November 5, 2007

A FoulHooking Story...

With a name this good, there has to be a story behind FoulHooked. Well, there is...I couldnt think of anything and I thought it sounded cool. The more I think about it, the more I like it, and what it may very well represent. Hopefully, I'll figure out what exactly that is.

FoulHooked does remind me of a story though. I think it's one of those stories everyone has, but each one is distinctly special.

Throughout the years, my attitude and approach towards fishing has been inextricably linked to my relationship with an individual...let's call him "Dad"...and have evolved over the years as has the relationship. The two issues aren't really very related, other than fishing has always been a passtime we enjoyed together...that and my thinly veiled assertion that fishing parallels and can symbolize life's trials.

Our excursions began as seeking out stocked and wild browns, brookies and the occasional rainbow with hook and worm, and slowly progressed through canal fishing and into chucking hardware for LMB. For a decent stint in my jr high and highschool years, we frequented a small bass and pickeral lake in Warrensburg, often venturing out in the stout and not-so-sturdy vessel currently in my employ.

The fishing was often spectacular, with topwater hits on nearly every cast, and probably 20% of the catch over 12". It was often hard not to get overexcited as the anticipation of the strike often led to overzealous hook-sets, which would set the canoe teetering on the edge of capsizing. One day...that edge was reached...and exceeded. There is always some good ribbing about whether it was his hook-set, or my over-compensation which put us in the water, but truth be told, it was a combination of efforts. I, being quite slender in those days though, still hold that Dad is responsible for the larger portion of that combo.

Wouldn't ya know, in a lake that averages about 4' deep, we spilled ourselves into about 12' of water. I returned to the surface, and our recently emptied vessel, first. Dad, God bless him, was so concerned for my well-being, that he came right over to see if I was alright. Well, until that moment, other than being a little wet, all was well. Nobody knows who was snagged first, but until he brushed up against me, we were not linked together by a block of balsa and two treble hooks...very much barbed thank you.

Mind you, dear old Dad is, at this point, no longer concerned for my wellbeing (already having established...and then negated that), nor is he concerned with the fact that we are adrift and connected (my wrist to his elbow). No, for you see, Dad is near-blind, and his only concern currently is retrieving his glasses from 6' below our toes. Fearing for my safety, I made it clear that we were heading to shore, not the bottom, as my death was more intimdating to me than his temporary lack of vision. The white-knuckle car ride home left me questioning that logic, but we made it.

We lost an assortmant of gear that day, two pairs of prescription eyewear (regular and sunglasses...good thing he didnt leave the spare in the car...), and I lost any desire to sit in a canoe with Dad for about 6 or 7 years. But I think we took more away from that than just the story, including a new respect for each other. While he wasnt quite ready to let me drive, Dad was forced to rely on my passanger-seat instruction ("slow down, light's turing red...ummm, ok, we'll worry about the next light"). And for me, he took it upon himself to tear the hook out of his arm to spare me the pain (good thing, 'cause after 45 minutes of torture at the hands of my aunt, "The Nurse," and a trip to the emergency room, it was clear I had no chance of popping that thing out).

I still have the scar, it's one of my favorites. It's also a good reminder to pinch down your barbs. Something I often bypass out of haste. I am sure that, soon, my lazyness will provide me with another story and life-lesson. So let that be the legacy of FoulHooked. Now i just need a cute catchphrase to sign off with...

2 comments:

FoulHooked said...

Hmmm...FoulHooking...i believe that is also a common practice in singapore. make sure you wear a rubber dude. such a story could have resulted in completely different, but still very important lessons.

Margaret said...

As FoulHooked's sister who ended up waiting around for two hours for a ride home from work due to this incident, I can confirm that it is completely true and was absolutely hilarious. Also, knowing Dad & Ed, it was completely expected.

ED: Dad mentioned you planned on going fishing together again soon. He plans on getting a new boat before then. He plans on looking for one with sides that will remain more than a couple of inches above the water while carrying both of you. He also mentioned taking one or more of my kids along...nightmare time for Mommy.