Beer, chum, fishing and cooters

A friend of mine, lets call him “Marc”  told me this true story today.

He repeated a story that another guy told him.

It’s useful to know the story originated with a guy who has 3 teeth, wears only wife beater shirts over his hairy body and prefers not to comb his hair or clean his fingernails. To protect the identity of this guy, let’s call him “Cletus”

Here is Cletus’ story

I went fishing this weekend. We got us some beer and drove down to the dock where the boat was docked. I snucked my cooler onboard. Good thing too. They wanted to charge us $6 for a beer. I guessed right, I got the same beer they selled.

It took a long time to get out to the fishing area, but I figured as much, I brought me lots of beer.

On the way out to sea I got sick and chummed all over the side of the boat. No one saw me. It didn’t matter much. I drank me some more beer.

We fished for ever, but I didn’t catch no good fish. I didn’t care much since I still had some beer left.

On the way back do shore I drunk up all of my beer.

When we got back to shore, the first thing I did was go to the package store and got me some more beer. There ain’t nutten better than a good cold beer.

It was dark, I was tired and I could not remember which way to go so I could get home. So I drank a beer and feel asleep in the back of my pickup truck.  I woke up to the noise of them sea gulls. I drank another beer. They were still cold.

I know better than to drink while I drive. I stopped three times to drink a beer. I don’t know how they stayed so cold, but they were good.

When I got back to the farm some of my kin wanted to go fishin in the big pond. I told um that I just came back from a fishin trip on the sea and still wanted to do more fishin. You can’t never do enough fishin.  I drank a few more beers while I walked down to the pond.

I caught a few little fish, but nuttin much. I drank another beer and hooked sumpin really really big. I got scurred when I saw it was the biggest cooter I ever saw.

(Editor note – a cooter is a snapping turtle and they get big)

I got it up to the shore. I rested while I drank another beer.

A buddy told me that cooter makes good chowder. I drunk another beer while I tried to figure out how to get in that shell.

I got me a hack saw but it broke. I had me another beer while I went to get a little jig saw, but the blade was too short. I drank a beer while I went to get the cutoff saw.  You drink enough beer and put your head to it and you can get into any turtle shell.

Once I got the shell opened the turtle did not look too good.

I drank another beer and then went off to McDonalds.

It was a great weekend.  What did you do?

Thanks for sharing Cletus’ story Marc.

Boating Chaos # 1

This is story number 1 of 4 (as of now)

Boating Incident #1 – The first time I had any problems boating was the afternoon that my brother-in-law and I decided to go crabbing in a row boat with a motor.

We were vacationing outside of Ocean City MD near a small bay named Assawoman Bay. Please don’t ask me for the history of this bay. I have no idea how the name was chosen.

Link and I failed to achieve our goal of catching any crabs for dinner that night. Therefore we decided to head our little boat towards a marina next to the inlet. We were sure that a good cold beer would help us forget that we caught nothing.

Now, Link and I are educated and experienced men. We are however, not very knowledgeable regarding the times for low tide at Assawomen Bay, which empties into the great Atlantic Ocean with thunderous waves. As we motored towards the marina where our ice cold beers were sure to be, we realized that our little motorboat was zipping along at a pace we had not yet experienced. I mean, it was flying.

We were being sucked out to sea by low tide. We put our heads together and figured out that we needed to turn the boat around. As soon as we did this we realized that, even though we were at full throttle, we were still heading out to sea.

The tide was faster than the little Putt-Putt. We never thought about doom or death. We did however, strategize and decided to angle the boat in such a way that as the tide sucked us out toward the inlet, backwards, we were still heading towards the marina.

Our strategy worked and we celebrated our win over the tide & Ocean with a nice cold Coke. Unfortunately there was no beer at the marina.

There are at least two things we learned from this experience

1 – Never take a little motor boat out in a bay connected to the ocean

2 – Stay away from marinas that do not have beer.



Fine Dining in Vail

Back around 2000 I went to Vail with 2 other guys for a different skiing, snowmobiling and NFL football trip.. We stayed in Cordillera at another friends very beautiful chalet. We made this trip twice in 3 years. Most of what we did during these trips is encapsulated in the quote, “We enjoyed all that Colorado had to offer.”

There are a lot of stories from our trips to Vail that I can tell. This one will be about our first fine dining experience in Vail.

After a day of ski school, we walked around Vail Village for a while and with little to no research we decided to go into a place called “La Tour”. This turned out to be a good and a bad choice.

We walked into the restaurant and were immediately greeted by the hostess. Fairly quickly we determined that we were very underdressed for this fine dining establishment. There were a lot of couples in their best evening attire and we were dresses in blue jeans and polo shirts. The hostess noticed this as well and she shot us a look that felt as if she was asking,” do you have to eat here.” We told her we wanted a table for three.

