It would probably be a good idea if I just put a disclaimer at the top of this blog saying something like: "Almost everything you're about to read was in some way influenced by the consumption of alcohol." I'm certainly not proud of that, it's just the way it used to be.
This is yet another of those instances.
Uncle Ed's Cabin. Private property. Boy's weekend out. That should tell you something right there. Boats, guns, liquor and stupidity. I'm only an expert in the fourth category.
First a brief story within the story, I became a dubious legend that weekend for what has become known as, "The Upside Down, Between the Legs, Annie Oakley Shot". I'm told the clay pigeon sat reverently on Uncle Ed's mantle for years as a reminder of that famous shot. A .22 pistol, which I fired bending over, between my legs, from 50 feet away. They thought I missed. I didn't think so. When we checked, it had gone straight through the center of a clay pigeon target without shattering it and left a neat hole. First shot. Only shot. End of contest. Nobody wanted to try to top that. I autographed it and it went on the fireplace mantle.
The weekend deteriorated as planned.
Saturday night, Sunday morning, I don't know, LATE, many, many drinks later! I'm on the pond in the boat with my friend's oldest son and he's showing me the fine art of frog gigging. Only he's not using a gig. That would be cruel. Instead, we're using a different plan. I man the boat's motor and hold up a flashlight, he spots the frog's eyes glowing in the dark and yells, GO! I gun the motor and drive the boat and him into the bank, trying not to skewer him with a tree as we hit. He grabs blindly in the dark at the eyes. Sometimes he was successful. Sometimes not. All I know is eventually he had a cooler full of live frogs in the boat. I wasn't ABOUT to try that shit no matter HOW much I had to drink.
We switch places, he's driving, I'm in the front playing George Washington. I spotted a jug floating in Uncle Ed's pond. That will never do. We can't have these sacred waters sullied by trash. So I grab the jug to toss it in the boat. But it's tied to a cord. And the cord is stuck on something. So I grab the cord. I pull on the cord. Now I'm a pirate hauling up tray-zhure, ahhhrrrrrr. And then KLUNK. The treasure hits the side of the boat. Remember, it's 2:00am and dark so I can't see the treasure yet. It's REALLY heavy and scrapes along the side of the boat as I drag it up. I give it one good yank, it flops over the side of the boat and WHAMMMMM into the bottom of the boat between my feet. The treasure HISSES AT ME, HAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!! See the picture at the top of this article? That's similar to what was between my legs. OH HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, CRAP!!!! It's a snapping turtle. I've never seen one before and I sure as hell am not happy about meeting this REALLY PISSED OFF one now at 2:00 am in the dark, eying my crotch like a midnight snack. I lunge backward to protect "Bob and the Boys" as the damn thing is flopping around trying to eat me and in doing so, the boat lurches knocking the cooler of frogs over into the boat.
So now we have a homicidal turtle bent on killing me (or at least ending my child-rearing days), with frogs jumping everywhere and my friend trying to catch the frogs yelling, "DON'T LET THAT THING BITE YOU! HE CAN TAKE A FINGER OFF!" It wasn't my finger I was worried about. I'm yelling, "AHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHH!" And one of the flashlights is rolling around in the boat. Fog on the water. It is utter chaos in the boat for about 30 seconds until I scrambled over the seat into the middle compartment with the BEAST in the first compartment hissing like Satan himself. It's all so surreal. Kind of like watching the movie E.T. with a really good buzz. Only E.T.'s not cute. And he wants to kill you.
In the end. We, my friend's son and I, survived, albeit not due to our intelligence. But I can't say the same for the BEAST. All but two of the frogs got away. Poetic justice there. I'm pretty sure Darwin's Theory fits in here somewhere but I'll be damned if I can figure out how.
But I'll never forget Uncle Ed's Cabin. Thanks, Bob. Miss ya, brother.
There's just so much I need to warn you about - And yet, tragically, I cannot.
9 months ago