Thursday, July 23, 2009

Morton Salt

When one is having a bad day at what point should one simply call it quits, and try again the following day? I ask because no matter how bad my day may be I always seem to find a way to make it worse. This past Sunday was an average day that took a turn for the worse, and in doing so became a fine example of just how oblivious I am to those small omens and portents that tell more sensitive types to turn around, go home and crawl under the covers.

Before I continue ... a bit of a disclaimer. Generally, I try to avoid vulgar language when writing, which is odd because I've never hesitated to curse vigorously when I speak (one of a myriad of skills honed by my time as an infantry soldier). Sometimes though, swearing is necessary given a particular context. At those times, few other words will do. Here goes.

"Do it bitch! I fucking dare ya'. What's the matter bitch? Haven't got the balls?"

He was challenging me, that much was clear. That one beady, little duck eye said it all.

"Go ahead. Run me down in that P.O.S. family truckster. Maybe it'll make you feel more like a man."

He might have been suicidal. More likely he didn't even realize he was a duck. Either way, he was waddling his preen soaked derrier down the middle of the street, and taking his own sweet time about it. Frustrating? Yes it was, and especially so given that I hadn't been trout fishing in two weeks. I was desperate to be stripping a streamer or swinging a pair of nymphs. I needed to be knee deep in my favorite riffle, and that freaking duck was costing me time on the river. Normally, I wouldn't have been so worked up, but only moments earlier a baby fox had done the same. Moments before the fox it had been a goat. Yep. A goat. Clearly, nature was conspiring against me.

By the time the duck had moved aside I was in a flurry. I cursed continuously. Ben laughed nonstop, and seemed to enjoy my sputtering. My tirade lasted a full forty-five minutes, until we arrived on the banks of my favorite brook trout stream. Our plan was to fish for brookies during the heat of the day, and to quickly drive to the main river at dusk to see if there were any snouts breaking the surface.

The next two hours or so went well enough. We hopped from rock to rock (Ben hopped ... I kind of slid and shifted my girth between boulders), and caught a slew of fish on hoppers and stimulators. It was fun fishing for sure, and would have made for a perfect day if the sun hadn't been so hot and the water a touch lower. The day was looking up until we hiked back to the car.

Here again, a bit of a disclaimer. Politically, I'm an old school libertarian (get your hands off my wallet and your nose out of my business), but I'm a little more progressive when it comes to social issues. So, when I rounded a bend in the stream and saw two lesbians kissing and groping each other near one of my favorite pools, it wasn't my political sensibility that was offended. As the old adage goes, "To each his (or her) own." I was in Vermont after all.

The problem I had with the scene that appeared before me wasn't political nor was it philosophical. The issue I had was purely aesthetic. The women tonguing each other stream side were two of the most hideous creatures my eyes have ever beheld. One reminded me of Howard Stern, the other was a ringer for Dom Deluise, and they were locked in a passionate embrace that likely would have been consummated had I not stumbled through the creek bed. I pretended not to see them as they hastily arranged their clothing, and disappeared along the trailhead. The damage to my vision and my psyche, however, had already been done.

At this point I'm inclined to conclude my rant. Suffice to say the day did not improve. Ben served himself up as a feast for a hungry spider that had found its way inside his waders. My glasses were broken beyond repair. My waders were punctured, and my car developed an oil leak. I can't help but think it all has something to do with my childhood crush on the Morton Salt girl. "When it rains it pours."