By Julie Carter
I know many cowboys that, if close to a pond or other some such fish habitation, like to throw a line in from time to time.
Curly, Robby, Darrel and Jim slipped off to do little fishing one year. Curly and Robby opted to sit on the bank of the lake, casting lines and consuming adult beverages.
There were more beverages going down than there were fish coming up, but, after all, it was spring and you don’t have to clean the beverages.
Darrel and Jim were drifting along in a flat-bottom boat they’d brought along, casting lines and sometimes catching old tires and other like treasures. Once in a while, they’d even catch a fish.
One of them whipped back a perfect cast after catching a tree limb on the bank. He shook loose the lure, along with it came a snake he’d managed to pick up in the commotion.
The snake hit the bottom of the boat and both the anglers bailed over the side. When Curly and Robby, still bank-side, quit laughing, they had to go save the boat that was continuing to drift on the current.
Cowboys that live where there is a lot of water, specifically lakes, will tell you of a common phenomenon, a culture of people called the Lake Dwellers.
You know you are in the neighborhood of a clan of them by the number of catfish heads on the fence posts and the abundance of Heinz-crossed mutts in every yard. They seem to live off one another, trading belongings back and forth as available cash ebbs and flows.
Occasionally, the cowboys will attempt to mingle with the Lake Dwellers. Jim and Curly had been down to a beer-swilling, pool-playing joint and picked up a couple gals who invited them to a party down at the lake.
When they arrived, they immediately deducted they were overdressed. Having gone home and showered, put on their starched jeans and best boots, they were no match for the crew in Bermuda shorts with no shirts and rubber boots.
Immediately unpopular with the men of the Lake Dweller clan, it didn’t improve when Jim spotted a deer’s behind mounted over the fireplace, tail up.
He promptly stuck a cigarette in the deer’s south opening and things went downhill from there. It didn’t take them long to enjoy all of that party they needed as they were considerably outnumbered.
The recent event where the captain of a hijacked ship managed with the help of a few Navy Seals, to fend off some scruffy pirates, has the cowboys swapping “cowboys as boat captains” tales.
If cowboys are anything, they are storytellers and are the very best at it when it involves themselves. The running dialog speaks of leaky boats (poor folk always have leaky boats) and bailing water to the extent it drove them all to the time-honored sport of bank fishing.
Curly has rounded up a gal to fantasize about – his flavor of the week. He says she has a “just a touch of the Lake Dweller in her.” That means you don’t ever have to worry about what she’s thinking.
Over cold longnecks, they’ve had some relationship discussions about kids and child support. He pays through the nose for one but she announced she’d never birthed a baby (and she has three) from a guy that ever paid a dime.
While Curly was digesting this information, she, in her Lake Dweller directness said, “You wasn’t thinking about getting married again anytime soon was you?”
When this question came forth, Curly was just putting his beer bottle to his mouth. His hand started shaking so bad he was afraid he was going to chip a tooth, and it wasn’t the grammar that was appalling him.
Recalling a previous commitment, he managed to free himself from the immediate Lake Dweller danger, and of late, has limited his vices to full time team roping.
Julie can be reached for comment at www.julie-carter.com
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