Birth of a Sea Gypsy
When Fatty passes Wild Card’s tiller to her new owner, he discovers that his trusty vessel has fallen into just the right set of hands.
Robin doesn’t like violence or crime and finds himself work as a bouncer at a popular nightclub. “Nice,” he says. “Mostly no guns.”
One day, a bigwig customer asks Robin if he’d like to make hundreds of dollars for a 20-minute job. Robin says yes. “Bring your swim trucks,” says the guy.
Two nights later, Robin is led to a darkened warehouse on the outskirts of town. He slips in the back door and hears the terrifying roar of a crowd. Damn! He’s never heard the name “Chippendale” before. He tries not to be nervous. “Just another job,” he mutters to himself. But it’s dark as they hustle him out onto the stage, and the sudden spotlight hurts his eyes. He doesn’t realize that the performer before him was covered in oil. Robin slips and erotically falls. The crowd goes wild, and the lust-crazed housewives rush the stage. They stuff money in his Speedo. Hundreds of dollars! As Robin feels the flow of hands fluttering over his hard-muscled body, he thinks, “Yes, America is a truly amazing, truly unbelievable place!”
Two years later, he has a dozen words of English at his command and a net worth of $400,000. He tools around in a brand-new BMW when he’s not managing his popular 35-and-older New York City nightclub.
“Then I make one bad business decision, and I owe $100,000 the following day. I not complain. Fair is fair but hard is hard, too. So I am sad. Oh, well. Begin again! All I have left is beautiful BMW. No good English, so by nightfall I am delivering pizzas from the BMW.”
“In America, if you are willing to work hard, you always succeed!” Robin quips.
Indeed. Robin now is involved with a dozen small-but-growing Midwest businesses, the largest of which employees 80 people. “People are loyal to me because I treat them like I want to be treated. Hard work equals good money, always!”
|Fatty gets a hand as he hoists the tired old Perkins out of his 43-foot Wauquiez Aphrodite, Ganesh|
Now Robin-the-successful-entrepreneur, once the poor son of a Tarot-dealing gypsy woman, can have anything he wants. But he’s wise enough to know that what he wants aren’t toys but, rather, experiences. So one day he’s reading the magazine you’re holding in your hand and he’s laughing at a sea-gypsy story written by yours truly.
“I realize I want to be gypsy, two times. Once real gypsy. Twice, sea gypsy!”
“Careful!” I say to Robin as Wild Card stands more upright and her jib starts to flutter.
“You’re getting too close to the no-go zone. Fall off and head down, away from the wind a tad.”
Robin is an apt pupil. I’m trying to cram 53 years of offshore experience into the few days we have together sail-training aboard Wild Card.
“Good!” I say. “See the jib telltales streaming aft? That’s perfect. She’s powered up. You’re getting it, Robin. You’re learning the ropes!”
He grins. “The tortoise always wins in the end!”