i did not make a friend today
I was all geared up to buy the absolute perfect kayak today. After my three day paddle last weekend (you might have read something about it on this very site...) I discovered that the perfect kayak for me is a Wilderness Systems Pungo. Why? Because of the cockpit. Just trust me.
So I came home from that discovery, hopped on Craigslist, and goddamn if there wasn't a Wilderness Systems Pungo kayak right there for sale! What luck! I wrote the poster and opened negotiations. From what the woman said, the kayak sounded great and I made plans to see it today. I even talked her down from $575 to a flat $500. Rad.
Tonight Kara from my kayaking group picked me up in her truck and drove me over there, all ready to load the thing up and take it home. I even had $500 cash in my front pocket just itching to hop into the hands of this Craigslist woman, in exchange for my very own, sweet, precious kayak.
Well. It didn't work out. The boat wasn't what I expected. The "dry storage hatch" turned out to be this tiny little pouch with a screw on lid that would barely fit my Nalgene bottle in it, and that's not an exaggeration. And according to Kara, the seat was "packed" (ie: the foam was dense and hard, which means its old) -- the woman claimed the boat was only a year old. Kara called bullshit on that during our private consultation. She thinks the boat was probably more like 5 years old, if not older.
Why is that important? Because the newer Pungos are better designed and LIGHTER. Light is good. Heavy is bad. Not to mention, the seat would need to be replaced in the not too distant future. Bottom line, Kara thought they were asking way too much for the boat and I agreed. I had a sinking feeling from the moment I saw it and I agreed with Kara's assessment 100%.
Then I did something very foolish. Well, it wasn't foolish, I just did it poorly. I tried to talk them down a little. I didn't go in with the intention of screwing them into an even lower price. I just told them that I'd done my research and I didn't believe $500 was a fair price. I told them the things about the boat that I wasn't happy with and I said $400 was as much as I felt I could pay for the boat.
And they just looked at me. This woman and her husband, standing in their cluttered kitchen with a baby and a dog and who knows what else. They looked at me like I was crazy. Then the wife offered to throw in a life vest. "I already have a life vest."
Silence. They just kept looking at me. Looking at me like I was crazy. Like I'd just called their baby ugly. Like I'd just peed on their linoleum. So, I did the only thing a warm-blooded, feeling person could do. I started babbling to make the silence go away. My babbling did not help.
Then I offered to help him hang the boat back up on the ceiling and that actually got him moving. We solemnly marched back to the basement and rehung the boat with grim faces. As Kara and I left, I felt a cold wind blowing us out of the house. We got back in Kara's truck and she said, "Wow. They were NOT HAPPY."
No they were not. Well what the fuck?
Anyway, that's all the energy I have for that story. Crazy people. Selling shit on Craigslist. Lying about how old it is. And looking at me all crazy-like. Fuck em.
So I don't have a kayak and I'm bummed. But I'm still getting up at 4:30 tomorrow morning and driving over to the REI garage sale. Why? Because I'm fucking crazy, that's why. And I might go paddle tomorrow. If I can borrow a boat...