Saturday, February 28, 2009

What a man won't do for rubber pants

Well, faithful readers, you remember the sad saga of the waders that had a blow-out a few weeks back? Since that chilly and damp day my inclinations have been to prevent a further similar incident. And tomorrow there is a young man who desires to follow Jesus in biblical baptism. YIPPEE!!! Seriously. I absolutely love baptizing God's new kids.

But this time I would like to do so without wetting myself.

Debbie and I have been providing room and board to The Amazing Elle for the last few days. Kelli has been ill. And while I am very sorry about Kelli's tummy troubles I certainly enjoyed my granddaughter. Well, today was the day to take her home. And they live just a few miles from the world famous .... please, maestro, my I have a drum roll ... THE BASS PRO SHOP!

I've heard about this place for years. Never had much of a hankerin (entering my red neck mode) to go there. I use to fish a bit with my dad when I was a kid. He would take my brother and I and we would camp out on the stinky shores of the Illinois River at Starved Rock State Park in northern Illinois. I think dad did it because, well, a dad is suppose to do that. And we went because a kid is suppose to. We'd catch carp and throw them back or give them to people along the river bank that eyed our catch with a weirdly fascinating hunger for bottom-feeding fish. That's pretty much been my exposure to fishing. I hated putting the worm on the hook and I prayed that no fish would bite because I didn't want to have to take them off the line ... and re bait. Ugh. But I know a lot of people that fish and hunt and buy guns and generally have love affairs with aluminum (canoe's) and canvas (tents.) Me? No thanks.

And then I went to the Bass Pro Shop. And I have only one thing to say about that.


Ladies and gentlemen, I'd like to announce that the recession is officially over. I could barely find a place to park outside this Disney World for Bambi-Killers. Debbie ran ahead while The Amazing Elle and I pushed our way through the very cold wind toward the front door. That's when trouble first hit. Free handfuls of kettle corn. We grabbed some and ran before they changed their minds. And then ... this is hard ... then they had this huge swimming pool kind of thing set up. And there were bass in it. Big bass. And all around the pool were little fishing poles. Kid sized fishing poles. It was an opportunity for kids to learn the art of de-bassing our planet at the place whose name throws fear into all bass world wide. Al Gore, where are you?

And guess who wanted to fish. Yup.

I delayed her as we went into the store in search of the sacred waders. Are you aware that you can actually spend in excess of FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS for rubber pants? I'm dead serious! I stared in wonder ... pants sticker shock ... swearing that my next stop would be Wal-Mart for a pair of speedo's. That's when a nice teenage girl asked if she could help me. I told her that I needed some waders that would not require that I sell my churches property in order to pay for them because all I wanted to do was stay dry while I baptize people. She immediately pointed to a table with large boxes of rubber waders ... a mere $39.99. She told me that they sell a lot of those for baptisms. SOLD!

Debbie, Elle and I then weaved our way d-i-r-e-c-t-l-y to the check-out line. And when I say "weaved" that's exactly what I mean. There were more people per square foot in there than in a homeless shelter for bankers. That's when Elle reminded me about "fishen." I pointed out the stuffed twelve foot tall grizzly bear at the front door. No matter. It's time for fishen. Grandpa promised.

Oh geez.

Okay, so I asked Debbie to pay for the waders while Elle and I went "fishen." We walked outside with zipped up coats and freezing fingers. It was free day for kids. This was good. So we picked up a pole and made our way to the pool of frenzied Bass. Odd. There was no bait on the hook. They weren't even real hooks. Just bent ... wires or something. But I remembered that Debbie told me when she was a kid she caught a fish once on a paper clip with no bait. Hey, I'm gullible. Whatever. We threw our hook into the pool along with about twenty other kids and their parents.

Poor Elle. Not even a nibble. And yet people kept pulling out these HUGE Bass. What the ... How in the ... I couldn't figure it out. We froze for about 20 minutes when I noticed Debbie standing next to us. Ahhhh ... my excuse! My asthmatic wife cannot be allowed to stand in the cold. I explained to Elle that sometimes you catch the fish and sometimes the fish catches you. She gave me a puzzled look and propped her pole up against the wall. We returned to the wonderful heater of our Trail Blazer.

It was not until tonight that Debbie mentioned that Bass that they had tied to that one line.


Yeah. You know, the one they kept catching. The one that they kept on a pole that they were passing around from kid to kid and then pulling out with a net. That fish.

Uhhhh. I knew that. Really I did. I just didn't want to spoil things for Elle. It's all about the illusion. You know. Pretending to ... uh ... catch fish.

I'm never going back to the Bass Pro Shop again for all eternity.


Earth Muffin said...

Good for you! I never want to go there either.

And I don't think Al Gore would care so much about the fish being caught as he would about whether or not the water they were swimming in was clean. If it was murky with a nasty green film on top, he's your go-to-guy!

Anonymous said...

I had no idea Bass Pro had Liturgical Waders!

Of course, I've never been there, myself. Oh, and there never seemed to be a recession at Best Buy, either.

Kelly said...

You were just teaching Elle the 6th commandment. That's a good thing.;)