Monday, July 6, 2009

Two Thumbs (Hooked) Up/My Life As A Pin Cushion

The Trials & Tribulations Of A Good Hook-Set
By Taylor Wilson

Ever read the, “this happened to me!” columns in the old outdoor magazines?
You know the stories I’m talking about. It’s the ones where some guy spent hours on a life raft and thwarted sharks, or where another guy climbed a tree, chased by a grizzly bear and survived only because he raked the bear’s snout with a piece of his arrow.
I was once at an outdoor writers’ meeting where the aged and grizzled scribes began telling about their “near-death experiences in the outdoors.”
One by one they told of the horrors they had somehow managed to survive and be present, there that day, to make laps around the free food bar.
When it came my turn, I of course, told ’em the truth of my most dangerous outdoor adventure:
“Well, WAY back in the day, I was hunting duck hunting off somewhere, and the night before we were hanging out in a honky tonk, and I made the BIG mistake of asking an even BIGGER guy’s girlfriend to dance.
“Have you fellas ever heard the Skynyrd song, ‘Gimme Three Steps?’ Well, I lived it! No wait, better make that, I SURVIVED it, way back in a 1980-something duck season!”
Now, my fellow scribes were not impressed. Especially not the one that had been washed down white-water rapids while trout fishing, nor the guy that had battled a Russian boar (in Russia) with a penknife!
Oh well, I survived, nonetheless. And just maybe it was such experience that got me through my latest mishap. But meanwhile in the spirit of the old magazine columns:

So there I was betwixt hook and crook…more so than rock and a hard place.

My tackle box lid was broken and would not stay closed, but I strapped it across my back, anyway.
Took it off my shoulder, put it in the bed of my truck.
Unbeknownst to me two bass plugs with (as it turns out) several very sharp treble hooks decided to hitchhike on my hind quarters, clinging to the backside of my Sunday pants.
I realized this when I sat down in the truck.
Of course, it wasn’t just one hook, but judging from the pain in my butt (literally), there were treble hooks aplenty.
So, I did what most folks would do when sitting on something sharp: I tried to fly.
Not unlike those folks that sat on tacks placed in chairs back when we were kids.
(An argument for what goes around, comes around, I tell ya.)
But, as it turned out, I was also now hooked to the seat covers, and the bass plugs, which were also hooked to my Sunday pants as well as some padding I had accumulated on a diet of high carbs.
Rising upward with my feet, I used a free hand to reach around and flank the problem.
And guess what?
It went from bad to worse.
One of the darn things snagged a thumb. The more I moved it, the deeper the barb went into my thumb.
So, again, there I was—contorted kind of limbo-like.
I remained this way for a few seconds that seemed like hours, realizing I couldn’t drive like this. And if I could, what would I do when I got there?
So I finally lifted upward and ripped free, from the seat covers. I was still wearing treble hooks in/on the hiney as I stood on the side rails and drove the pickup from a storage building to my house.
While driving, I had this image of me, falling out, being run over and found dead with bass baits attached to my butt.
Nope, it wouldn’t exactly be going out in a blaze of glory. But I’d be an obituary writer’s dream: “ANGLER DIES OF PAIN IN THE BASS,” “END OF LINE IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE FOR FISHERMAN,” “THOSE HE LEFT BEHIND,” “ANGLER’S DENIED HIS LAST FISHES,” “ANGLER KICKS (MINNOW) BUCKET;” and “LAST CAST,” etc., etc., etc.
But fortunately, as noted, I survived and made it into the house…though bleeding moderately, and got the pants off. And sure, I said several un-Sunday like things, but then again, these pants were never again be labeled “Sunday pants,” either.
After much pained delay, I finally got to leave for fishing trip.
Of course, it promptly rained it out, basically while en route to the water.
And as I retrieved my fishing rods from a friend’s vehicle to return home, they slipped and I felt the not-so old and familiar pain, again, but this time the hooks was in my other thumb.
My buddy helped cut it out with needle-nosed pliers. And after threatening to sue him for malpractice, I went home—bleeding yet again, and thankful again to BE the one that got away!

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