So we continue the story where Conrad is appealing to a fictitious jury that Ralph’s insistence is what caused a sequence of events significant enough to turn his friend off from fishing forever.
Now it is time for, “Drift Boat Disasters Part III.” The end of the story.
“The problem is,” Conrad continued. “At this point in the trip, the current is cruising, I mean just ripping. And the shoreline is all vertical cliffs that are over 30 feet high. So, the only thing I see is this small island of overgrown weeds on mucky ground with half submerged logs intermixed in the whole tangled mess. I’m thinking we have a potential situation, and we haven’t even hit the river rapids yet!
We hit the island so hard I thought we were going cut it in half. During the crash I was thrown up against a thorn apple tree and got all scratched up. The next thing I know, something starts flopping around in the boat. Then Ralph starts shrieking like he’s on fire! SNAKE! SNAKE!” Conrad says with his eyes all wide and bulging.
“So Ralph is shrieking, and the snake is not taking it well, he’s snarling, snapping, and cussing at us. And I say to Ralph. “Quit arguing with the snake, and help me bail out the water, and to get this angry tree off me!” Ralph is all curled up in the corner of the boat sucking his thumb and crying about having rattlesnake allergies. Then I looked at the snake and said. “You ever have one of those days?” And the snake laughed!
So the next thing you know, Ralph is shrieking again, which gets the snake all riled up, so while they are arguing in the back seat I decide to ignore them and make a plan to bail water which is up to my ankles by then. After the snake has had enough of Ralph’s attitude he starts shaking his tail and giving Ralph the stink eye, which shuts Ralph up. I cut the tops off of a two liter bottle and start scooping water out of the boat, while the snake goes to investigate where the leak is coming from. Seeing that the drain plug popped out of place, we replace it and continue bailing while the snake tells jokes over by me so Ralph won’t get upset.
Next we have to get ourselves off of the island we crashed into, which was a tough job, because we had to push the boat back against the heavy current to get off of the log jam we rode up on. So the snake is giving advise, while Ralph starts making rude snake comments under his breath. The snake, not one to back down from a fight, moves down toward Ralph every time he starts to complain, which shuts him up. And after some work, we break free.
Thinking that I rebelliously put the boat on the island, Ralph took over rowing duties, while the snake went through my fly box picking out flies for me to use. Man, I tell you, I was catching fish with every cast, and the snake smiled so proudly, and even advised me how to improve my casting technique. Now Ralph is in full melt down, and complains that I prefer the snakes company to his. Which by then was true. But I couldn’t tell him that. For crying out loud, we were on a small boat, with a rattlesnake, and he was acting very unstable. The only good thing was that the snake was putting us on to the fish, well I say us, but Ralph wouldn’t have anything to do with the snake; he said there was something biblical about a snake guiding us that just didn’t seem right.
With the trip nearing its end, and Ralph paddling close to shore hoping the snake would jump out, we actually got to close and another thorn apple trees reached into the boat threatening to rake its sharp barbs upon us. But instead of drawing blood, it plucked Ralph’s Fly vest with hundred’s of dollars worth of flies from the boat and drops it into the river where it immediately sinks to the bottom.
Ralph started his whining routine all over again. The snake shook his head and rolled his eyes, and as we touch up against the boat ramp, the snake bids me farewell, and hops over the side and into the weeds.”
“Wow!” Bobby said. I guess you are right, I am not up for that kind of calamity. Skip the drift boat idea.”
Conrad cast his eyes downward sadly and says.
“Oh, I don’t know, I’d like to find that snake again, he was a really good guide.”