The dew was still fresh on the ground as Alfred and Monroe gathered their tackle boxes and roused Big Momma and Doobie from their beds. Doobie looked in the mirror and unwrapped the toilet paper holding her beehive together and put the pins back in the baby food jar that was her cosmetic catch all. She lit a cigarette and headed for the percolator. Alfred stood at the table counting out his hooks and sinkers.
Big Momma came out of the bathroom red hair standing on end and said “What the hell are we waiting on? Let’s get this show on the road.” Doobie glanced over her coffee cup at her friend and said “Oh alright just let me finish my coffee, where are all the kids?” The adults all looked around the empty lake cabin and went to the screened in porch. There in various stages of sleep were their offspring all intertwined and drooling on one another. There were six of them altogether red hair mixed in with brunettes. They lie where they had fallen, Bird telling the sad tell of the star crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet and Buck making fart noises with his hands.
The four adults woke the two teenagers and told them that they were going to run trot lines and fish in the boat for a while. Bird sat up looked through half opened lids and mumbled something to the effect of “omehmm” then flopped back on the bed. The four adults quietly and carefully opened the screen door and slipped out into the sunrise.
The two families came to the lake cabin every year for vacation. This time was bliss for the children because they became one. They lived together, ate together and played together as one big family. Alfred and Monroe had grown up together, neither man having a brother found one in each other. Doobie and Big Momma came into the mix and each in her own way made the picture complete. Big Momma with her boisterous and bodacious laugh, Doobie contributed her dry but sharp wit.
The two couples loaded the little boat with thermos and tackle boxes and Monroe fired up the little motor boat.
They cruised across the still and peaceful lake until they reached the floated Clorax bottle. Monroe cut the engine and Alfred hooked the line. The both began working the line and checking the bait on the hooks. “Gasper goo, gasper goo, catfish, carp…” came the sing song report of what was on the line as they tossed the scrap back into the lake and took the catfish. The morning was dawning and the July heat took over the day. The little foursome moved toward the shade trees overhanging the bank. They tossed lines in the water as they putt-putted along stopping and fishing then moving to a new spot.
“Sptttttblubbbb” went the little motorboat. Alfred looked at Monroe and asked “did you put gas in this thing?” Monroe smiled his split tooth smile and said “nope did you?” Doobie looked at Monroe narrowed her eyes and said “that’s not funny. Now start that gawdamned motor you moron!” Alfred opened the fuel tank and looked in it “nope, it’s empty. Looks like we are gonna have to paddle back to the marina.” He then reached into the compartment and pulled out a couple of paddles. He handed one to Doobie and the other to Big Momma. “You gals get to paddling and Monroe and I will steer.” Doobie gave Alfred the look of death and said “like hell I will. I’ll stick this paddle so far up your SNAKE! SNAKE TRYING TO GET in the GAAWDDAMMNNN BOAT!”
Alfred knowing that Doobie had a dry and sometimes sadistic wit said “oh sure, I’m gonna believe that one” as he turned to sure enough see a snake trying to board the boat. He looked around and the water was thick with snakes. “HOLY SHIT! MONROE QUIT FARTIN AROUND GET US THE HELL OUT OF HERE!” Unnnununnnuna, unnnunnnunnuna went the motor as Monroe in a state of panic tried to start the motor. Doobie grabbed the paddle and started slapping at the snakes. Big Momma started slapping at Alfred. Alfred tried to get away from Big Momma and the boat started rocking. The water was churning and the boat was rocking.
Now I know that the bible says that Jesus is the only person to ever walk on water but I believe that day there were four people in a little motor boat in snake infested water who would have tried. They paddled and slapped and slapped and paddled. They started getting out of the shadows and towards open waters but the snakes kept trying to crawl up the paddles. Alfred would beat the paddle on the boat and then would pump the bulb that primed the engine. Monroe would turn the key and hear unnnunnnunnnuna and yell “your flooding it give it some time.” Doobie would paddle and slap and slap and paddle and Big Momma couldn’t do anything but laugh.
They entered the marina to find their children sitting on the dock and swimming. “Hey how come y’all came back so soon?” the children questioned. The foursome just looked at one another as they crawled out of the little boat shook out their clothing and checked for snakes.
Saturday at the Maul
15 hours ago