Down in a place where anything fizzy is a Coke; church ends before noon so nobody misses the ball game; and you don’t sit – you set – there’s a little lake hidden away where Martin and his daddy used to camp every summer for a weekend and fish. Bass, mostly, although you’d occasionally get bites from this, that, or the other. Martin caught a water moccasin one time, and his daddy had to shoot it.
It was nice to get some quiet, man time for just the two of them. With nostalgia for that in mind, Martin asked if they could do it again, now that he was back home from school. So his daddy packed up the truck with a tent, sleeping bags, and however much tackle, rods, and worms could fit in whatever space was left.
The first day went by pretty much the way Martin expected, with them casting a lot, catching a little, and mostly spending time drinking cold beer. They moved around some, looking for that honey hole they’d pulled three ten-pounders out of back when Martin was eleven.
Dad filled Martin in on all he’d missed. “Pappy called me the other week, asked me to carry him over to the Walmarts. Old coonhound cain’t see but a foot in front of his face no more, bless his heart. We get inside, and he kept fartin’ so bad, I thought we was gonna have to buy him some new goddamn overalls right there.”
They both laughed a little, then Martin said, “Dad, I’m thinking about moving.”
His daddy cast his line. “Where to, son?”
Martin looked down at his beer, then glanced up at his daddy. “Chicago.”
His daddy gave him a hard look. “Your mother ain’t gonna like that much.”
“What about you, Dad? You think I should go?”
Martin watched his daddy reel in his lure and throw it back out. “Marty, cain’t nobody tell you what’s best for you, except you. Anybody tries to, you tell ‘em come talk to me.”
Before Martin could do anything but smile, his rod jerked, and he and his daddy pulled in the prettiest twelve-pound bass you ever did see.
Obviously I do not own the rights to the Coke name, etc. That is owned by the Coca-Cola company. And the Walmart name is owned by Walmart. Duh.
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