Down East 2013 ©
As I write this, Charlie is in the den, lying on the couch, with his knee propped up, remote in hand, moaning. He’s in pain, but keeps “forgetting” to take his ibuprofen, so I have to remind him every four hours. I’m trying to muster up a little sympathy, but it’s hard, considering the circumstances.
Open water fishing season started early this year, so Charlie and the boys, Bud, Smitty, Pat, Tommy and Junior (a.k.a. the Husbands of the Women Who Run With the Moose) went up to the old fishing camp that’s been in Smitty’s family for generations. I can’t tell you where it is, because the boys took a “blood oath” never to reveal it’s location, even (or especially) to their wives. So, you get the mentality we’re dealing with here. Goes without saying, there’s no cell phone coverage. Who knows if that’s really true, but that’s their story, and they’re sticking to it.
The boys left late Friday and returned yesterday afternoon: no fish, only injuries. Charlie’s back was all screwed up, Tommy had cut his hand, Bud broke his ankle and Junior’s truck is missing part of it’s muffler. Other than that, they had a great time!
Us girls are trying to piece together the story, but it’s sketchy. That’s because when the boys get together for this sort of outing, they get what we call “duffer brain,” for lack of anything better. You know how bees and ants are of one mind, all linked together so they can get things done? Well, the boys get like that, too. I’m guessing testosterone’s got something to do with it. That and Pabst Blue Ribbon. They’re linked together, alright, but their decision making leaves a little something to be desired.
“Charlie,” I says, “you’re home early. You have a good time?”
“It was different.”
Then I notice he’s walking funny. “Is your back out?”
“Yeah, I pulled it carrying Bud to the truck.”
“Oh my God, is he all right?”
“A broken ankle is all.”
“Oh, he got up to take a leak in the night, and fell off the porch.”
“Yikes! Didn’t he bring a flashlight out with him?”
“Batteries burned out.”
“I thought you brought extra batteries with you.”
“Too muddy to get the truck up the road. Bottomed out half way up. We got it unstuck, but the muffler broke off. Decided to leave the truck there and haul in the supplies by foot. It was about two miles, so we only brought the essentials.”
“Batteries seem pretty essential to me.”
“Smitty thought he had some up to camp. Anyways, we had to haul in the cooler and the fishing stuff. Could only carry so much.”
“So,” I says, joking around, “you took the beer and left behind the water and the first aid kit, right?” There was a pregnant pause. “You left behind the water and the first aid kit?”
“I told you, we could only carry so much. Had to make some hard decisions.”
And it went downhill from there. Tommy sliced his hand the first morning trying to cut a tangled fishing line. They sterilized it with some whiskey and cut up a tee-shirt to use as a bandage. Charlie seemed proud of this ingenuity. “Sweetheart,” I says, “you don’t get bonus points for solving a problem that arises from sheer stupidity.”
“It wasn’t that big a cut. Just ten stitches.”
“When we brought Bud to the emergency room, they sewed up Tommy’s hand. No big deal. It was starting to get infected, so they give him some antibiotics. And a tetanus shot.”
Charlie said while Bud was getting an x-ray, he and the boys started talking how they’re getting older and might need to make some changes in how they do things. Then duffer brain kicked in with a great idea. “Let’s open up the group to a new member. How about a hot-looking nurse who likes to cook, hunt, fish and ski-do?!”
In your dreams, boys! Oh, it’s time for Charlie’s ibuprofen. Gotta go.
That’s if for now. Catch you on the flip side!
(Listen to the podcast of Ida's column here. )