Previously on “Bonita Local…”
Yesterday’s post described my predictions on how our 5th wedding anniversary would transpire. In the conclusion of yesterday’s post, I promised to give an update on how the evening went in reality.
I also promised that I would use the cool Bible format, in which Jesus’s words are printed in red. For this particular blog post, all of the “prediction” passages from yesterday will be in black. That will be followed up by tonight’s “reality” version in red print. I can only imagine how entertaining this will be!
Here we go…
There won’t be many posts of a personal nature on the “Bonita Local” blog. It was simply coincidence that I started blogging during the week of my 5th wedding anniversary to my insanely hot wife.
I will try to stay away from the lovey-dovey half of this story. I will be telling the parallel story. A story of nature and survival. Hunting and gathering. Life, death and beach debauchery.
I hate to give anything away in the first two lines of my post, but staying away from the lovey-dovey half of the story will be quite easy. I’m not saying that the lovey-dovey feelings weren’t there, but as for any sub-blanket, sea turtle crawl up the beach…it didn’t happen. The hunting and gathering and life and death parts will mildly come in to play.
My wife and I have managed to pawn off our 3-year-old for Saturday night.
Our plan to escape without our young son was almost squished immediately when we got word that my in-laws caught whatever sickness it is that is making it’s way through our entire family right now. In the end, they felt well enough to have him for a sleep-over, but it was close.
We will be heading down to Hickory pass at around 4 p.m.. We plan to bring the cast net, for bait, and our vintage Garcia Mitchell reels (which we use exclusively). Both of the reels have broken bails at the moment, but we can overcome that small obstacle. We will also be bringing all of the rest of our fishing gear which attaches to my custom-made fishing caddy, (which can be seen in my very first blog post).
Going fishing on our anniversary with broken bails on our reels nagged at me all day long. At 2:30 pm I decided to attempt to get them fixed. I really thought that there would be no chance to get this done. We had everything else ready to go, packed and sitting on the table, and an extra hour to kill until my in-laws came to pick up our son. I hurried down to Fish Trap Marina. They have been fixing my younger brother’s reels since we were kids. Usually it would take several days though. I entered the tiny bait store through a creaky screen door. I saw that Captain John was there, (which was a good sign), but that there was an old man chattering to him. It felt as though the old man had been chattering for a long time, and was a long way from finishing, (that was a bad sign). I was right. This old man was babbling about something. I could tell that Captain John just wanted to get back to his episode of Gunsmoke that was playing on an old black and white television on his desk. It was probably 4 minutes before the old guy shut up. I handed my reels to Captain John, and explained that it was my 5 year wedding anniversary. I asked him if there was any possible way that he could fix them “right now”. He grabbed his small screwdrivers and got busy. I watched him closely to try to learn how to do this myself. He was finished in about 10 minutes. He passed the two reels across the counter to me and said, “Happy Anniversary”.
This is how I want my city to be. Thank you Captain John! Not only was this gesture generous and kind, but there is something about a perfectly working, freshly cleaned and greased reel that makes me feel truly satisfied. Much akin to having 4 brand new tires on your car.
In addition to our usual gear, we will be adding the following items for this special evening…
- Hibachi grill and charcoal for cooking our “just caught fish”. I’m really hoping for some pompano. That is our favorite.
- 2 bottles of fairly cheap Champagne. We will probably pop them both at the same time, and put them in coolie-cups for ourselves. We love champagne!
- A rose or two for added romantic ambiance.
- Asparagus, Rice, Tabasco sauce, and several lemons.
- Two blankets.
- A mason jar of our home-made, habenero infused Tequila.
- Matches! Damn, I know that is what I will forget.
By simply reading that list of items, you can probably visualize how I am planning on tomorrow evening transpiring.
My wife stopped by the grocery store to pick up all of the items that we didn’t have here. She also grabbed a bucket full of Key limes to bake a Key lime pie for our dessert.
It will all start with a glorious ‘pancake’ throw of the cast net. Greenbacks will be sparkling like jewels as I pull the fish-laden net in to the shore, (as the muscles in my forearms gleam in the sun, of course).
It all did not start off with a “pancake” throw of my cast net. It started off with me taking Cold and Flu pills in an attempt to make myself feel like getting off of the couch. Yesterday I caught the bug that has been jumping from person to person in our family.
It also started off with a thunderstorm. As soon as we opened the door to leave the house….the sky poured down on us with cold rain, not tropical rain. There is a cold front coming in this weekend. This is always the introduction to one. This was the one time during the last 8 months that an approaching cold front was not welcome.
Hickory pass is 6 miles from our house, so we decided to proceed with our plans, head to the beach, and just hope that it wasn’t raining there.
It started to clear up a bit as we neared the beach. I got to use one of those intermittent wiper settings that nobody ever uses. One schwoop every 78 seconds, I think. We decided to grab a couple of dozen shrimp at Master Bait and Tackle on our way. I much prefer catching bait with my net, but the greenbacks and finger-mullet that I catch are not a food that pompanos eat, and that is what I had my heart set on!
