- Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:23 pm
I've yet to hear anything from the Drake technology team regarding the photo-posting problem I've been experiencing, so I'm going to take Spudnik's advice and carry on without visual evidence. My photos are nothing to brag about anyway.
Heero may have been tipsy that night, but he certainly wasn't the only one, and by the end of the evening I was once again the last man standing.
After finishing my whisky by the warmth of the fire, I crawled into the Airstream and went to bed.
The sun was already up when I woke, as was most everybody else.
I cracked a beer and then made myself comfortable in the outhouse - my usual morning routine - and by the time I emerged CE and Hagen had returned from town with a bottomless supply of freshly fried chicken. It was still hot, and as I sampled a piece CE shared the difficulties of procuring empty cardboard buckets from an exceptionally testy Walmart team member. Apparently profit margins are thinner than ever at America's favorite retailer.
I've got a camping kitchen that includes pots, pans, and other cooking paraphernalia, none of which I particularly care about. What I don't have are large mixing bowls, so I'd borrowed one from my wife's kitchen before the trip, packed it in my suitcase, and used it the night before. I'd made it clear to anyone who would listen that my wife's mixing bowl was the only thing I needed to bring back with me, and the next morning it was the only thing I couldn't find.
At some point Porno Mike heard me asking if anyone had seen it.
He immediately went to the garbage can, thrust his arm elbow deep into the refuse, said "Nothing up my sleeve," and plucked it out.
I looked at him with disbelief and he said, "Sorry man. I thought this thing was disposable."
The bowl was washed and dried and I was about to repack it when Hagen grabbed it and stuffed it full of fried chicken.
Once the chicken was evenly divided, we split up the beer, loaded the trucks, and then waited for the boys in the Prairie Schooner to stir from their slumber.
Eventually we all made it to the river, and while Lando ran shuttle, Hagen got ambitious and decided to set up his rod on his own. This resulted in the death of a brand new leader.
Things briefly improved after the launch, during which time Hagen landed some nice fish, but soon afterwards things once again quickly went to shit. When Hagen wasn't missing fish, he was either casting behind the boat or weaving wind knots. Thankfully we had fried chicken and Safety Meetings to break up the monotony, along with Louie, who like most of the fish remained thoroughly unimpressed with most everything we did.
After a dozen more beers Hagen thought it would be a good idea to bet Lando that he could continue fishing for a certain amount of time without getting tangled up.
A few minutes later Lando had an extra $100 in his pocket.
By now we'd been floating for several hours, and I started getting snippy with Hagen because he kept fishing my water behind the boat.
I took that as a sign that it was time for me to stop drinking.
It wasn't a hard decision to make, because we were out of beer.
So was everyone else.
Life Coach Rule #1: Always make sure you have enough beer.
Once we reached the takeout, we loaded the boat and hit the road.
We stopped by a little bar on the way back to camp, and Lando asked me to stand on the highway and wave down the others travelling behind us.
A few minutes passed before I saw them approach: a convoy of trucks and trailers, with the Prairie Schooner in the lead.
I held out my hand and waved.
Not a single one of them stopped.
Apparently wearing a fez, multi-colored lei, and bright blue Hawaiian shirt is better than camo.
Once we were in the bar, Lando said, "Guys, I'd like you to meet Marty. Great guy. I've known him for years."
Hagen put out his hand and said, "I didn't get your name."
"The name's Barney."
"No, Barney. Like Barney Fife."
Barney was indeed a really great guy, and he offered to buy me a drink, but the bartender wouldn't serve me.
When we got back to camp, we cleaned out the boats and bet to see which one contained the most empty cans.
Life Coach Rule #736: Having Hagen in your boat for such a contest nearly guarantees an easy victory.
Despite photographic evidence to the contrary, Heero had somehow managed to get a sufficient supply of wood chips into the smoker, and that night we enjoyed pulled pork burritos while sitting around the fire.