Red Letter Day: Part II
*** If you haven't already... scroll down and read Part I below***
Custom may dictate a brief recap to get everyone caught back up.... nah... piss on it.
From the truck I hear some mumbling... I couldn't really hear the guy... So I walked towards him... being pretty friendly.
"I already told that woman... that water is too deep to be out here! Those boys are gonna fall in there!"
What the hell? Who is this guy and what is he blathering about?
"Ummm... those are my kids. I'm their dad. Are you seriously suggesting that I am going to stand by and watch my kids drown?"
"They'd be in that water and drown before you could pull 'em out! Do you know how deep that water is?"
Now I'm shaking my head...
"I appreciate your concern... but we're fine."
"You're not even watching them boys. They are behind you and they could fall in right now and you wouldn't know!"
Now I'm thinking... you dumb son-of-a-bitch.
"I'm not watching them because I'm talking to you. Why don't you go away and stop distracting me?"
"There is a sign right there that says No Fishing."
"Old man... that sign was put there by the home owners association. The rule doesn't apply to people who own property here or their guests."
And with that... I decided I was getting too pissed and needed to remember that the boys were with me. So I walked away... and told the boys we were packing it up and heading in.
I assumed the matter was closed. I was mistaken.
About thirty peaceful seconds pass... and from behind me I hear...
"And I don't want to have to come over here and tell you again either!"
Chills shot down my spine... hair stood up... instinct took over... I spun around and started heading for the truck..
"Oh you're damned right you don't want to come tell me again! Who the hell are you old man? Just who in the hell are you? What is your name?"
"We're not talking about me we're talking..."
"Oh no... no sir... NOW we're talking about you. Tell me your name old man. Tell me just what makes you think you should go around shoving your ass into my business? Don't you realize that I'm the kind that'll come over here and fish every damned day just to piss you off?"
"No I'm not going to tell you my name..."
And now remember... Jeb and Eli are watching... Jeb walks up to the man's truck and says, "Excuse me sir... sir... what's your name?"
and then the crusty old bastard makes a near fatal mistake... he looks down at my son... and in a frustrate and hateful tone says, "I am NOT telling you my name."
Have you ever heard the phrase "Blood Rage"? I don't know if it is usually used to describe what I was experiencing... but I know of no other way to communicate the hatred and wrath that welled up in my heart.
I got right in the old man's face and said....
"You sorry old mother fucker... my son just addressed you with respect and you will speak to him with respect or I'll snatch you out of this truck and beat you till you never walk again."
"Well I don't have to listen to this..."
"No... You're damned right you don't have to... all you have to do is step on that accelerator and get your sorry old ass on down the road. Well... go on. Git! Git the hell outta here ya crotchety old bastard before I decide to find out exactly how deep this little pond is."
With that it occurred to me that my kids were probably listening...
"Jeb... Eli... come on boys... this worthless old son-of-a-bitch is complaining to much for us to get any decent fishing done here... let's head over to the state park and fish there."
With that... we gathered our stuff and walked back up to the house. On way back... Jeb asked why that man told us we couldn't fish there...
I told him...
I told him that some folks are just like snakes. Ya know a snake will bite you just cause its got nothing better to do. Like a wasp... they hurt ya just for sheer meanness. I told him that old man was just like a wasp. I told him that old man could've gone to McDonalds... he could've gone fishing himself... there were all kinds of things he could've been doing... but instead of doing them.. he chose to come be mean to us. I explained that we usually refer to those kind of people as yankees... or liberals. I pointed out that the old man refused to get out of his truck. I explained that the man was a coward. He was brave when he was safe in his truck... he'd talk big. But he wouldn't come out of his truck.. because he knew he was doing wrong and he was afraid I'd make him suffer the consequences.
Looking back... I know I was in the right... simply because the old prick wouldn't tell me who he was. Think about it. If he had any kind of right.... or any kind of authority.. he would've asserted it. He wouldn't have repeatedly appealed to the authority of a damned sign.
Later... my dad called me and explained who the man was. Turns out... he's a disabled World War II vet. How's that for the Greatest Generation? Yeah... So great that a World War II vet served as an excellent example of cowardice for my two boys. No doubt they'll remember exactly what a coward is now... and they'll recognize cowardly bravado instantly.
Oh... yeah... he's disabled. Well remember that threat about beating him till he couldn't walk?
Turns out he's got no legs... well... he's got legs... wooden ones... so if I really had decided to see how deep that pond was... at least his legs would've floated to the top.
Anyway... Its not every day that you catch your first fish... and its not every day you cuss a disabled world war II vet and threaten his life and wooden limbs.
I dunno how much I'll be around tomorrow... I have to take the boys fishing.