Make My Day: LORD OF THE FISH
by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
SYRACU.S.E, Ind. -- Friday, July 6 -- We made it! After a 20-h= our drive from Indiana, we made it to Red Lake, Ontario (that's in Canada) = for our annual fly-in fishing trip. Each summer, we spend a week up in Nort= hwest Ontario, eating, fishing, smoking cigars, telling jokes, andenjoying = the scenery and moderate weather, and maybe drinking a beer ortwo. Between = us. All week long. I swear.
This year, it's just me, Joe, and Carmon. We're going to trysomething ne= w. For the past four years, we've brought enough food forall seven days, in= case we don't catch any fish. This year we're tryingsomething new. Since w= e've had great luck in the past, and this is sucha great fishing lake, we'r= e only bringing canned fruits and vegetablesto go with all the fish we'll c= atch.
We're here a day early, so we check in with the camp/flightservice = owner, Peter Hagedorn. We're tired after the long drive, sowe'll get to bed= early. We leave at 5:00 am tomorrow.
Saturday, July 7 - Ah, Marvin Lake, our old stomping grounds= . The float plane landed at 6:00 in the morning, we unloaded our gear, he= lped the previous group load, and they were on their way. We won't see anyo= ne from Red Lake until Tuesday when they check on us to make surewe're all = right.
Unfortunately we were so tired that we slept through lastnight's di= nner, and we left too early to get breakfast in town. And totop it off, som= eone (not me, of course) forgot to bring our food boxes.All we have are two= cans of beans, some vegetable oil, and a bag offlour for battering the fis= h. We're definitely going to have to catchfish if we want to eat.
Sund= ay, July 8 - Yesterday was awful, and today was worse! The sun was brig= ht, the weather was hot, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It's hotter i= n the cabin than it is outside. Sure it looks beautiful, but fish don't lik= e bright clear days. They like cool, cloudy days. Needless to say, we didn'= t catch anything. We ate a can of beans, and saved the other can for tomorr= ow.
Monday, July 9 - Blast this wretched sun!! It's been clear a= nd hot since we got here. We didn't catch any fish today either, and we'ref= amished! We finished the other can of beans for breakfast today, andwe've s= tarted frying little balls of dough and water into some sort ofdeep-fried b= all. It's disgusting, and the balls just sit in our stomachslike pebbles. The heat is just intolerable. Joe is suffering terribly from theheat= , and Carmon can't get enough water. I've been lucky enough so farto spend = most of the hot weather sitting in the shade during the worstof it, but I'm= still feeling the day's effects. Tuesday, July 10 - Another hot and clear day! Joe finallysnap= ped and began babbling incoherently about flying fish wearing giantonion co= stumes. We couldn't leave him in the cabin, because it's 10degrees hotter i= n there. We left him in the shade, half-conscious, andhe lost a pint of blo= od to the biting flies. Now we're not just tryingto catch fish to eat, we'r= e trying to survive.
Peter was supposed to come today to check on us, but he nevershowed= up. Either he forgot about us, or the entire Western Hemispherehas perishe= d because George W. Bush couldn't get his missile shieldfinished in time.
Wednesday, July 11 - Joe and Carmon have been sharpening the= ir knives an awful lot, and giving me these funny looks, sort of like when = the Coyote envisions the Road Runner as a giant Road Runner sandwich. = Last night, I woke up to find Joe standing over my bed with hisknife and = fork in hand. I'm afraid for my life, so I booby trapped myside of the cabi= n with bungie cords and pointy sticks. I know they'll becoming for me, but = I'm ready for them.
Thursday, July 12 - It finally happened. Joe and Carmon have= snapped from the lack of hunger and repressive heat. They went outfishing = early this morning (they woke up at 5:00, which is the firstsign of insanit= y), caught a small Northern and ate it raw. That gavethem the energy to mou= nt an attack, but I had spent all morning creatingspears from tree limbs, a= nd a crude bow and 30 arrows. I was able tobeat back their attack.
At noon, they cut the water line that runs from the lake to thesink= in our cabin. Luckily I anticipated this, and filled every pot,bowl, and g= lass with water. They've fashioned drums out of hollow logs,and have smeare= d berries on them to make war paint. Very "Lord of theFlies."
Volleys of arrows and spears held off two more charges, but Ican he= ar them outside in the dark, snarling, slapping at mosquitoes, andwaiting f= or me to drop my guard.
Friday, July 13 - It's a standoff. I'm trapped inside where = it's hot, but sheltered from the bugs. Carmon and Joe are stuck outside wit= h the bugs, but they have access to the lake. If I can ration my water,mayb= e I can outlast them. Hopefully they don't remember the gasoline forthe boa= t's engines is out in the boat house.
Saturday, July 14 - It's the last day, the end of our trip! = Soon, the float plane will arrive with the next group of hopefulfishermen. = And they'll have food. I shout this information to Carmon andJoe as they hi= de in the woods, and we make an uneasy peace. Then we hidein the woods, and= wait for the new group to arrive... .