Lighter Side

What is life if there is not laughter? Welcome to the lighter side of flyfishing! We welcome your stories here!
February 11th, 2002

Camp Runa-Mucka-Mungus
By James Castwell

That's what the sign said, 'Camp Runa-Mucka-Mungus,' or something like that, I think; heck, it was almost half a century ago. I wheeled into the parking lot and went up to the main office. This was going to be one great Steelhead trip. Neil, my fishing buddy had agreed that as long as I was going to be in the area I should set it up. It was a nice lodge in the upper part of lower Michigan, with a little-known Steelhead stream ran just outside the door. Perfect conditions, no more sleeping in the back of a station wagon, (the last time I did that my velcro-surfaced long underwear seemed to think the flannel lining of my down sleeping bag was just made for it, when I awoke in the morning I was securely straight-jacketed inside the stupid thing. I swore off that style of lodging forever.)

Anyhow, back to the lodge. I could not believe my grand fortune when the reservation clerk mentioned that there was maid service included, just leave the dishes and they would do them up, no problem. I checked the cabin out, a nice big room and a fine kitchen on one end and complete with dishes and all the 'eatin-irons' needed.

Now, I'm not big into cookin', but my unsuspecting pal fancied himself a fine hand with a frying pan. Who was I to hold him back? I asked him, if he would do the cooking for the weekend, I would see that the dishes were taken care of. Seemed like a plan to him.

As he was in Detroit and I was north of him, on the selected Friday afternoon he showed up at my place and on we went to do battle with the 'iron-heads. After a few hours drive we pulled into the lodge, unpacked our gear and checked in with the main office. That's when it started to unravel, badly.

The first thing I heard from the clerk was, (and this was with Neil standing right beside me), "Gosh, I'm sorry, I forgot this was a holiday weekend, all the maids are off, but, I'm sure you won't mind doing your own dishes, will you?) Neil had a habit of twisting his mustache and becoming very quiet when he was plotting. He was quiet and twisting. I was in trouble. The less he said, the more I knew it.

We went back to our cabin; it was dinner time. Nothing happened, not a word was mentioned about my lose of my dish-doing-maids. Not a word. We chatted and readied our stuff for the next morning and then he mentioned he was about ready for chow, was I? I affirmed as I was, and he sauntered toward the end of the room, the kitchen end.

"How about a 'tossed salad' with dinner?"

"Great, I think there is some dressing in the fridge," I countered.

"Hey, what the hell you doing?"

"Tossing the salad," Neil answered, and gave a little twist to his moustache with his free hand. I'm tossing it from this bowl into this one, and then into this one, and then into every *&^%$ bowl in this joint, makes it better that way."

"Oh."

Dinner was otherwise uneventful (if you don't count me 'tidying-up' after we finished) and we even caught (well, Neil did actually) a Steelhead the next day. We only stayed one night instead of two, due to rather poor water and fishing conditions, and some misunderstanding about our accommodations. The next morning we drove to Traverse City, Michigan and spent a solid day flinging streamers to non-existent Steelhead at the mouth of the Boardman River.

Over the years it would occasionally arise, as to would I like a 'tossed salad' with my meal when we would get together. I usually declined. ~ JC

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