Saturday, April 22, 2006

My Apologies

I am so very sorry that I didn't post on Friday. Work was super busy, so I couldn't post there. I had planned on posting at home, but we lost cable Thursday night, which is a very TV heavy night for us. When I got home, I started the process of downloading Smallville and burning it to DVD, with the intention of watching it that night. It took enough time and processor resources to ensure that a) we wouldn't be watching it Friday night and b) I wouldn' t be posting. Again, I apologize. What? Why couldn't I post on the other computer instead of playing Oblivion? Um, because I couldn't. That's why. Now be quiet and eat your dinner!

To compensate you for a lost post, I've decided to present some work from my old site's archives. Yes, yes, I know, it seems again I'm getting out of posting and instead just serving up some reheated crap, but this takes a lot of effort. I had to share a directory on one computer, walk all the way upstairs and copy from the old post. Ooh, and paste! I had to paste too! It's very difficult.

Some claification is due here. The post was written back when I used to go fishing, something I haven't done since adopting Ben. It was also written back when Katie Holmes topped my list of those I would be happy to see naked, and hadn't birthed the spawn of one of the world's only Operating Thetan Level VIII's. Oh how things have changed. Without further ado, here's a gripping tale of geriatric nudity I like to call...

Flashed By Al

Every year I go trout fishing with my dad and a collection of friends, family and clients of my father's. I know this comes as no surprise to you as I am the epitome of sportsmanship, outdoorsyness and all around natureafied know how. Ha! The truth of the matter is that I am completely clueless when it comes to sportsman like activities. I went hunting with my father. Once. It was not a good experience. I killed a goose. It was a damn good shot but I then had to spend 3 hours in the freezing cold sitting next to its corpse in the goose blind. Nothing takes the joy out of hunting quite like staring at your previously living quarry for several hours the whole time worrying about whether there were some goslings somewhere wondering why dad's been gone so long. I actually apologized to it. Add to that the fact that hunting requires a lot of sitting and/or standing around somewhere cold while absolutely nothing goes on. And I mean nothing. To me, that time could be better spent sleeping, or watching TV or doing something that vaguely resembles anything.

So despite my failings as a master tracker and slayer of defenseless winged creatures I do go fishing twice a year in Pennsylvania. I am a horrible fisherman. A shock, I know. I know what I am supposed to do. I know where fish congregate, I know what they eat, when they eat and for the most part can tell if a stream will yield bad or good fishing. I just can't catch the damn things. I would be the guy on Survivor that would tell the camera that I'm the tribe's best hope for fish and then several days into it be booted off by those not passed out from malnutrition. I rarely catch anything. When I do I'm a nice guy and throw it back in but usually my post-catching intentions are rendered moot by my inability to actually land anything. Sadly fish are pretty dumb so this makes me someone a) too stupid to catch a fish and b) even more stupid because I keep trying. Most fisherman will waffle on the relative intelligence of a fish depending on the situation. When they hook one and pull it out of the water they'll say that the hook doesn't hurt the fish because fish are too stupid to feel pain. On the other hand, when the day is done and there are no fish to be found in said fisherman's haul, fish are magically transformed into the wiliest of forest creatures rivaling only Nazi war criminals in their ability to remain uncaught.

I go on these trips not for the fishing but for the company, and because it makes my dad extremely happy to go fishing with his son. It's a chance to see my uncle and my cousin as well as another cousin's husband. Also my dad's friends have all known my dad for over 30 years now and they always have good stories to tell. We always have a good time regardless of how the fishing is.

As I mentioned before, I go twice a year. The first time is in April for the opening day of the season. We usually have the largest group for this weekend. The second time is usually Father's Day weekend however due to extenuating circumstances this year we didn't go until the first weekend in July. The second weekend yields a smaller group and usually has at least one client of my dad's. I've always thought it was a little weird for my dad to bring clients of his given that I know what kind of stories get told by some of the group members. On the other hand, he knows what clients would be offended and which ones wouldn't be. Otherwise he wouldn't bring them along.

This trip's newbie was Al. Al is a 68 year old Air Force veteran who spent 20 years in the military and then 20 years working with DOD contractors. Al was a nice guy if not a little strange. He's been married for 45 years to the same woman and still has a great deal of respect and admiration for her. Al is also staunchly Republican (like my dad and most of my dad's friends). Most of the time I keep my liberal mouth shut for fear of bringing the firestorm down upon me. As you can tell I learned a lot about Al in my short time with him. Almost too much.

