Friday, March 21, 2008

Friend with a Boat

Q. What's better than having your own boat?

A. Having a friend with a boat.

Once upon a time, long, long ago, before Rex and I had children, we thought it would be a really good idea to have our own boat...nothing huge, just a 30-footer with a head (I couldn't imagine going out on the Atlantic Ocean for hours or even for a shorter trip in Barnegat Bay without my very own bathroom). We had been out on Gabrielle and Carlos' Aqua Patio around the lagoon in Brick, NJ, pretty much every time they had a party, and a boat seemed like a great time. Then one night we had dinner down in Bay Head with some friends who had a boat. Oddly (we thought), those friends never wanted to take us out on their boat. We chatted away about how we wanted to have a small boat that we could keep in Scow Ditch. The couple brought us into their bathroom and asked if we had a few twenties in our wallet and purse. "Yes," we both answered hesitantly. "Great!" said the couple at the same time. "Take it out and throw it in here," they said, pointing out the toilet. I told them I didn't feel so comfortable flushing money down the toilet. "Oh, dear," said the wife. "I'm afraid you are not ready to own a boat. If you can't get comfortable throwing all of your money down the toilet, you shouldn't be investing in a boat."

I assume this is one of those funny stories that have been passed around by boat owners for years on end (since the original telling, I've heard it from boat owner friends in Florida as well)....but it worked. Rex and I reconsidered our decision to buy a boat, and decided to stay on the beach in Bay Head and make sand castles with our future children instead.

Once someone is so fed up with the ongoing expense that they are ready to donate a boat to charity, there is actually a service called Boat Angel Ministries that is ready to accept all yacht and boat donations. Angel Ministries takes your boat and gives the money to your choice of churches, youth groups, building programs, cancer programs, aid and relief societies, educational programs , international relief programs, animal rescue foundations, diabetes research, lung cancer research Alzheimer research computer education, scholarships, and other charities. So if you have a boat to donate (or a car, for that matter), visit their web site and see if you can make something good (and tax deductible) happen with your money instead of flushing it down the toilet.