Scramble together six or eight men of a certain age on a fishing trip, church-going men from various denominations whose common denominator is a love for the Lord and fishing, and you have a recipe for interesting conversation. Gossip? Never! The Bible has much to say against murmuring and prevaricating.
But telling it like it is or as it was told to me is, of course, only factual reporting. Old fishermen returned to the condo and tilted back in a recliner or sprawled on a sofa, appetite sated from freshly caught fish prepared by an obliging chef at a nearby restaurant, often recollect something of entertainment value. After all, a merry heart doeth good like a medicine and these men have aches and pains that need healing.
Pinching a piece of peppermint between thumb and forefinger Clint eyeballed it and said, “You guys haven’t seen that ’56 cherry-red T-Bird convertible around lately, have you? Man, that’s some car. That good looking blond driving it will get your attention too. “
The consensus of those still awake was that it had gone missing.
“Well, the transmission is out – least that’s what I heard. But it ought to be rolling again real soon. The way I heard it, that gal told her husband he could forget about sleeping in her bed until he got it got fixed.”
“It’s in the shop then” came filtering through the laughter.
“That boy’s got troubles” Larry offered, “about like Carl, the handyman”. “You know who I’m talking about?”
“He roofed my house last year” Randy said. “He’s a fast worker. Does real good work.”
Larry picked up a bag of home-made venison jerky, sniffed it and laid it down. “Linda said she called him about doing some carpentry work at the church. They had just started talking when he put her on hold to take a call from his wife. When Carl got back on the line he told her ‘Pray for me Linda, I’ve got troubles.’
“”What’s the matter, Carl?’”
“’My wife’s pregnant and some girl just called. She said she lost an earring in the backseat of my car and wanted my wife to look for it.’
“’I’ll pray for you, Carl.’”
“’No – no Linda, you don’t understand. I don’t own a car. It had to be a wrong number. But try telling that to my wife.’”
Wiley chimed in. “You better help Linda pray for him, Larry. You need the practice and he needs the prayers.”
A dirty sock sailed across the room and swished by Clint’s head. “Hey,” Randy yelled above the din of noise” “chunk me a peppermint” followed by “Thanks.”
“Randy, is your knee doing better?” Wiley asked. “You were getting in and out of the boat a lot easier than you did last year.”
“No thanks to the doctor that replaced my knee. I went back to him complaining that I didn’t think it was working right. ‘Well’ he said, ‘you didn’t expect it to be as good as new, did you?’ “I durn sure did” I told him, “or I wouldn’t of done it. And you know what I found out?”
“What’s that Randy?”
“It wasn’t my knee after all. I went to another doctor and he said I didn’t have a knee problem. He said I had a hip problem. I guess I did because he replaced my hip socket and now I’m doing fine. But don’t ask me to recommend a knee doctor whose initials are B N. I wouldn’t let that fellow operate on my bird dog that’s traveling on three legs.”
Clint stood up and stretched. “Girls, that sun and wind and waves has tuckered me out. I’m turning in. We need to be up by 4 a.m. and ready to go get ‘em. We’re meeting the guides on the dock at sunup.”
“I’m heading that way myself” Randy said. “I’m glad we have king size beds for a change. Why don’t I bunk with you and the others can suit themselves.”
“Wait a minute” Larry yelled, holding a sack above his head. “I’ve got ear plugs in here and the price is right – two for $5.00. They are guaranteed to eliminate the sound of snoring or your bed partner talking in his sleep. Now, who wants a good night’s rest? The price doubles if you wait until tomorrow night.”
Randy lurched off the sofa and waved a pointed finger at the group. “Remember, what happens in Rockport stays in Rockport.”
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