Monday, May 26, 2008

Gone Fishin'

My friend R.'s family went to his cabin without him this weekend. His wife calls it a respite. He calls it a banishment. Whatever. It makes them both happy.

"You should come over," he said.

"Yes I should," I said.

I told the Lovely Bride I'd be spending the night at R.'s house. He lives on the other side of town.

"Aren't you a little old for a sleepover?" she asked.

"You don't want me to drive after I've been drinking," I replied, reasonably enough.

"You don't have to drink," she responded, unreasonably.

"But his family's gone," I whined.

"Oh fine. Don't forget your toothbrush."

I got there shortly after lunch. His car was already packed with fishing gear. I threw my stuff in the back after first standing in his kitchen for a minute to enjoy the child free atmosphere.

"It's so quiet. It's beautiful," I said.

"I know," said R. "I'm going to cry."

R. lives in a first ring suburb and we're fortunate to have any number of lakes scattered around the metropolitan area. He has a friend who lives close enough to some of them that he can walk to the dock with a small boat and an electric motor. A generous sort, his friend had offered to lend us the boat and after a little small talk we set sail.

Years ago, when we were single and roommates, R. and I used to fish these lakes with some regularity. It's possible to catch a record fish in the shadow of downtown while watching clots of bicyclists, rollerbladers, and joggers. It's also possible to follow a few canals and catch equally big fish on a lake bookended by a nude beach and some of the most expensive homes in the state.

When the Lovely Bride and I were on our honeymoon,W., an Army buddy of mine came from out of town to dog sit for us. R. and another friend took him out fishing on one of these lakes, in a canoe with a folding chair in the middle, the Cleopatra seat. W. hates fishing, so that was the day R. hauled fifteen pounds of teeth and rage into the boat, where he subdued it by hitting it with a folding chair. W. still talks about the "goddamn sea monster" that tried to kill him.

So the fish are out there. As if that means anything. It's also possible to spend three hours puttering around these lakes with nothing to show for it but empty beer cans and full bladders and that's exactly what we did this weekend.

We walked the boat back to his friend and returned to R.'s still blessedly child free home, fishless but comforted by a couple bottles of decent Argentinian wine. R. threw together a more than serviceable chicken tagine and after we ate we watched "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story" and "Sweeney Todd" and cracked a bottle of bourbon and it turned out to be a good thing I didn't have to drive home after all. In the morning we had eggs and toast and sausage gravy and tomato juice and coffee.

When I walked in the door unshaven and manly, the Lovely Bride, my mother,and my oldest son were at the kitchen table. "You had a sleepover at R.'s?" my mother asked. "Aren't you a little old for that?" She's known R. for thirty years and has only slightly more faith in his judgment than she does in mine.

"He's home alive," said the Lovely Bride.

"Yay," said my son without much enthusiasm.

"Did you have fun?" asked the Lovely Bride in a tone suspiciously like the one she uses with our children after their sleepovers.

"I'm home alive," I said.

"Yay," repeated my son without any more enthusiasm.

"Do you know how much I used to worry about you and R.?" asked my mother.

"No more than I do," said the Lovely Bride.

29 comments:

Jennifer said...

AH! The ol' subdue the fish with a folding chair trick! Works every time.

Sounds like a nice overnight, Snag... and you even got to come home to your mother!

billy pilgrim said...

Full bladders? On a LAKE?

You're not the man I thought you were, Snag. You probably hate Bad Religion too.

fish said...

AH! The ol' subdue the fish with a folding chair trick! Works every time.

Does not. Especially when I go for the flying body slam!

I lived in Alaska for a while when I was a kid. The first time my dad and I went halibut fishing with a friend of his we saw a .38 on the dash. What is that for? You'll see he said. When he gaffed a 80lb halibut, he shot it in the head before pulling it aboard. Seemed prudent.

fish said...

I should have said "flying (fish) body slam."

Snag said...

When the Lovely Bride and I were halibut fishing in Alaska the charter boat captain brought a .410 along for the same reason. Until she finally worked up the courage to ask, my wife was convinced he was a serial killer.

billy pilgrim said...

I would have shot ALL the fish.

Just for the halibut.


...it had to be said.

Snag said...

Holy mackerel BP, there's no call for that sort of violence.

billy pilgrim said...

Look, you keep this up and I'm just gonna tuna you out.

fish said...

When the Lovely Bride and I were halibut fishing in Alaska

Reason #2 how snag stays married.

Snag said...

BP's just all high and mighty up on his perch there.

billy pilgrim said...

Now you're just being a bass.

billy pilgrim said...

man, it's like Snag is entering minnowpause....

fish said...

I am not going to carp on the fact that you guys continue to flounder with your attempts at wit.

Bream it on!!!

billy pilgrim said...

ooops, now we gave fish a haddock. I didn't intend to put him into high gudgeon.

For cod's sake. Can we let this skate? Everybody around here is a ghoul.

I think we're all becoming aholeholes. Have we no morays?

But in the end, he who delta smelt it, gets a pike to the pufferfish.

If chuckles weighs in, we'll need the picklefish.

I'm gonna go listen to the eels now.

Snag said...

I don't know what everyone's carping about. I'm having a whale of a good time.

Kathleen said...

roe, roe, roe your boat...

billy pilgrim said...

when does fishbot arrive?


I think carp has already been used. Saury.


Sailfish on, Silver Dollar!!

billy pilgrim said...

....beware the punfish.....

Snag said...

For Cod's sake, what a bunch of suckers. We've got to look on the sunny side as long as there's still a ray of hope.

fish said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fish said...

Here we were having a perfectly nice grouper people making puns and snag goes and drops a huge mammal-bomb in the middle of everything. What a bigmouth.

You have no sole. I ought to give you a shiner.

billy pilgrim said...

ummm, that comment up there about chuckles should have said pricklefish

I'm so abassed. I'm going to go back to my blog and mouthbrood.

billy pilgrim said...

good guppy.

you people play roughy.

Snag said...

A sheepshead in wolffish's clothing.

fish said...

I clearly put you in your plaice.

Mandos said...

I see your wife didn't bring you any ale.

Am I the sole person who doesn't like fishing?

billy pilgrim said...

OK, cod, sole, and carp are no longer gar; get 'em trout of here.

Pinko Punko said...

We've already done fish. it's just small fry around here.

I was salmoned, so I deigned to appear.

plover said...

While no one thought to salmon me (though perhaps someone did and I'm hard of herring), given that there's no lox on this plaice, I'm not going to stand around koily in the shallows.