Around the Bend
by: Lloyd Tackitt , Texas7/16/2012
I blame my Wife, Susan went to town and left me without adult supervision. She knows better than that.
After she had gone I was sitting on the river bank, minding my own business, practicing a new tune on my banjo and sipping sour mash as the sun set (yes alcohol was involved, but only to a minor extent...really!). Just before full darkness had settled in I spotted what may have been a white egret wading out there in the river. It was just a faint white smudge and it got me curious so I went into the house and got my (just delivered by UPS the day before and and first time charged up) twelve million candle power, eight pound, rechargeable death ray flashlight with pistol grip and carrying handle and twin neon walkabout lamps - this baby concentrates twelve million candle powers into a virtual beam of death that can burn trees down. Of course the white smudge was nowhere to be seen when I got back outside.
It was full dark now and I thought that since I was there and already armed with my death ray I would use it to look for fish moving around in the shallower water, as they will sometimes do after dark. I spotted three carp that looked about ten pounds each. When the light was directly on them they would stop moving around and just swim in place. Kind of cool. But there was also a massive insect hatch going on with gazillions of flying insect things all over the water and they would come to the bright light and get so thick around it and me that they made an impenetrable cloud; in fact they would get so bad that I couldn't see or breathe and a couple of times I had to shut the light off and walk along the bank a little ways, and then wait a bit before turning the light back on.
During one of those pauses in the darkness the thought of water moccasins occurred to me - you know warm nights, a really dark night, warm water, thick weeds, a really dark night, rivers edge...but I had the portable death ray so I didn't worry. I figured that I would just blind them to death if any of them got after me.
The next time I lit up the death ray I noticed a dip net laying in the old flat bottom boat. Ohhhh Yeahhhhh!!; inspiration hit me with a jolt. I grabbed the net and waded out into the river like I had good sense, net in one hand and new eight pound death ray in the other, and started stalking one of the carp. This particular carp was pretty clever as it turned out; just as I would get close enough to think I had a chance at netting it, it would move a bit further off, just a little out of reach. This happened several times until I started thinking that it might be deliberately leading me up around the bend for some nefarious reason. By now the insects had again become a thick swirling cloud around my light and my head and they were seriously interfering with my vision and my breathing. I was about to give up and head back home but just then...
I spotted an alligator gar; he looked to be about three foot long. So I started stalking him instead of leaving. Gar aren't quite as clever as carp because before long I sort of caught him (indicating that my intelligence level may lie somewhere between that of a carp and a gar?). I got his wickedly toothy head in my net and raised it up out of the water. Three foot long gar, eighteen inch deep net; you can do the math that had apparently eluded me up until that very moment. I got slapped hard across the face by the gar's cold slimy wet tail, nearly lost the net, almost dropped the new death beam and did lose the gar (I have no earthly idea what I was going to do with him anyway). All of that was happening while I choked on bugs that were flying so tightly around my face that I could barely see.
Interesting fact: Did you know that twelve million candle power, eight pound, rechargeable flashlights with pistol grips and carrying handles and twin neon walkabout lamps can go SUDDENLY OUT when the new charge gets low? Neither did I. It didn't slowly get dimmer the way normal flashlights do, giving advance warning that there is good cause to abandon ye all dark and spooky places and head for the light; oh no, just a blink and you have sudden total blackout darkness. And to prove that God really does have a sense of humor, this death beam's instant demise coincided precisely with my being slapped in the face by the the gar. Timing like that can not be an accident, it has to be a message from a higher power. We won't go into the possible meaning here though.
So, there I was in sudden total darkness, out in the middle of the river, up to my waist in pitch black warm water, with an angry seven foot alligator gar and his horde of dinosaur like friends somewhere nearby plotting revenge. Another fact: Twelve million candles concentrated into a death ray beam will utterly destroy your night vision, leaving you blind when it goes out. There I patiently stood, warm water swirling around me, waiting for some glimmer of vision to return so that I could find the river bank and get on back home before Susan found out where I was and what I had been doing. Explanations are so much easier to avoid than they are to make.
Then something bumped hard into the back of my leg, way down there under the water. I instinctively knew it was that angry twelve foot alligator gar with a ten foot water moccasin riding on his back as co-pilot. I did a Ray Charles out of the river and up the bank, back to the house at a rate of speed that would have gotten me an Olympic tryout in normal circumstances. I am pretty sure that I heard screaming too, but since there was no one else around I can't explain it. Perhaps in my haste I stepped on a coyote in the dark.
After I got home it occurred to me that I am a 55 year old mature adult male, I know better than this. Obviously I need to buy a bigger net.
Blog content © Lloyd Tackitt
Flyrodn, CO 7/17/2012 11:24:16 AM
Did you come to the "net" conclusion right off, or after sitting and taking a sip of sour mash to settle the nerves?
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX 7/17/2012 1:20:29 PM
IceFishingFool, CO 7/17/2012 3:52:44 PM
In resent days I have pondered the question......Wheres Lloyd ? He ok ? Havent had a lot to smile about, but now I understand, the was about making some mass LOL, and got tongue stuck in the opening. LOL Welcome back Lloyd.
GotOneOn, CO 7/17/2012 4:21:18 PM
Lloyd your stories are without a doubt the best way to start a day, Keep them coming you got the talent!!!!
Lloyd Tackitt (Lloyd Tackitt), TX 7/17/2012 5:09:25 PM
Thanks guys, I live on the feedback!
I am deep into writing my third book. I find that when I write these stories I write less in the book - so I'm tryiing to find a balance.
I have several stories on my website: lloydtackitt.com - many of them fishing related. You might get a kick out of some of them.
broken rod, CO 7/18/2012 6:36:52 AM
Gotta love those last two sentences haha
TroutByFly, CO 7/18/2012 11:21:48 AM
Oh man! That's one funny story!
Coyute, CO 7/18/2012 2:39:19 PM
Exceptional yarn as always Tackitt! :)
foCOfishin, CO 7/18/2012 7:52:56 PM
Gotta love the first two sentences too. Ha! Blamin the wifey!!! Great story thanks for sharing, made me laugh.
jshanko, CO 7/20/2012 11:38:12 AM
Why I think Dave hit the nail on the head. Good yarn though.
JKaboom, CO 7/20/2012 2:44:30 PM
I saved this to read for when I needed a good laugh - Thank you again :)
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