So…in summary…there was no perfect throw of the cast net. There was no shimmering net full of greenbacks, nor the obligatory “heavy in the net” jokes that I must crack in my best New England accent when I pull in a netted school. There was no sun dancing on the muscles in my forearms. In fact, I don’t think I even have any muscles in my forearms.
I slap the cold, hard, steel of our Japanese fish hooks through the clenched jaws of our baitfish.
My wife and I cast our bait out in unison . Our respective greenbacks will do their personal renditions of the “Dance of a Million Deaths” a mere 30 feet apart from one another.
Barely 15 seconds pass until both of our drags scream! Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Our poles bend in on each other, forming a shape which takes no imagination to see that a fiberglass heart has been superimposed on the now setting sun.
After 20 minutes, our antique reels claim their prizes. I pull a 26″ redfish onto the beach, and my wife drags her 34″ Bull Red ashore. We snap a few photos of the beasts. We release the larger red back into the sunset. I then effortlessly fillet the smaller fish, not wasting a morsel.
There will be a great deal to be learned in these next few paragraphs. I have been trying to decide if I should include fishing advice…or skip it. I have decided to include it. Managerial decision that could go either way.
Our Japanese hooks are “Owner” brand hooks. They are impossibly sharp. They penetrate your fishing thoughts.
We will not be slapping our cold steel through the jaws of our greenbacks, but instead, we will be piercing the crunchy little helmets that the shrimp wear over their heads. If you look through your shrimp’s head, you will see little organs. A brain and a heart. You do not want to send your hook through either of those, (this is the one thing that the shrimp and I agreed on today). You want your hook to go between those organs, and into the blank area of shrimp tissue. You want your shrimp to stay alive to do his version of the “Dance of a Million Deaths”. You will then want to bring the business-end of your hook up through the other side of his head and disguise it in with all of the crazy antler and antenna stuff on the top of his head. What is one more barb up there? The fish won’t even notice the extra one.
We did not cast in unison. My wife set up our blanket and Hibachi and Champagne bottles carefully, while I made my impatient dash to the water to start fishing. My 4 minute headstart payed dividends of a 7″ ladyfish, (inedible). My wife baited her hook and crossed over to the other side of the rocks to fish. It really did only take a few seconds to start catching fish. Unfortunately, all we were catching were 6″ jacks, (inedible). Dozens of them. Every few seconds…another 6″ jack. We had one or two mackerel strikes, judging by our halved-shrimp, but all we were landing were jacks and ladyfish. Imagine going to Walmart for aspirin with a badly bruised leg. You need a good parking spot because your leg is in so much pain. Imagine driving by the hundreds of handicapped parking spots. That is what this was like. We didn’t need much, just one edible fish! Imagine pulling in to Walmart for a gallon of milk, and all of those handicap parking spots were actually taken. Dear God! Run man, run! It would have to look like a motorized, zombie apocalypse inside! The archers with their canes. The infantry on their walkers. The heavy-artillery on their scooters. Ridley Scott, if you are reading this….
Please know that we were having a really good time. We had positive attitudes even with the storm visibly heading toward us quickly. In fact, it had been drizzling pretty much the whole time we were there thus far.
The charcoal lit easily in our Hibachi, and our rice is perfect! It is time to put our fish on the grill, along with the asparagus.
Ahhhhhh! Culinary perfection! My wife and I feed each other the tender white flaky fish, as we stare lovingly into each other’s eyes. We have skillfully achieved a beautiful Champagne buzz, which we all know needs to be slowly nurtured with more Champagne. If a Champagne buzz is left to it’s own devices, it will fade as quickly as it came, and leave you with a bonzer headache.
We ditched the rice idea, just so that we wouldn’t have to carry an extra pot, and I forgot the Tequila.
My wife and I looked at each other, both realizing that it was time to go. The storm was getting close, and the rain was falling harder. We gathered up our soaking blanket, drenched bag of charcoal, unpopped Champagne bottles and trudged our way through the rain for 3/4 of a mile back to the car.
The sun disappeared with a glorious green flash. We can feel a most-welcomed chill in the air, as a cold front glides into Bonita Springs. We finish cleaning up our dinner, and slide between the blankets. Hey… I thought that we cooked all of the asparagus…
Well…it is here. The point in the story where the romantic, mushy part collides with the survival and fishing part. Inseparable. I promised that I wouldn’t get into this part, and I won’t.
My wife will be getting home from work soon, and I will have to get to some work of my own. Perhaps we will take our son to dinner out at Hot Space for some jerk wings and a pitcher of Yuengling.
I will be looking forward to properly celebrating our anniversary tomorrow night at the beach. On Sunday morning I will let you know how reality compared to this prediction. Have you ever seen the kind of Bible that has all of Jesus’s words in red? I think that is the format that I will use. I will slip Sunday’s report in between the hypothesized paragraphs in red ink.
The sun was never out, so we couldn’t tell when it had set. It was a beautiful evening at the beach, just not what we had in mind for this particular occasion.
I was feeling so awful that it would have taken a bait bucket full of Viagra to make the lovey-dovey part of this story come to fruition.
We had fun, and we loved this entire plan. It was great to spend the night out together….alone. We will be attempting it again in 2 weeks. I won’t be writing about it though. I know that it will go just as the “black print” version of this story predicted that it would.