“The two best times to fish… Don began. Are when it’s raining, and when it ain’t.” He grinned, then continued. I heard that as a boy, and waited all these years to use it today.” He finished, reaching for his mug to pour a coffee.
“I bet.” The Grizz smiled back. Holding his mug toward Don, indicating that he wanted a refill.
“I limited out this morning near the cellar.” Don began, in response to The Grizz as he poured coffee into The Grizz’s mug.
“Ambushed ’em, huh?” The Grizz interrupted.
Don with his brows raised, nodded his agreement, then added. “Nearly swamped my boat doing it. That ol’ bilge pump was squirting a rooster tail like one of them jet ski’s ripping across the lake. He paused, giving a half laugh, before continuing. I was looking at the lake map and saw what looked like a draw; you know, like a small valley?” He asked, making sure The Grizz understood, but not waiting for a response. This draw works its way gradually to higher elevation where the water temperature raises slowly, instead of fast like at the drop offs the rest of the way around. I guess we could call it the stairway.” He finished more than a little smug at not only his joke, but also his ability to figure things out.
The Grizz had a brief thought. He told me that for a reason, I better offer up something in return. I can start by keeping his secret.
“Wow! The Grizz began. That is as cleaver as it gets. I’ll keep that nugget under my hat.” The Grizz ended as Don nodded his appreciation. The Grizz furrowed his brow, then asked. “Do you have those fish with you?” Don smiled and said, “Yeah, they’re in my cooler eagerly waiting their turn to jump in my batter before hitting the grease. Why do you ask?”
The Grizz told him about the billboard idea that Rocky had discussed with him a few days ago.
“Man! Don began after hearing the plan. It’s a good thing you won all that money. Do you know how much those things cost?” He asked.
The Grizz screwed up his face as he thought about it for a moment. “A few thousand, maybe. $10,000 tops.” He answered.
“That will cover the monthly rent if you go that route. Try about $300,000 to own one. Don said.
“Seriously? The Grizz asked, more than a little shocked, which caused his little piggy eyes to bug out to their maximum, before he regaining his composure to ask a follow-up question. “How do you know this? I thought you were just a fish bum?” The Grizz asked with a teasing tone.
Don shrugged the questions off with a smile before giving an answer. “My brother is in advertising. I hear things at the family shin-digs…especially things that have big numbers attached to them. He said before asking. “Are you sure you want to go that route? I kinda thought this was just a hobby for you now that you are retired from teaching.”
The Grizz nodded his understanding. Then answered. “You never really “stop teaching” when you are a teacher. It’s kind of like saying if you stop fishing for the day, you are no longer a fisherman. I think that for both of them, you just have to wait for the next opportunity to get the job done.” He finished. Don thought about it for a moment, then answered. “That’s a bit deeper than my little brain can handle, but if you’re interested I can have my brother swing over and hook you up.” The Grizz nodded his understanding. Then said; “You go grab your cooler, and I’ll get my camera, and we’ll get some shots to put up on the new billboard I’m buying.”
As they were taking the pictures, the rain eased up to sprinkles, and Rocky pulled in to the lot, his late-model dirty Ford Explorer splashing through the new mud holes. The Grizz could hear talking as Rocky and some other folk approached the farm.
“Hey Dad, Rocky said by way of introduction. This is Jason’s’ dad, Todd.” The Grizz extended his hand in greeting. “Hello, nice to meet you, Todd. Hello Jason. He added, then directing his attention to the container Jason held in his hands. What have you got for us today, sir?” Jason extended the container to The Grizz and said happily; “Twenty worms, Mr. Grizz.”
“When the rain started, I could hardly keep up with him. Todd began, He said; ‘I got go get the worms for Mr. Grizz, like Rocky showed me. They come out easy in the rain.’ So we put on our rain gear, and went splashing around the driveway picking up worms as we went. Thank you, guys. I really appreciate you involving Jason in your project.” He said.
“We’re glad to have him on the team; Rocky said sincerely, he’s a really good worker. Can I get you a coffee?” He asked as he moved to fill a fresh coffee mug he pulled from the cabinet over the sink. The side of the mug said. “Urban Grizzly” and had a logo Rocky had made up on his hand-held game player and had presented him on father’s day many years ago. Gosh, I couldn’t have been much older than Jason! Were does the time go?
“Thank you.” Todd said, taking the mug and smiling at the logo. Then looking at the cooler of walleye, said “Whoa, someone got lucky!”
Don smiled, and said. “Luck was part of it for sure, then nodding at Jason’s container of worms. Lucky I got to use a couple of the worms that Jason brought in.” He winked and smiled at Jason who beamed shyly. “It made all the difference.” He finished.
“Wow! Todd said proudly. That’s awesome.”
“It’s true. Don continued. “That young man wrangles the best worms around.”
The Grizz reached into the cooler, and pulled out a red pop for Jason, and pulled a dollar from his pocket. “Here you go, sir. He said, offering them to Jason who suddenly remembered his part of the transaction was incomplete. “Oh, I have to put them in the box first, Mr. Grizz.” Jason grabbed his worm container walked around the other side of the big table were the guys did their work (gabbing) then he dumped the worms into the box Rocky had set up for him. Having completed his task, Jason was ready to accept payment for his duties. They all looked out the side window as the rain picked up. Jason got the cap off of his pop and took a swig, as his dad sipped his brew. “Yup, The Grizz said. When it rains, it pours.” Don grinned before asking. “Is that for the good or the bad?” The Grizz looked around him and smiled back at Don before saying. “I see no bad here.”