Over at Facebook and on a lot of blogs, people are talking politics non stop. I grew weary of the pointlessness of it long ago, and would much rather speak of other things. Plus, my mind is still drifting back and forth to Christmas, the last one I'll likely ever have in the old house, and all those who were no longer there to share it with us. So I thought I would reminisce about my father, and tell another story about him.
Some of my favourite times with my father were in the old boat, when he and my brother and I would go out fishing together. When we were young, we would generally drift fish, which meant my brother and I sat and hung baited hooks over the side of the boat while Dad would stand and cast. As we grew older, my brother and I wanted to be more like Dad, so eventually we were all standing and casting.
This of course presented some danger. We had to be aware of where the others in boat were, otherwise we could end up hooking someone on the back cast. As it turned out, no one ever actually got seriously hooked, but there were some spectacular close calls.
My closest call came one otherwise lovely day. I was casting using a Mepps number five spinner (Dad used a Mepps number five, therefore I used a Mepps number five) and I somehow managed to hook the cigarette out of my Dad's mouth on the backcast. Thinking about it, I regret that I was facing away from Dad when this happened. It must have looked amazing. If I was trying, I never could have done it.
I watched my lure flying away, wondering what the white thing stuck to it was, when I became aware of some sputtering behind me. It was my Dad. "Hey, I just lit that!" he said.
I turned and faced him, and he let me have it. He was a soldier with a soldier's mouth, and I got a fair sample of it right then and there. He said things about watching what I was doing, being more careful as well as something about me swimming back home.
"All I saw were red and gold flashing before my eyes! I thought I was sent for!" He shook his head. "You could have ripped my nose off. What do you think your mother would say if I came back to the cottage with no nose?"
"Maybe we should tell her," suggested my brother, not helpfully.
"Nah, we don't want to do that," said Dad. He began fishing his pockets for his pack of smokes and matches. "When she found out that he stopped me from smoking a cigarette, she'd take his side."