|Females, fish & a bit of wit|
|Wednesday, February 8, 2012|
By JOHN L. SLOAN
Sometimes on blustery winter days, I tend to think of warm days and pleasant associations with persons of wit and interest. Mr.Halliburton was just such a person.
He sat back in the bent and twisted Adirondack chair, made from some kind of thick vines. I figured he made it himself. I didn’t ask, it just looked like something he would make.
“As a journal rule we like to start them young, bout the time they is good weaned.” He leaned forward and spit well past the porch rail. I’ve always admired a man that could do that. I’ve been chewing and dipping for 50-plus years (nasty habit don’t take it up) and can’t spit past my feet. As a journal rule.
We were talking about women fishing and started with what in the hillbilly hell you call a woman angler. I just always called them fishermen but you can easily see how that might arouse ire in some of them. I don’t like the term angler, sounds too high falootin. We never did settle it but it doesn’t really matter.
There were six or eight female-lady-women types scattered around the pond and if you wanted, you could call it a lake. Anything you can put a boat on, to me is a lake. Some fished for bream, some fished for bass and some just fished to get away from their husbands. Having met a couple of the husbands, I could fully understand.I was sitting with Mr. Halliburton, a gentleman of several years and that is just an estimate. He was sipping some Jack along with his baccer and I was sipping an Alabama martini. That is vodka over ice. Obviously this was back when I was still drinking. Later I discovered that a hangover is the wrath of grapes and quit. The shadows were lengthening but most of the pond was still in full sunlight, a great spring afternoon. You can call it afternoon or early evening, whatever suits you tickles me plumb to death. The long porch afforded us a view of the entire lake…pond.
“See, thing is, most of these womens are journally farm raised and haven’t been brought up on video games, latt-ays and malls,” said Mr. H. “Never could see it myself. Allus seemed to me that once you’ve seen one shopping center, you seen a mall,” he said and spit well past the rail. He adjusted the tension on the collar of his blue work shirt, buttoned to the top. “They’s raised up to work and get they pleasure wheresomever and howsomever they can. Mostly, that means huntin and fishin with a brother or dad or mother. So they jess natchelly take to it and learn as they go.”
“Then, off they go and get married up. Most usually they marry a man like they brother or daddy and in some parts that can be taken different ways. So, when they can, they go fishin.” He leaned and spit again and we both sipped, admiring the great blue heron that was fishing on our end of the pond. “You ever reckon why it is, time flies like an arrow but fruit flies like a ripe banana?”
It was about then the hollering, screaming and squealing started. Mr. H spit again and said, “Aint no way I know of to take the squealing out of a worman. I b’lieve they train they daurters to do it, too. Them and hogs.” He rubbed his smooth shaven cheeks where just a patch of silver whisker had escaped the razor.
One of the women, whose husband was off chasing a turkey, had latched onto a big bass. By big, I mean large and that is just an estimate. Probably around nine pounds. She held it up for our approval, which we gave, and then gently released it. Mr. H poked me with an elbow as old men will do and said, “That’ un right there was raised up right,” he said,
“I heard tell she was engaged to a man what had a wooden leg but she broke it off.” He spit well past his shoes.
Out toward the middle, near some stickups, an older woman was working the bream and shellcrackers over with a flyrod. You don’t see that much, a woman fishing by herself, using a flyrod. As we watched, she swung one after another into the small boat. The ones bigger than your hand went into an ice chest, the rest were thrown back. “Some good eatin right there,” said Mr. H with a nod.
We sipped and spit and watched the show. All the men-folk were chasing turkeys however, Mr. H and I opted for an afternoon of sippin and spittin. Fortunately, you don’t see too many women doing that so we had the porch to ourselves. Dammit, the resident dog had joined us and was teaching proper scratching of a ragged ear. “At dog aint real particular who he takes up with. Course,” Mr. Halliburton, said, looking off toward the pines, “a man needs a mistress just to break up the monogamy.” He spit over the rail and sipped. “Badly misnamed, at dog is. He should be called Goodyear, good as he is at adjusting his air pressure.”
I took my best shot. “Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?” I asked and got up for a big refill, grinning at Mr. H’s pained expression..
The hollering and squealing started again and the one we called “Blonde Girl” she held up another bass for us to admire. This one we labeled a niceun and he too went back in the water.
"At one there, I think her name is Jordan,” he said with a toothless grin and a smile a bit like a opossum, “I heard it told,” Mr. H said with nod, “her husband has a photographic memory but it never developed.”
Mr. H, he allowed we had best refill our glasses. Since they were empty, I agreed and went to do so, accompanied by Dammit. And that was how we passed a more than pleasant afternoon when the females, the fish and a bit of wit combined with some sippin and spittin some years ago.