Boating Baffle

A friend of my father’s was visiting home. He and a buddy decided they wanted to do some fishing. They borrowed a small boat, filled the tank with fuel and off they went.

After a pleasant afternoon on the water they decided to head back to shore. Cal primed the engine and pulled on the cord. The engine roared to life. He sat down and they started to make their way home.

After a short distance the engine died. Hmmm … that’s odd.

Cal stood up, and after a few pulls on the cord the engine started again. He revved the engine a few times, sat down, put it in gear and away they went.

Less than a minute later the engine stopped. Hmmm …

Cal checked the fuel tank. There was plenty of fuel. He primed the engine again. He stood and gave the cord a good pull. After a few attempts it roared to life again. Somewhat bewildered he sat down and steered for shore.

Again the engine died.

He repeated the sequence again. The outboard started again. It stopped again. At this rate it was going to take forever to get back to the beach.

At this point the fellows took the cover off the engine and started an inspection of the fuel line and carburetor. They were completely baffled.

Another boater came along and asked if he could be of assistance. Cal explained the problem. After a few moments of looking at the layout of their boat, the fellow said, “Have a look under your seat cushion.”

Cal flipped the cushion over. There lay the fuel line from the tank to the motor. Every time he sat down he cut off the fuel supply.

Problem solved.

Cal is no longer with us. He and my father are fishing together in Fiddler’s Green. I loved the fact that he loved to tell this story. And he had a great laugh.

Laugh loudly, laugh often, and most important, laugh at yourself.

Chelsea Handler

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