Make My Day
LORD OF THE FISH
by Erik Deckers
American Reporter Humor Writer
SYRACU.S.E, Ind. -- Friday, August 12 - We made it! After a 20-hour drive from Indiana, we made it to Red Lake, Ontario for our annual fly-in fishing trip. Each summer, we spend a week up in Northwest Ontario, eating, fishing, smoking cigars, telling jokes, and enjoying the scenery and moderate weather, and maybe drinking a beer or two. Between us. All week long. I swear.
This year, it's just me, Joe, and Carmon. We're going to try something new. For the past four years, we've brought enough food for all seven days, in case we don't catch any fish. Since we've had great luck in the past, and this is such a great fishing lake, we're only bringing canned fruits and vegetables to go with all the fish we'll catch.
We're here a day early, so we'll check in with the camp/flight service owner. We're tired after the long drive, so we'll get to bed early. We leave at 5:00 tomorrow morning.
Saturday, August 13 - Ah, Marvin Lake, our old stomping grounds. The float plane landed at 6:00 am, we unloaded our gear, helped the previous group load, and they were on their way. We won't see anyone from Red Lake until Tuesday when they check on us to make sure we're alright.
Unfortunately we were so tired that we slept through last night's dinner, and we left too early to get breakfast in town. And to top it off, someone (not me) forgot to bring our food. All we have are two cans of beans, some vegetable oil, and a bag of flour for battering the fish. We're definitely going to have to catch fish if we want to eat.
Sunday, August 14 - Yesterday was awful, and today was worse! The sun was bright, the weather was hot, and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It's hotter in the cabin than it is outside. Sure it looks beautiful, but fish don't like 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 tomorrow.
Monday, August 15 - Blast this wretched sun!! It's been clear and hot since we got here. We didn't catch any fish today either, and we're famished! We finished the other can of beans for breakfast today, and we've started frying little balls of dough and water into some sort of deep-fried ball. It's disgusting, and the balls just sit in our stomachs like pebbles.
The heat is just intolerable. Joe is suffering terribly from the heat, and Carmon can't get enough water. I've been lucky enough so far to spend most of the hot weather sitting in the shade during the worst of it, but I'm still feeling the day's effects.
Tuesday, August 16 - Another hot and clear day! Joe finally snapped and began babbling incoherently about flying fish wearing giant onion costumes. We couldn't leave him in the cabin, because it's 10 degrees hotter in there. We left him in the shade, half-conscious, and he lost a pint of blood to the biting flies. Now we're not just trying to catch fish to eat, we're trying to survive.
Peter was supposed to come today to check on us, but he never showed up. Either he forgot about us, or the entire Western hemisphere has perished because George W. Bush couldn't get his missile shield finished in time.
Wednesday, August 17 - Joe and Carmon have been sharpening their 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 his knife and fork in hand. I'm afraid for my life, so I booby trapped my side of the cabin with bungie cords and pointy sticks. I know they'll be coming for me, but I'm ready for them.
Thursday, August 18 - It finally happened. Joe and Carmon have snapped from the lack of food and repressive heat. They went out fishing early this morning (they woke up at 5:00, which is the first sign of insanity), caught a small Northern pike and ate it raw. That gave them the energy to mount an attack against me, but I had spent all morning creating spears from tree limbs, and a crude bow and 30 arrows. I was able to hold them off
At noon, they cut the water line that runs from the lake to the sink in our cabin. I anticipated this, and have filled every pot, bowl, and glass with water. They've fashioned drums out of hollow logs, and have smeared berries on themselves to make war paint. Very "Lord of the Flies."
My arrows and spears held off two more charges, but I can hear them outside in the dark, snarling, slapping at mosquitoes, and waiting for me to drop my guard.
Friday, August 19 - It's a standoff. I'm trapped inside where it's hot, but sheltered from the bugs. Carmon and Joe are stuck outside with the bugs, but they have access to the lake. If I can ration my water, maybe I can outlast them. When will help arrive?
Saturday, August 20 - It's the last day, the end of our trip! Soon, the float plane will arrive with the next group of hopeful fishermen. And they'll have food. I shouted this information to Carmon and Joe as they hid in the woods. We have forged an uneasy peace. We will hide in the woods, and wait for the new ones arrive... .