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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Who’d a Thunk It?


Who’d a Thunk It?

Sometimes when you run out of stories you just have to steal someone else’s.  In this case I am stealing one from Fraternity pal “Captain” Don.

Don’s moniker used to be “Squeak”, a name I’m sure he did not cherish.  Pretty much no one likes their nicknames.  Guys generally name their friends in the least likable way possible…I don’t know why; it is just a guy thing.  Nobody wants to be called “Frog” Hogg-jowles” “Gawk” or “Coconut head” but that is what happens. 

Don had a bit of a high pitch voice and thus “Squeak.” 

Years later Don got his pilots license and owned a small plane.  From time to time, we would fly out to play at  his favorite golf course.  I decided that I did not want to risk my life in a small plane with a guy named “Squeak” so his name became “Captain” Don.


Don lives in the farm lands of New Jersey…yes, Jersey does have farms…he raises nothing except a few cattle possibly to maintain a “farm status” property.  On his several acres of land Captain Don has a small pond.  The pond serves no real purpose other than it is pleasant to look at while hoisting a beverage on his patio. 

Don’s “farm” has a truck.  When it snows he uses it to plow his long driveway and the driveways of his neighbors.  Clearly Don enjoys plowing snow in his big-ass truck. 

He also has a riding mower, a Christmas present to his wife, Peg.  Don clearly does not enjoy mowing the lawn. 

He also has a Utility Vehicle or UTV which he uses to drive to his mail box and occasionally to move stuff around…pretty much it is just a big toy.

This fall Don was teaching his young grandson how to operate the UTV.  What young boy would not love to play with such a cool toy.

Now, Captain Don can fly a plane, but he apparently is not too good at instructing 10-year-old boys in the operation of a UTV.  He showed him how to start it up, how to steer, and how to shift.  Apparently, he did not teach him that the UTV will roll when in neutral, on an incline and without using a parking break.

Long story short, UTV’s do not float.

The grandson was fine.  The UTV not so much.

Captain Don needed a new UTV.  How else could he pick up the mail?  He found a place in a sketchy area of Jersey that sold used UTV’s.  Captain Don took me along to this place to check out their goods.  I think he was looking for some 74-year-old muscle to back him up in sketchy land (What was he thinking?).

The proprietor had many vehicles for sale and at a reasonable price.  Captain was not too quick to make a deal.  I think he was leery about trusting anyone with a neck tattoo that said “GO AHEAD MAKE MY DAY.”

Upon leaving said sketchy place Don was lamenting on the cost of a used UTV to replace his non-floating one.

I commented, “Too bad the submerged UTV was not covered by insurance.”

I actually heard a light bulb click-on above Don’s head, followed by a palm to forehead smack.

“You know I never thought about that.  That’s a good idea.  It should be insured under my homeowner’s policy!”

Insurance did indeed eventually cover a good portion of the cost on a replacement UTV. 

Now what makes this an interesting story to me is Don’s occupation.  The Captain is not a professional pilot.  He is not a real farmer. 

“Captain” Don owns and has run a very successful insurance company for almost 50 years.



  1. Heeheehee!

    Physician, heal thyself, indeed.

  2. Hah!
    I am glad the grandson was okay.

  3. I'm pretty sure Captain Don's oversight would count as irony. I agree that replacing the UTV, with a monetary settlement from the insurance company, is the most satisfying solution. However...

    Is that pond full of water, or sulfuric acid? Is it a regular pond, or does he host the Captain Don Cliff-Diving Championships from it? Around here, you could probably pay someone $20 to jump in and hook a chain to the UTV. Then Captain Don could pull it out with his big-ass truck, and have a bunch of snot-nose mechanics at the local vo-tech school get it dried out and running, free for the practice.

  4. That got me giggling. Sometimes it is those darn trees that hide the forest. Good thing he has you.

  5. Awesome .... and insurance folk wonder why I'm so skeptical!! Not the first such story I've run across.

    Some nicks are great, even if the intentions were suspect. Goof has been and will continue to be mine, so named because I used to try unconventional techniques to make or do things when alternatives were not available. It led to many many "Goof"s along the path, thus the nick. Well at the end of nearly all them Goofs was success so, you know, it's not so bad.

  6. Sometimes we miss the obvious staring us in the face. Great story, JoeH.

    God bless.

  7. you are so skilled to tell stories dear Joe :)

    but end made me laugh suddenly
    thank God his grandson was fine though