I am willing to admit that, when a man uses “finger quotes” for the fifth time, explaining why the “rules” don’t apply to him, a quick left jab to the nose may not be the best response, even if it seems perfectly appropriate at the time.
I am also willing to admit that, when on the way to stupid, pain-in-the-ass, court-ordered anger management classes, taking it out by swerving into a group of young turkeys on the shoulder of Route 5 might come across as a tad offensive to some.
I will even concede that, when a real judge suggests a little “cooling off and drying out time,” a stay at Detox Mansion might not be such a bad idea, even if it might mean doing yard work with Liza Minnelli.
Each of those statements is true but none are applicable to this season at Fish in a Barrel Pond (so far). No one has been punched in the nose (yet) or been to court and ordered into behavior modification, no turkeys were harmed in the making up of this nonsense and, I assure you, Quill Gordon’s Steel-Toed Drinking Shoes remain laced, all the way to the top.
The ice went out and the loons returned. The large black and white aquatic birds came back, too. It’s been all anglers, all the time, following pretty much the same script as every year, except for the 18 hours I spent spiraling in the vortex of airport Hell that is United Airlines in Houston, or being struck by the thought that I, of all people, could arrive late, find my way through a throng of thousands from one terminal to another in Chicago, and catch a flight with just seconds to spare while a man from (name any city) can barely find his way around an old camp in Vermont measuring 20′ x 20′.
Six times in the last 12 weeks posts have been started and not finished, leaving three people wondering what might have happened to Quill Gordon. The truth involves discussing feelings and emotions and such so, when people ask, I just let them go on thinking I’ve been raking leaves with Liza.
A Gallery of Loons (the feathered kind):
When a man hands me a highball glass and says, “Quill, what the heck does a guy have to do to catch a fish around here?” I thank him and say, “I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure this ain’t it.”
The situation becomes a little more complicated when that man is in his underwear but the answer is still the same.
The folks having a good time don’t seem to feel the need to tell me about it every time they see me (it would probably get irritating after a while if they did). Miserable Bastards, however, have no qualms whatsoever when it comes to sharing their tales of woe and inconvenience. Far removed from actual hardship and suffering, they are are forced to make the worst of what they have, crying to the sky not for Truth, Justice or Peace, but for more paper towels and proper stemware.
With millions of people in the world living lives filled with disaster, mayhem, and Man’s inhumanity to Man, it’s funny where things like a mouse in the kitchen, a slow day fishing, or having to drink a martini from a coffee cup fall in the overall scheme of things for some of us.
Life is short, people, and it can end suddenly, without warning. My younger brother’s did this summer, in a collision with a tractor trailer rig. No condolences are necessary; besides pointing out my point about keeping things in perspective, it mostly provides backdrop for the earlier references to air travel.
From the lush hills of Vermont to the parched scrub of southern Colorado, A Gallery of Clouds from Airplanes, and Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs:
In spite of the circumstances, it was nice to reunite with family and friends after a long absence. Part of me misses them as much as I miss hundred-degree days, three percent humidity and scorpions but home is here, in the hills, on the shore of Fish in a Barrel Pond.
Sure, I’ve fished. For some reason this season I’m working a 25-foot sink-tip and pulling big streamers more than anything else. I have hooked some of the biggest, baddest logs and rocks in the lake this way (along with a few real corkers). Any day now, the ants will make their flights to establish new colonies and many will not make it across the lake. Seriously stupid fishing will ensue, for as long as the ant flights last, and then it will become work again to catch a fish.
A Gallery of Miscellany:
I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure that, whatever it takes to catch a fish, this ain’t it.