Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Big Bassippotamus

Let me set the stage for you:

Imagine that it's cold and rainy and 5:10AM. You have driven 90 miles to get in a single-file line of 155 pickup trucks full of grumpy, hairy, unkempt men; all waiting impatiently to park for approximately 45 seconds in a slot the size of a parking space. There exists not 155 slots, but two. Two slots.

Now add a 25’ long trailer to each truck and take the guy who owns the truck out of the equation and put some other guy behind the wheel. This guy is your fishing partner - randomly-assigned by the tournament director. Have that guy panic and select someone else (a passer-by) completely at random to drive your truck while you sit in your boat on the trailer thinking cheerful thoughts and wondering what is going on.

Also, the "slot" is a "boat ramp" which is full of “water”.  Also, you have forgotten to fill the truck up with gas. So, maybe the truck will run out of fuel while you are in line and the entire process will grind to a miserably embarrassing halt. Also, it is 51 degrees and pouring down rain. You don't know this yet, but it's going to rain all day.

Just to be clear, the scenario I have described is: me, sitting in my boat on dry land, on a trailer, behind my truck, in a huge line of trucks, in the pouring rain, in the dark. Someone I don't know is behind the wheel and another guy I don't know, who was originally behind the wheel, has abdicated his seat and we may or may not be about to run out of fuel.  

Interesting, eh?

Comedy abounds. Then, fury. Then, words are shouted. Later, everyone tacitly forgets what happened at the boat ramp and the comedy and fury are replaced with camaraderie….Until two of the same boats want to get to the same cove and catch the same fish. Then its mostly fury again. Then, tacit amnesia when it’s all over.

I stood in line to weigh my fish right next to a guy who nearly ran me over trying to beat me to a fishing spot not 4 hours previously.

I took the high road and fished elsewhere.

Do you know what the "high road" is paved with? Unkind thoughts. I had many very unkind thoughts while on the high road. One of them involves me leaning over the rude man's deathbed in 60 years pointing my bony, decrepit finger at him and shouting SEE THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS TO RUDE PEOPLE. THEY DIE BEFORE I DO. Ahhaaaahaaaa!!! 

A savvy psychiatrist could set a sofa out on the marina dock and make a living charging $20 an hour to returning fishermen. I, for one, would have paid it because, for possibly the first time in my life, I have some feelings I'd like to talk through.

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