The hostess said, “Follow me”, and then took us on the strangest walk around the restaurant. As we stood in the entry way we could see a table with three chairs, right next us. Yet, the hostess walked us around the restaurant and back up front to the empty table. Clearly she wanted one of two things. To show us that we did not belong, or to show us to the other patrons so they could get a good laugh. We obviously did not belong, and this became more apparent as the experience continued.

We sat down in very comfortable high back chairs. The table, covered in a sheer table cloth was very well arranged with individual place settings of a crystal water glass, two fancy forks, a spoon and knife around a plate that I thought was far more ornate and fancy to eat off of. Very elaborate place settings. The napkins were made of a very soft yet shiny and elegant material, no paper napkins here.

Our waitress, dressed better than I dress even for Easter service, walked up to us, offered us the menu on a single sheet of paper and asked us what we wanted to drink. Two of us ordered beers and my other buddy ordered a bottle of wine.

As she walked away we jokingly commented to each other that it was clear, “We did not belong here.” But we didn’t care.

We looked over the menu and noticed that besides being a fantastic selection of fine food, there were no prices on the menu. This normally means you don’t want to know, i.e., very expensive. This would eventually become evident to us.

Our drinks arrived and we commenced to prove to ourselves and everyone else there, that we truly did not belong.

The service was slow, maybe because of the crowd, maybe because they were trying to ignore us, or possibly because they wanted us to order more drinks, which of course we did.

Eventually our waitress took our food order. The menu again had lots of good choices for beef, pork, seafood and lots of Italian dishes.

Before our meals arrived we managed to drink a few beers and the buddy drinking wine killed his first bottle and ordered a second. This would prove to be a bad thing for those sitting around us because with each drink, we got louder and louder.

Our meals showed up after what seemed like an hour or so. This place was very elegant and the delivery & presentation of our meals clearly showed this.

Our waitress and two other members of the wait staff came to our table with three individual trays of food. They picked up our meals and in smooth dance like motions presented our meals onto to the table in front of us. Woven baskets with fresh bread, fresh vegetable sides in elegant pewter bowls and our main course (i.e. hunk of meat) placed on a large plate adorned with herbs and relevant condiments of spices and sauce. Definitely one of the finest dining experiences I have ever had, so far.

The wait staff disappeared almost as quickly and quietly as they showed up. The three of us looked at our beautifully prepared meals and then at ourselves as my one buddy blurted out for all in the restaurant to hear, “We don’t belong here!”

The three of us busted out laughing and agreed, “Yeah, but we are.” And we laughed even harder and louder.

The laughter fueled my one buddy to loudly repeat, “We don’t belong here” a few more times during the evening.

Little did we know that soon we would find out how true that statement was.

We tried our best to dine like civilized men, but, yeah, that’s not really possible for us. Knives and forks slashed and hacked at our meals as we devoured some very tasty food.

As we ate, the waitress returned and asked how the meal was and if we wanted more drinks. Yes, more drinks please.

With more drinks, it seemed to raise our volume even louder and I noticed that the other patrons of the restaurant seemed to be watching us. My one buddy, thru one bottle of wine and working on the second, mostly by himself, was stuck on the phrase, “We don’t belong here!” He repeated this statement often and each time a little louder which resulted in us laughing louder and then for the others in the room to stop eating and stare at us. We were having a blast. Not sure if anyone else was, but we did not care, we were paying to be there. Little did we know how much.

We finished the main course, a few baskets of bread and at least three beers and two bottle of wine. Good stuff. Our wait staff again swooped in, removed our empty plates and with smooth graceful movements attacked the table cloth with crumb sweepers. When they were done the table looked as fresh and clean as it was when we first sat down. Ok, except for a few wine and beer stains.

Our waitress came back and asked if we wanted our check. Of course not, we wanted desert and coffee.

She went back and brought out the desert sample tray and commenced to tell us about our options. We had no idea what the deserts costa, so we ordered three different deserts and coffee.

When she served us desert, it was equally as grandiose of a delivery and food presentation as the main course had been. Again, when we got done eating, they cleared our place settings and swept up the crumbs with little effort or interference to our chatter, which by now has gotten much louder.

We downed a couple cups of coffee each before the waitress returned with our check.

The buddy drinking the wine offered to pay for the evenings dinner knowing that there were at least two other dinner meals that the rest of us would pickup. All good, actually very good for the rest of us.

For two appetizers, three entree, 12 imported beers, 2 bottles of wine and 3 cups of coffee the bill came to nearly $300, before the tip. Uh oh, our budget, even if very informal, did not allow for $300 dinners.

We did not belong there for sure; however it was too late. But being professionals and respectable patrons we did exactly what we should do.

We made lots more noise, laughed at ourselves, repeated out loud, “We don’t belong here!”

We paid the bill with an appropriate $45 tip and left.

Today, over 10 years later, we can’t easily recall the name of the restaurant, but we clearly recall that we did not belong there.