“So we are looking at $12K all in?”

“Uh, ya. Twelve thousand and the fees.”

“The fees?”

“Ya. Umm, the fees.”

“What fees?”

“Umm… the fees.”

“And they are…”

“Uh, well see…  Ummm, there’s these fees, you know, for the docks and the paper transfers and the guys. You know.”

“Ok. I agree after the papers are signed I have to pay the marina to keep her here. And the  Registrar  will charge its usual tithe for the title transfer. But those are my costs and not part of the transaction right?”

“Uh. Ya. I guess.”

“So… the guys?”

“Oh. Ya. The… ummm… guys… um… well…you know…”

“No. Obviously I do not, as you put it…’know’.”


The silence that followed took the whole conversation full circle from weird, to confusing to ominous and finally back to just weird. I waited patiently as long as I could, eyeing the scrawny, scruffy almost-man that had yet to discover a good use for his razor, but eventually it was just too much.

“The guys…?” I reminded him. “They have names? Or a job description perhaps?”

His sallow eyes lit up at this last and hope flared for a moment. “Ya. The gu… The tax collecters. That’s them. The Tax Collectors. They’s gonna wanna talk to you after is all. You can talk to them direct-like. Ya.”