It was last week whilst I was visiting with him that this story popped up in my head. I almost forgot about it but then just like a shooting star it flashed through my mind, and then it was gone. Luckily I awoke from a dream and the story popped back into my mind. This one if for you Trooper Bob, Happy Father’s Day.
Trooper Bob had worked all week writing tickets and saving damsels. He had herded a truck load of shook-up chickens off the interstate after the chicken truck had driven into the ditch and the fowl had gotten foul all over the road. It was finally his day off to do with as he wished. Nurse Meme was nursing sick people at the hospital and his lovely children were scattered to the winds doing what teenagers will do. Now was his chance to sneak off and do some fishing.
Trooper Bob went into the garage and under the discarded bicycles, skateboards and boxes of Barbies he uncovered his beloved tackle box. The one that his son, Buck, had to retrieve from the bottom of Lake Granite Shoals after he knocked it off the dock, open and full of brand new lures.
Bob loaded up his trusty white Ford F150 and headed out to his favorite honey hole. He arrived at the secluded little lake some 40 miles out of town and settled down with his tackle box, Zepco rod and reel and his bologna sandwich. He put his folding stool on the bank, tied his favorite Lindie lure to the line and cast it forth into the rippling pool. He sat down on his stool and took a bite from his bologna sandwich. He watched the trees bending in the breeze and the dragon flies flitting and fluttering above the water.
He felt the line go taut and grabbed the pole. He pulled back sharply to set the treble hook in the crappies mouth and began reeling it in. He reeled quickly toward himself and shore but failed to notice the big log resting just below the service. The clever crappie dove just as it hit the log and took the monofilament line with him. Trooper Bob sat his sandwich down on the wax paper wrapping and grabbed the rod with both hands to pull the feisty fish from under the log. He tugged and pulled and the more he did the more snagged the line became with the log. He jerked fast and hard and heard the all too familiar sound of the line snapping. He stepped back with the slack of the line and stepped on his sandwich. Trooper Bob let loose with a few expletives then sat down hard on his stool.
He looked at his ruined sandwich and sighed heavily. This wasn’t getting off to a good start he thought. He reached into his trusty tackle box and searched for another Lindie Lure. Not being successful he reached in to grab the golden shining treble hook from the box. His hand rested close to the stack of hooks and then he plucked a brand new one from its resting place. He tied it to his line and baited it with the worms from the dirt filled red Foldger’s Coffee can. He stood and cast it back out into the lake.
Bob sat and waited trying to enjoy his afternoon of freedom. He thought this was going to be a peaceful spring afternoon but the birds seemed to be a bit chirpier and the sun was a little too warm. He scooted his chair closer to the shade of the elm tree, checked his line and reached into his pouch of Redman chewing tobacco for a chew. He spat and chewed and sucked on the leaves and waited. As he began to relax he leaned against the tree and propped his feet up on his beloved tackle box. Just has his head started to loll down and to the side it happened. The line went taut and once again Bob jumped into action. He grabbed the pole and yanked hoping to miss the submerged log and land the fish.
Instead he pulled too hard and the hook exited the fish and flew straight back at the anxious angler. He raised his hands in an effort to protect himself from the glittering gold projectile. He ducked and weaved narrowly missing the projectile with his head but instinctively he instead grabbed for the line. He caught instead the hook in the webbing of the thenar space or what is normally called that area between your thumb and your pointer finger.
The hook wasn’t just stuck in the thenar space it was all the way through the webbing perfectly in the center. Bob swallowed forgetting that he had a wad of tobacco and felt a little light headed. He bent over and spat the rest of the tobacco juice out cussing and puking just a little. Then he sat back down on the stool and looked at his injury.
He reached into his tackle box and rooted out a pair of needle nose pliers. He pulled one way but the barb caught. Then he tried pulling the other way but the eye was too large. He tugged one way then the other but couldn’t budge it. He looked around at the secluded area and realized he only had one option.
On the drive back to town he dreaded what he was going to have to do. He went over it and over it in his mind and decided there was only one thing to do. He would just have to tell them about the one who got away.
Trooper Bob walked into the emergency room with his hand wrapped in his handkerchief. Nurse Goodgame met him at the door “what in the hell did you do this time” she asked hands on her wide starch white uniform clad hips.
Bob gave her his best sleepiest smile and replied “well I was out feeshing and me and this great big ole feesh got into a fight” holding up the hooked hand.
“Looks like the feesh done hooked you” she replied.
Trooper Bob thought a minute and replied “well you should have seen the size of that feesh!”