Saturday, April 7, 2012

Calling all fish!

  It was a lazy hot summer day, probably a Saturday, when the three of us were sitting around at Walter's house trying to decide on something to do with our time. It wasn't often when all three of us didn't have something going on, whether it was a job, ballgame, or something. The talk soon turned from the activities at school, to girls, and then to fishing.( I'm pretty sure that wasn't the order of importance) We oughta go fishin one of us suggested. That was a great idea the other two of us thought, but where should we go. Well, we go could go up to Aunt Susan's. No, it's all the way up in Oklahoma, and besides, none of us had ever caught anything very big up there, and if we were going to spend our valuable time we wanted trophy sized fish! You know, I personally never knew who the heck Aunt Susan was. I just knew that there was a swimming and fishing hole up in Oklahoma where we would occasionally go. It was more than likely a relative of the Hennighs', or the Howards'. How about just down on the creek. No, wasn't anything down there but mudcat and carp. What about going out to the Grove, yeah there has got to be some monster bass there, everybody always talks about losing at least a ten to twelve pounder there. The grove was a group of cottonwood trees out on the Duke ranch, with a spring fed creek running through it.

  OK, the Grove it was, but how were we gonna catch that monster fish there? We had tried all kinds of bait there before. Spinners, plastic worms, buzz bait, live bait, hula poppers you name it we had tried it. Man if we only had some dynamite, someone said. That would certainly get the big ones! Yeah, but it might blow it to pieces, then we wouldn't be able to see just how big it was, and anyway none of us knew where we could get any dynamite at anyway. Then Walter came up with an idea, "we could shock the fish, and that way it wouldn't kill them, and we could throw the little ones back in." That was a good idea, but how were we gonna be able to shock them. We couldn't run an extension cord out there and throw it in the water. Then Walter said, " I know where there is an old crank type telephone that we could get." The old crank telephones had a crank arm on the side of it that when turned would generate an electrical current that would travel down the phone line and cause a bell to ring on someone Else's telephone, or possibly send it out into the water to stun some fish.

   So we set out to gather up the required supplies for our trophy bass fishing trip. After having found everything that we thought we would need, we set off for the Grove. There was a lengthy discussion on the ride down about which fishing hole would be the best candidate for our experiment. We finally decided on one that we  thought was sure to have the hawg in it. We carried the telephone, two pieces of wire  that were approximately five to six feet long. We hooked the wires up to the phone, and threw the other ends into the water. Our palms were sweaty, our mouths dry, and our hearts were beating faster in anticipation of the coming carnage. Since it was Walter's idea we gave him first crank. Walter spun the handle with elegance, grace, and enough speed that it should have sent an electrical impulse all the way to New York City! We waited for the fish to begin floating up to the surface, but none appeared. Walter once again spun the crank, nothing. Calvin said, " let me give it a spin." Once again no fish appeared. So I tried my luck with the phone. It turned out I was no better at calling up the fish than they were.

  What could we possibly be doing wrong? After some discussion it was decided that we had the ends of the wires too close together. The reasoning being, that maybe the fish had to be between the wires in order to get shocked. Maybe we had actually learned something in Mr.Vickery's Ag class! (not about shocking fish, but about electrical currents) After we had gathered up some more wire, we once again set about our task. This time we had a wire on one side of the bank, and the other strung to the other side. That had ought to have them fish covered this time. The crank was spun again, and once again we waited as no fish surfaced. Perhaps we really are stunning them, only they are getting caught in the moss and weeds, and that's not letting them float to the surface or, maybe the telephone crank wasn't creating an electrical charge, but how would we be able to find out?

  As we were standing there contemplating this dilemma, I saw Walter take a wire in each hand, and he then told Calvin, "I'll hold these, and you turn the handle once really slow, and I will be able to tell if it's sending out a current or not." I can still see that smile, or maybe it was a smirk creeping across Calvin's face just before he spun that crank as fast as he could!  I remember thinking, just before Walter's eyes bugged out, and he started shaking all over, and falling to the ground , peeing his pants, and flopping around, like how those fish shoulda been doin. Walter, are you really gonna let Calvin spin that handle, while your holding those wires in your hands, because Ive known Calvin nearly as long as you have, and I sure as heck ain't gonna trust him to do that to me!

  After a few minutes, Walter began to regain his senses, and after talking to him for a bit, we figured there probably wasn't any permanent brain damage, and anyhow, at least we knew that the telephone crank was in perfect working condition. You know, maybe we just need more volts. So, back into the car, and off we went to find a portable electrical generator!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. My day has been crazy and just reading this made my night!