Topic: "Float Yer Boat" (4)
Several years ago, Frodo coveted a small pontoon boat he'd noticed sitting on a vacant lot near Lake Lovey. Many times he'd genuflected in Sam's presence about how neatly it would serve the Hobbits and their canine adjutants. Sam, ever sensitive to the needs of Mr. Frodo, noticed a "For Sale" sign on the property, and, unknown to Frodo, called the absentee owner. The absentee owner, of course, was more interested in selling the vacant lot than he was the pontoon boat. Sam, depressed, decided that that was that, and the effort was concluded.
Some months later, Sam received a telephone call from the absentee owner, who informed Sam that he had sold the property, and, if Sam were still interested, he would sell the pontoon boat. Sam then divulged the situation to Frodo, who was, in a word, delirious. Frodo and Sam then made arrangements to meet with the owner, and to strike a deal. For months afterward, every Hobbit in the area inquired about the pontoon boat, only to learn that good Sam had beaten them to the punch. Frodo was a very happy Hobbit.
Dubbed the "S.S. Minnow," Hobbits and canines, roughly equivalent to characters named Ginger, the Professor, Gilligan, the Skipper, Mary Ann, and Mrs. Howell, quickly found adequate space in order to float on a barge fit for Cleopatra herself. When not fully-occupied, the Minnow served Frodo and friends for piscatorial adventures with rod, reel, and curious noses. It has been Frodo's proudest capital asset.
During the prolonged drought in the areas about the Shire, dangerously-low water levels have exposed sharp-ended rocks to the bottom of the Minnow. Several times, Frodo has found at least one of the pontoons filled with water, and the pontoon boat in danger of sinking. Applying his questionable motor skills to problems of this nature is a study in futility. Frodo is indeed, a lover, not a fighter; at least in instances such as this.
The crux of the problem has been that the pontoon boat, more than 30 years old, is no longer manufactured in the size and format of the Minnow. Frodo is unable to simply buy a new pontoon, replace the leaky one, and go on about his business. Further, he learned, aluminum is not easily patched, with solder or by any other process. There are few substances which will adhere to aluminum and remain. Frodo grew weary of draining the leaky pontoon every time he wanted to float the boat, so to speak.
The miracle of the Internet served Frodo once again. His friend, Mr. Google, told him that a potential chemical product could be found at the sports megalith which sits inconveniently on Lake Lanier, many miles from the Shire. Frodo scrimped and saved in order to afford sufficient gasoline to provide transportation to the retail establishment. When at last he wandered into the arms of the waiting salesperson, he was introduced to an epoxy substance which apparently addressed all his needs. Frodo was ecstatic.
Frodo visited Lake Lovey this past weekend, and set about the repairs on the Minnow. When he opened the epoxy, he found that it bore a significant resemblance to what one might label as C-4 Explosive. It was a gooey, malleable substance not quite as user-friendly as modelling clay. Frodo was instructed to mold the substance for several minutes, then to spread over punctures within "9-to-14 minutes," since the substance quickly begins to harden. Sam was worried, fearing that Mr. Frodo was about to adjoin himself to a pontoon, or perhaps, even worse, leave Mick, the Wonder Dog, as an attachment to the Minnow itself.
Somehow, things seemed to work well. Frodo identified several small punctures, and patched each. The epoxy seemed to properly set, harden, and to hold. The test will be how the Minnow holds while tied to Frodo's dock of the bay.
Although Frodo is very proud of himself for, perhaps, having dealt with an insoluble problem on his own, his mood is better described as grumpy because of the need for all this activity in the first place.
Huck and Tom had it better. All they had to contend with was Injun Joe.