Jun 26

For janky pieces of shit, Syzygy is #1!

Tag: humorous,preparationjonny5waldman @ 4:57 am

[reposted from my outside blog ]

A year ago, back when Syzygy was named Sunshine, and her port of call was listed as Portland, OR, I set to scraping off the old name and cleaning up the paint in preparation for applying the new vinyl letters.

The boat was up on stilts, then, at a workyard in Berkeley, so I had to climb a ladder to get aboard. I dragged the ladder back a few feet, closer to the stern, and climbed up five or six steps and from there began scraping off the letters. The letters were white vinyl, about eight inches tall, on blue paint, and it was just luck that I started on the left side, and not the right, so that after a little bit of work SUNSHINE became UNSHINE. I giggled at first, then thought about the irony, or the truth, as it were, in the new name. I sorta wished we hadn’t sent off our paperwork to the US Coast Guard with the name Syzygy, because UNSHINE was so perfect. It was our style. It was unique. And it was so easy — I’d barely started, and the job was already done. Voila, name removal and reapplication complete! If only other boat projects could be like that.

But Syzygy (which was my grandfather’s favorite word) it was, so on with the work I  went. Maybe it was an omen, this little taste of completion well before it was deserved. Or maybe it was an omen that before things would be completed, they would lack a certain luster. Or maybe it was an omen that painting (or preparing to paint) is a bitch. Or maybe the omen was this: there will be jank. Lots and lots of jank.

Now, it has recently come to my attention that my sailboat is the 5th thing that pops up if you Google the phrase “janky piece of shit.” If you don’t use the quotes in your query, my sailboat pops up 8th on the list. Given how much there is to be proud of onboard Syzygy, the amount of satisfaction I gain from this little internet phenomenon is perhaps disproportionate to its actual value. I’m not concerned though; you take from life what joys it provides, and if those joys come wrapped in a package with a return address from Janky and Co., in Gary, Indiana, you don’t return the package to its sender and ask for a refund. You open it up, and enjoy the contents, even if the contents are pieces of crap, as janky as janky gets. So that’s how it is, an that’s why I now officially want my boat be at the top of the online janky list. When people around the world look up “janky piece of shit,” I want THE answer to be Syzygy.

This is no unsubstantiated desire, as Matt, Jon, and I derive great (dare I say intense?) pleasure from removing janky parts from the boat. Lately, I’ve discovered a new twist on the jank removal: if I’m good, I can double the fun by selling the janky stuff that we don’t want. This being America, eBay and Craigslist being only a few clicks away, perhaps this should have occurred to me earlier. I would never claim to have overlooked this option because I’m such a nice guy. No, I overlooked this option because the sheer removal of janky pieces of shit overwhelmed my senses to such a degree that rational thought was unavailable to me for the next half hour, and by then it was too late, because by then the janky piece of shit was in the middle of the dumpster. 

So I’m not sure how this realization came to me; I blame poverty. And for the poverty, I blame the boat. Take warning, would-be-boat-owners! A sailboat will do that to you. It will eat your money, and force you to sell your trash, and trick you into thinking you are some kind of entrepreneurial genius for having thought of (aka resorted to) it. Take it from me!

Nevertheless, I sold the old metal radar arch for $300. I sold the old fiberglass propane locker for $150. I sold the old 15-gallon water heater for $100. To think: people want to pay me for the crap I don’t want! Amazing! What a world! Gooooooo capitalism!

Some jank, though, is so janky it’s hard to get rid of. I tried to sell a few cans of freon refrigerant from 1989, but my listing was removed from Ebay, because I’m not licensed by the EPA to sell that stuff. So what am I supposed to do with it? It’s janky, it’s toxic, and it eats holes in the Ozone layer — and some poor sailor out there is still using a refrigeration compressor older than I am, and probably could use it to keep his lemonade nice and chilly. I’m sure it’s illegal to ship the stuff, too. A conundrum, no? All I want to do is get rid of this jank, but the law won’t let me. Curses! I sure would like to barter it for something… ehem ehem.

So here’s one more effect of boat ownership: me and janky pieces of shit are now best buddies. In fact, I’m thinking of pointing jankypieceofshit.com to syzygysailing.com. Not bad, huh? That’s probably because I don’t own any more, because I’ve weeded them all out. It’s also probably because my last name isn’t Janky.

One Response to “For janky pieces of shit, Syzygy is #1!”

  1. Gary says:

    if you type
    janky pieces of shit
    without quotes, you are in the top spot!

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