TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — The ‘Little Engine That Could’ Takes A Dive

Once upon a time, I had a fishing boat with a little 9.9 hp Johnson outboard motor. You could drive all day and all night and wouldn’t use a cup of gas. The kids learned to water ski behind it and loved to go wave-jumping in it. The only thing we didn’t do was fish … until one of my grandchildren got the bug.

Well, one sunny but very windswept day, one of the youngsters decided to go wave-hopping in it. The Little Engine that Could powered them over the waves and deep into the swells. A few hours later, said youngster and his friend showed up at the cabin, forlorn, sad and extremely tired. I came out and started talking to them. As we conversed, I asked where the boat was.

The answer was not funny at the time, though it certainly is now as I look back. It seems they had a mechanical problem on the far side of the lake and instead of calling on their cell phones for help, they walked all the way to the cottage. If I’d thought about it for a second, I’d have known that there was a reason there was no call, but I didn’t think.

It seems that as the little fishing boat with the little motor jumped the waves, drove through the swells and flew through the air with the greatest of ease —  the little 9.9 “engine that could” had fallen off.

Now, that explanation woke me up. We piled on the pontoon to drive to the site to tow the boat back and, incidentally, to prowl the deep, looking for the wayward motor.

The damned waves were so large we just about lost some passengers, so we gave up the hunt, put a line on the fishing boat and headed back. Those who had been in it when the motor fell off wanted to ride back in the fishing boat. They probably regret that decision to this day. That little boat bobbed, bounced, swayed, turned and tossed all the way back. It was like sitting in a mixer. It’s a tribute to the young men that they didn’t leave their innards in the boat —  although I did not check their shorts.

Once the lake calmed down, we spent an hour or two on different days looking through the clear water trying to spot Mr. Johnson … but no luck.

This past weekend, my wife, my daughter Lisa and I spent time cleaning up the beach, cutting and trimming the lawn, and doing all of the essential chores before relaxing.

Now comes the rub. I have the nicest neighbors in the world, both at the lake and at my home in Fargo. My next-door lake neighbor, Brad Klose, husband of the Lady Sheila Klose, asked my wife if I had noticed that he put our replacement 9.9 motor on our boat. I looked out and, sure enough, the 9.9 hp Johnson was in fact on the boat. I walked over and profusely thanked him for installing it, while at the same time wondering how in hell he got into the locked garage to do that.

While organizing my tools in the garage, I noted he had forgotten to put the gas can in the boat. Then I walked down. From the shore, the motor looked weathered and ancient. I thought, “The bugger — he found and installed our old motor.”

I asked him whether that was our old motor. Brad simply smiled and said, “No.” I went back to arranging my tools.

A few hours later, my wife glanced into the corner of the garage, and there, on the floor, was my replacement engine.

I ran out and asked Brad how and where he found my old motor, the one he’d installed on the boat. He simply smiled and said it was not the old motor, then told me to take a closer look. I did … and that goof, with some assistance from parties, had stenciled and painted “Johnson 9.9” on a cardboard box and stuck a piece of wood through the box representing the steering mechanism. From a distance, it really looked real.

Brad may think he really pulled this off, but payback is in the works. This is what makes living fun and takes one’s mind off the bad happenings of the world.

But no article of mine would be complete without some reference to POTUS 45. The attorney general isn’t competent to give him legal advice, and his personal attorney is dumber than a box of rocks. I use the terms “incompetent” and “dumb” because, with a client like 45, there must be some controls —  and there aren’t.

With a case pending before the Supreme Court on his travel ban, 45 —  the dolt —  tweets an insult to the Muslim mayor of London at a time when terrorists have just killed citizens of his city. Trump simply can’t keep his mouth shut! The Putin lover has not considered that his tweets simply fuel the case for terminating his Muslim travel ban and reinforce the belief the ban was against a specific religion.

I think it’s malpractice for an attorney to represent 45 if he will not adhere to legal advice and simply “shut up.”

When he recently shoved another world leader out of his way at the NATO summit, stuck out his chin and struck a Mussolini pose, his true colors came through.

Like all Americans, I wanted our president to succeed. He is not my president, though I never thought I would say that about the leader of our country. But since he doesn’t give a whit about the average American, there’s no reason to support him.

When he ran for president, 45 made all kinds of promises and claims. Decent, hard-working people believed him and voted for him, and that’s fine. I think it’s fair to say no one thought he’d try to run the country like his business, as a one-man show making all the decisions himself and listening to no one. This country is too large and diverse to have dictatorial type management.

He has removed and not replaced all U.S. attorneys; he removed but has not replaced our diplomats; and he has not replaced or even started to consider the numerous government employees he either terminated or who would have left when any new administration came in.

The president simply has no clue how to run this country. I pray and hope that the courts, as they always have, will resolve the problem of his lack of leadership —  sooner rather than later.

In closing, ask yourself this question. The president wanted a 90-day ban on admitting people from seven Muslim-majority nations, and the courts put a stay on his order. The 90 days have now elapsed, and he’s still asking for the ban. He wanted those 90 days to see if the bad folks would infiltrate and attack us. They haven’t. He doesn’t like losing, yet he’s never won since being elected (except for placing his nominee on the Supreme Court).

As I wrap this up, I’m listening to Vice President Pence on the news singing the praises of 45. Wow. Until just now, I must have missed all the accomplishments he’s claiming. Guess I’ll have to study up more, because I do love watching the news. It is what keeps this country safe. Amen.

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