Posted by: wrmcnutt | December 3, 2009

Ship’s Log: September Blue – How to Pick Up A New Mistress in Richmond

While the story of September Blue’s first voyage in East Tennessee waters has already been told, it was not, of course her first voyage.  Her first voyage as a member of my family was, of course on the highway. But before we could sail cruise off down the highway together, we had to meet, and there was the ever so tacky fiscal exchange.

Now, first we have me.  For the uninitiated, my woodworking shop has been robbed five times. My father and I together are out approximately twenty thousand dollars in tools, all together.  This has left me a little . . . untrusting of people.  Really, the worst thing getting robbed does to you is how it alters how you view your fellow man.  As far as I am concerned, nobody needs to know anything about my business other than what they absolutely have to know.  Everything needs to be locked, or bolted down.

Then we have D., wife of Da., the previous owners of September Blue. I’ve forgotten the exact details at this point, but they were either attending church for Easter Sunday, or were at a wedding, and left a car in their driveway, packed for a trip. When they got home, the car had been broken into, and cleaned out.  They lost laptops, luggage, jewelry . . .  the works.  As you might imagine, D has become . . .  cautious.

And so we have the sensitive issue of just exactly how the D’s are going to be compensated for September Blue. D is perfectly willing to take a check.  She’s just not willing to sign the title over to me until the check clears.  I’m not offended.  Times are hard, and she doesn’t know me from Adam’s housecat.  But I’ve only got the weekend to come, inspect the boat, and bring it home.  I can’t wait around for the check to clear.  I suggested a cashier’s check from my credit union, but D was unwilling to accept a cashier’s check from an out-of-town bank.

I confess: I was beginning to feel that this was a little excessive .  But I’m in information technology, and I have some idea of how easy it would be to crank out a fake cashier’s check using Photoshop and some three part paper available over the internet.  Having been ripped off as often as I have, I could appreciate her being unwilling to stand there, holding a piece of paper that might or might not be good, and watching me drive off with her boat. I’ve cleared all of my consumer debt, but I have kept one credit card, because I need it for work travel.  As it happens, it’s a bank card that has local branches in Richmond.  So we decided that I would draw a cashier’s check from that bank, and D would be able to go to the bank on a Saturday and cash the cashier’s check.

After all those hoops, the sons-of-bitches at the bank wouldn’t sell me a cashier’s check.  Apparently, carrying one of their credit cards for fifteen years and paying out God knows how much in consumer debt payments does not constitute having an account with them.


Ok, I was still not offended, but this has become a serious pain in my ass.  So I decided on drawing out cash.  At which point my life got complicated.  I mean, without going into tacky details, other than my house and my van, this is the largest purchase I’ve ever made.  And the stack of bills I was carrying was . . . uncomfortable to sit on.  It wouldn’t fit in my wallet.  What if I lost it?  Do I leave it in the van?  What if the van is stolen?  Do I keep it on my person?  What if I’m mugged?  My biggest concern, though, was some kind of random traffic stop, and having John Law decide that all that cash meant that I was involved in drug trafficking.  Then they confiscate it, and you have to sue to get it back.

Still – there was entertainment involved.  Since cash is negotiable anywhere, at any time, I didn’t bother to mention to D that I was bringing it.  The expression on her face when I handed her that stack of bills was priceless.  Here eyes were the size of dinner plates.  Fun as that was, I didn’t mean to make her uncomfortable, and she was clearly as eager to get that brick as I was.  I mean, what if she got robbed?  So off she and my wife went to the bank to make the deposit.  Once the money was safely in the bank, she signed over the Virgina title to me, and we were off to the high road to adventure.

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  1. I guess I’ve been lucky in my major purchases. When I bought my last car, I went to pay and the man behind the desk started giving me all these options for financing and how much that would be, and I asked, will you take a check? He looked surprised, and said yes. I wrote a check with more numbers on it than I’d ever put on a check, and drove off in my new car.

    I guess he didn’t get too many people walk in and just pay for a car.

    • I remember when Karen did that when she bought the SUV. The salesdude was clearly disappointed. Apparently, he makes money on the financing.

  2. “didn’t know me from Adam’s housecat”

    I’ve only heard one other person use that expression – my mother.

    • Well, that would follow. The only persons I have ever heard use it were my mama, and HER mama, both born and bred in the shadow of old Fulton County Stadium. It’s probably got it’s roots in post-War Atlanta somewhere. Although now that I think about it, Ellen (Giavanna) Wolf has also used it. I think she’s from Nashville.

  3. my mother is born and bred Birmingham, AL stock. so I’m guessing its a southern thang.

    • I guess. Dunno why I assumed your Mom was from Atlanta.

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