The Marine View Driver: The Fine Art of Making Things Up

In which the author dreams a dream.

by Mike Smith

I like to entertain myself with questions like: What would I do with a quarter of a million dollars? I mean besides the obvious, “…quit working hard for a while.”

As I was sitting in my living room with another reoccurring stomach ache, I pulled out my trusty laptop and began searching around for what I could do with two-hundred and fifty thousand smackeroos.

Now remember, some of the things I found actually require me to have a little north of the quarter mil because, well, isn’t it axiomatic that the more something costs at the outset, the more it costs to own over the long haul? Like, say, a boat…

Grand Banks Eastbay44The dough needed to buy this particular boat runs just shy of $250,000. So it qualifies. Of course the estimate is that it will cost about $50,000 / year to maintain, moor (store for you automobile buffs) and generally keep clean and floating.

Did I not say I was dreaming? And since I am not a licensed boat captain or pilot or whatever they call themselves (the boat driver) I’d have to either have one on retainer, another $50,000, or rent a pilot for $3500 per day when I wanted to go out in my boat. My nephew is a licensed yacht captain (he works for Argosy in Seattle), so I could possibly get the favorite-uncle discount, but let’s stick with hard numbers for today’s exercise.

Equus USInstead, I could buy this car:

This is a car that is built pretty much on-demand. If you demand to have a car like this, they demand you pay them two-hundred fifty thousand simoleons for it. See? On-demand. But they make it the way you want it. By hand! You get treated like royalty. And you get to fly to Detroit to pick it up!! It will be unique, fer sure. But, alas, I would have to park mine (excuse me… store mine; moor, for you boat types!) in a friend’s garage because insuring a collector car like this is pretty expensive. And if you want to drive it? Whoo boy.

Or I could attend every Mariners game for the next five years. Home or away. I might actually get a foul ball souvenir if I attended that many games. Plus, no doubt I would finally get to see Felix pitch in person for once. That could really be fun.

Hyundai EquusAnother thing I could do with $250,000 is buy a little more than three of these: My favorite at the car show last year.

Interestingly named after a horse as well. The Hyundai Equus. (Not so appealing if you’ve read the Peter Shaffer play.)

Oh and that reminds me: I could buy an actual horse as well.

Race horseIn fact I could buy 10 of them. But true to expensive-item form, even a stallion you pick up in a claiming race has keeping (maintenance) costs, rider (pilot/driver) costs, and stabling (moorage) expenses. Essentially, a horse is a four legged yacht. You just can’t fish from it or ski behind it.

Or can you?


In a way I think I have talked my way out of spending my imaginary $250,000. Maybe I’ll just keep it and put it in savings. Then I could be satisfied with buying cheap stuff that only has one cost: the cost to purchase it. Like, gum. Or candy. Or even a stereo. I could pay my house off. That would be good.

Wishing like this might seem like kind of a waste of time. But, if it ever happened, I’d be prepared.

In actuality, a quarter mil turns out to not be much money. Plus, the influx would more than likely be a shock to my system. I get a bit of a headache just writing this all down. Wishing is exhausting.

That reminds me of an old joke: Two hobos were walking down the rail road tracks one day. One said to the other, “You know, I wish I’d stumble over a quarter of a million dollars.”

The other hobo says, “If you do, would you split it with me?”

“Wish for your own money, you lazy hobo!” Said the first.

So that’s what I do when I am stuck at home and can’t go outside and play like other people.

What do you imagine? I suppose you probably don’t imagine things like I do.

But what if you do get $250,000.00? You won’t know what to do with it! I will. And I can take it off your hands. I am prepared for the event!

Then I could buy a boat, or a car, or a few horses, or…

You know what?

Keep your stupid money. My life is fine without it!

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