So on Saturday, I continued out another 75 miles or so to the Susquehanna river, where I stopped at a boat ramp and saw various folks in various stages of sunburn putting boats that had cost various amounts of money into the water. They were all pretty normal inland-river-holiday type boats except for one tiny purple job that looked like an amusement-park ride, all raw fiberglass and bolted aluminum struts across the inside. It was painted “never grow up” on the side, and it had a massive outboard bolted to the back. The outboard’s casing had been drilled in many places, and there were many mysterious tubes running into the engine. When the boat’s owner put it into the water and started the engine, it shrieked with a wicked goblin howl that brought people running (literally, running! Adult people!) to see what the hell was going on. I’ve never heard an engine do that before. There’s a funny passage in Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men In a Boat where he spends five pages convincing the reader that rescue did, indeed come “just as they had given up all hope”, and it springs to mind whenever I’m living a cliche, like I did just then, listening to this unearthly roar that this kiddie-park-demon-from-hell boat was putting out. What, did the guy run it on hairspray and plutonium or something?