so many places to explore and we’d love to have you with us.”
“First things first,” Rich said, “before sailing out on the water I have to do some work on the engine; nothing serious mind you, a valve cover gasket has to be replaced and the distributor cap is cracked.”
The man pouted like a child. “That makes me sad.”
She patted his arm. “Now now everything will be fine tomorrow.”
“We’ll make it all go away,” Rich said using every device mental and physical to hold back his revulsion and laughter.
As they all smiled at each other Rich thought, “Why don’t I just tell them no way. I don’t have to be polite to them. They’re a couple of perverted weirdos; why should I spare their feelings? Because my imagination is delighting in the vision of them coming to an empty dock in the morning”
“What time should we meet up?” she said.
“Why not meet here between 7:30 and 8:00 tomorrow for breakfast?” Rich said.
“Splendid idea,” they said.
“Would you like an after-dinner drink before leaving,” she said
“I have to pick up some plug wires for the engine before they close,” Rich said.
“Tomorrow,” they said.
“Tomorrow,” Rich replied, smiled and left the table.