For example I learned that Al, like my dad, has a bit of a hearing problem. Conversations with him and my dad would go something like this:

Al: His (meaning me) mother is a fine lady. (At this point I'm wondering how Al knows my mom.)
Dad: (Silence)
Al: His mother is a fine lady.
Dad: (Silence)
Al: I said his mother is a fine lady!
Dad: What?
Al: His mother, Kathleen. She's a fine lady. (For the record Kathleen is my stepmother. My dad's clients usually assume because she's his wife and I'm his son that she's my mother. This is not the case.)
Dad: Oh. Kathleen isn't his mother.
Al: What?
Me: (Thinking) Oh Jesus Christ.

I also learned that Al's son has two children and is currently in the middle of a divorce. Al told me this because he's been trying to give advice to his son but doesn't know what to tell him as Al himself has never gone through a divorce. Apparently I'm the only other person who's ever been through a divorce because he then proceeded to ask me all about it.

Al: So what was it like? Didja get over it? Did it mess you up?
Me: (Keep in mind my father is in the front seat and I've known Al for all of about 5 hours) Uh, well it's painful but kids get through it. I mean, I did.
Al: Huh. So it didn't screw you up?
Me: (At this time I'm hoping that the car blows up or drives off of a cliff or anything to stop this conversation) Uh..no. Not that I'm aware of.
Al: Huh. Well how about your sister? Did it mess her up?
Me: Um. I don't think so. I mean she hasn't gone up in a water tower and taken any shots at anyone. Nervous laughter (That's great, invoke the absence of mass murder as a indication of mental stability). I mean, as long as he's there for his kids and they know that he's there for them, they should be OK. You know?
Dad: What?
Al: Huh. That's good. I'll have to tell him that.

Now I can see how this conversation will go. "Well son, I spoke to a guy who's never been divorced and doesn't have kids but his parents got divorced almost 20 years ago and he said as long as you're there for your kids and they know that you're there for them, they should be OK. You know?"

The third thing I learned about Al is that he sleeps in the nude. Unfortunately this is first hand knowledge. When we go on these trips we rent some rooms at this nasty motel and we try to pack as many people as we can in a room. The problem is that my dad both snores and grinds his teeth, sometimes simultaneously. How he can both snore (mouth open) and grind his teeth (mouth closed) at the same time is unknown. But he does it and it makes sleeping in the same room as him next to impossible. Usually he sleeps in one room with one other hapless soul and everyone else crams into another room. This time it was me and Al in one room. Thankfully there were two beds, a point that will grow with importance as the story continues.

So I come in from talking with my dad and uncle, wash up and get into bed with the intention of reading before sleeping. Al is frantically going up and down the cable dial spending less than .000001 microseconds on any one program. Finally he decides that it's time to go to bed. I'm reading so I'm pretty much focused on my book. Out of the corner of my eye I see Al get up, walk to the TV, shut if off and then proceed to remove all of his clothing. Now when I say all, I mean all. I am now fervently focused on my book. Had the book burst into flame causing severe burns on my hands, I would have continued to hold it and read it. Then he turns around so he's now facing me, walks to his bed, gets in it and goes to sleep. I can honestly say that I have never read something so intently and with such sheer concentration in my whole life. My eyes did not, I repeat, did not waver from the page. To do so would have meant certain death, or at least extreme sexual dysfunction for some time. I can think of a number of people whom could take their clothes off in front of me in a seedy motel and I wouldn't object. Al is not on that list. Al is not even in the same galaxy as that list. Al and that list live in separate realities, destined to never meet or even know of each other's existence.

All in all the trip was a successful one, even if the only thing I caught was a glimpse of naked Al. Next year perhaps Al won't go. If he does, I'll be interested to hear how his son's divorce went. In the meantime I'm going to try to get Katie Holmes to become a client of my dad's. She is on the list. Boy howdy is she ever.

I hope you liked this blast from my previous site's past. If so, let me know and I'll not write new stuff in favor of reheated drivel in the future.

3 comments:

k o w said...

All I do is fish fish fish the lovely backstreams of PA from April until late September. Mind me asking where exactly you were dropping lines at?

Booster MPS said...

Now if I can just get this image out of MY head! Geez, thanks.

Word verification: ezlobski - Successful grenade toss in R63.

suburbanjoe said...

That would be beautiful Charlestown, PA. I think. We fished Dickey's Run, which I guess is called Buck Run on the PA fishing maps.