Dang it! I'll try not to whine, I do enough
of that already, here of late. But seems these
fish gods down here have it out for me. I messed
up my back two, almost three weeks ago, just as
I was beginning a week of vacation plans. Nowhere
special, just a break since Linda was changing
jobs and had a week off also. Heck, why not just
do a whole bunch of things together, including a
couple of days wading the flats around Titusville,
then maybe over to Mosquito Lagoon. I had a few
new places I wanted to investigate.
The weather hasn't been the best down here for a
few months. The wind has been wrapping around
these early hurricanes causing a northeastern
flow that makes fly-fishing dang near impossible.
I hate wind, just makes me grouchy and miserable.
The afternoon thunderstorms have been quite
intense. Earth shattering explosions follow
brilliant blue bolts of lightning, and from
what I understand, graphite is one heck of
a conductor of electricity, and given the
fact that standing waist-deep in salted water,
right hand attached to a nine-foot piece of
conductor...well, you get the picture. I'm
just not ready to meet my Maker, and I ain't
that stupid anymore. Anymore? I
did enough stupid stuff when I was a kid, but
believe it or not, I did get a little
smarter as I got older.
To further complicate matters, as I mentioned
earlier, the back got messed up. "So, how did
you mess up your back?" you ask. I said I got
smarter as I grew older? Maybe not.
Linda and I are NASCAR fanatics. I know some
of you just don't understand sitting around
the TV on Sunday afternoon watching forty-three
cars go round and round. It's mostly a southern
thing, so I understand that you don't understand.
But hey, that's our gig and the Henderson
household comes to a grinding halt on race
day. The kids aren't even allowed to call,
unless it's a life or death situation. And
don't even ring that doorbell!
On July 2nd, NASCAR held the Nextel Cup race
in Daytona (forty-five minutes from home). We
used to go for the whole, four-day deal a few
years back, but after fighting two hundred
thousand other fans, jockeying for a
thirty-dollar parking space at some mall,
walking a couple of miles to the track with
assorted bags and coolers, rain jackets and
cushions, we figured it was a heck of a lot
easier to sit at home in front of the big TV,
and we could save a ton of money and aggravation.
Oh yeah, not to mention me standing in line at
the men's restroom, for a decade, waiting to
pee! Guys drink an ocean of beer at the track,
and when the NASCAR official throws an early
caution flag, well, it just ain't much fun
standing in line knowing we have two, full
service restrooms at home with no
line, and I'm ten feet deep in a line of drunk
guys doin' the pee-pee dance. Besides, the food
at home is better and it won't cost me five bucks
for a stinking hotdog if I want one, and the
beer's a lot cheaper, too. Bear with me; I'm
getting to the back injury!
As most of y'all know, we built the new pool,
and the new pool attaches to the lanai (er,
back porch). There's no TV on the back porch
(er, lanai). Hmmm, we pondered. It would be
kind of neat to have one out on the back
porch/lanai so we could actually watch the
race on Saturday night from a couple of
floating lounge chairs. We even found this
clever floating "Polar Bar" devise that has
a cooler in the center of a round gizmo that
will hold a few beverages of choice! But what
about the TV?
Wal-Mart is just a few miles away, so off
we went in search of the perfect television;
had to be the right height to peer at us from
underneath the screen rail, and big enough to
see from the far side of the pool…the perfect
one. But upon arrival at Wally-World, we discover
they had the perfect TV about fifteen minutes
before our arrival. They actually had six of 'em.
Do I dare ask the doofus question? "Uh, do you
have anymore in the back?" Dang it! I just had
to do it, didn't I? And y'all know the answer...
"All we have are on the shelf." Of course, we
all know about the alien pods in the back of
the enormous store, what else could possibly
be stored back there? Okay, they ain't the
only Wal-Mart in the area, and we have exactly
forty-five minutes to drive to Deland, buy a set,
drive back home, set it up, jump in the pool
on our new-fangled lounge chairs, open a cold
one and watch the race! Oh yeah, and uncrate
the new TV (that weighs a freakin' ton) if they
have one! And danged if they didn't have just
one left, and yep, it weighed a ton! Therein
lays the problem.
Ten minutes to spare, we arrive with our new,
27" color, with front and rear AV plugs, remote
controlled, lanai/back porch/pool TV in a box
big enough for a small family to move in to.
A carpet knife was fetched from the junk drawer;
the box was slit down each corner revealing four
huge pieces of Styrofoam; two on top and two on
the bottom of the new set. Linda on one end, the
Dude on the other. Lift from the knees! I see
Linda going backwards! Thinking she was about
to fall on her fanny, I compensated, but my poor
old back didn't! YEEEOOOW! After the fact, I found
she was only trying to kick the stubborn block of
foam from underneath the TV's frame. *&%$##!!!
But I never let go. Instead, we sat it on a
furniture dolly and rolled that sucker out
the sliding glass doors to the lanai; whatever.
Now, the pain in my lower back wasn't that bad...yet!
Within a few hours after getting the
aforementioned articles gathered, blown
up and assembled, we were happily floating
around in the pool as the National Anthem
played, and the guy yelled, "Gentlemen,
start your engines!" But a pinching feeling
was becoming quite apparent in my back. I
tried my best to hide the grimace on my face,
but my very observant wife notices.
"I'm okay, really...I'm okay."
Two, almost three weeks later, I've been
to the doctor's office twice, got another
appointment tomorrow, my medicine cabinet
looks like a dang pharmacy, done wore out
a heatin' pad, and I'm still hunched over
this dad-burned computer trying to kick
out some semblance of a story, since I
haven't turned one in for a couple of weeks.
But the weather's been real nice these past
'Til next time. ~ Capt. Gary
Gary grew up in central Florida and spent much
of his youth fishing the lakes that dot the area.
After moving a little closer to the coast, his
interests changed from fresh to salt. Gary still
visits his "roots" in the "lake behind the house."
He obtained his captain's license in the early '90's
and fished the blue waters of the Atlantic for a little
over twelve years. His interests in the beautiful shallow
water flats in and around the famous Mosquito Lagoon came
around twenty-five years ago. Even though Captain Gary
doesn't professionally guide anymore, his respect of the
waters will ever be present.
Gary began fly fishing and tying mostly saltwater
patterns in the early '90's and has participated as
a demo fly tier for the Federation of Fly Fishers
on numerous occasions. He is a private fly casting
and tying instructor and stained glass artist,
creating mostly saltwater game fish in glass.