Monday, October 8, 2007

It Beats A Poke In The Eye With A Sharp Stick

We made it to the cabin by Thursday afternoon. I had a meeting not too far from there earlier in the day. My friend R. dropped me off at the meeting, went to his place to unload the car, and then picked me up as soon as I finished my incredibly interesting and witty presentation.

R. and I have been friends since 7th grade. We've traveled a lot together too. He's got three boys about the same age as mine, our wives are friends, and he's as bad a parent as I am. Over the years we've collectively dragged our families to Maine, to California, and to most places in between. That makes these kinds of trips, without the kids, delightfully quiet experiences. That's true even on this weekend, where hunting and gathering included drinking whiskey and playing guitar.

Thursday night was uneventful. After a little unsuccessful fishing and a trip into town for a hamburger and a beer, it was just R., one of his relatives, and me sitting out back, looking at the lake and pouring gasoline in the fire pit. By 11:00 I was in bed, dreaming the dreams of the innocent.

Friday the other two guests arrived. They're both in advertising, which is to say they've committed their artistic talents to Mammon. That's not a criticism (I'm hardly in a position to throw stones), just acknowledgement they actually have artistic talents. In any event, their particular talents include, in the case of one, being a retired guitarist for a pretty decent band, and in the case of both, being funny as shit.

Their arrival was greeted with appropriate amounts of bottle opening and a hastening to the boats. On a drizzly fall weekday there aren't many other people around and we had some 1,000 acres of water to ourselves.

The fishing wasn't much to write home about, but it was nice being on the water. After a few hours we made our way back to the cabin. One of the neighbors had stopped by, a nice guy. One thing led to another, soon it was dinner, heaping mounds of pasta and homemade marinara, then the whiskey came out, then the guitars.

R.'s guitar had a dent in it. "What happened?" someone asked.

"My kids pissed me off and I smashed it on a railing," he said.

He really is as volatile as I am.

I said, "The Broken Guitar, a Very Special Episode of the R.'s."

Someone else said, "Next on the R.'s, Daddy Buys a Handgun."

R. said, "Fuck you guys."

In the meantime, I had found some toy instruments. Quickly realizing my limitations as a harmonica player, I instead spent the next several hours happily shaking a musical egg in approximate time to the music. Finally my liver shrieked in horror and I retired, cautiously, to the top bunk to which I had been assigned.

As so often happens, laughter turned to tears. Saturday morning arrived warm, sunny, and far too soon. A delicious sausage, egg, and aspirin omelet, washed down with a gallon of coffee and the restorative electrolytes of Gatorade helped staunch the bleeding, however, and it was soon back in the boats for another run at the demons lurking beneath the lake's placid surface. It was another slow day of fishing, but at least I was away from my children, and that's what counts.

Or so I thought. For some inexplicable engineering reason, the lake is one of the few places around there where there's cell phone reception and around noon I started getting text messages from my oldest son.

"My brothers should go die in a hole."

It never ends. "Why in a hole?" I responded.

"That way we don't have to pay to bury them," he answered.

Well, he's practical if nothing else. I put the phone back in my pocket. Those animals were my Lovely Bride's problem for the next couple of days.

Besides, the fishing was picking up a little. Soon I'd landed a nice bass and R. had pulled in an impressive northern and we just kept drifting up and down the shoreline, idly casting, talking about nothing much in particular, and in general having a fine old time.

Saturday night was a quiet one, all of us weary from a day on the lake and the punishment we'd self-inflicted the night before. Dinner at a local restaurant, a little more fun with fire and gasoline, and bedtime by 10:00. When Sunday morning arrived it was rainy, incentive enough to leave in time to make it home for dinner. My youngest met me at the door, demanding a souvenir.

"I was at R.'s cabin for God's sake. You've been there. What did you expect?"

"A fish."

"I didn't bring home a fish. I brought home fish pictures though."

And I did.




Anonymous said...

Great post. Glad you had a great time. Isn't it fun to throw tons of gasoline on a roaring bonfire? So much fun.

Loved the "die in a hole" text message! Smart kid.

Anonymous said...

I think you should have used a photo of Matt Damon's face on your bod and called it "Good Snag Hunting".

Glad you're back, Snag. It was lonely here. BP was acting all alpha snag and it just wasn't the same.

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Yeah, I just don't have the same je ne sais moose

They're just jealous cuz I was the only one who could drink the bathtub margaritas.

Anonymous said...

BP- I draw the line on bathtub margaritas that have chili in them... or BP-ness. :-0

Adorable Girlfriend said...

These comments make no sense.


fish said...