Daddy Found a Butt Munch

All hail the mighty rainbow trout!

The past several posts here featured swans, chickens, lizards and tigers.  This post is an attempt to launch out of the animal world and back into the human, but let’s go out in style, shall we?

As Dave Barry used to say, I am not making this up.

After a couple of hours out of the house this weekend, I returned to the breathless excitement of my young daughter exclaiming, “Momma!  Come see!  Daddy found a butt munch.”

Ahem?  I mean, I’m sure he did.  What?

Rod and reel....where are the fish?She dragged me into the kitchen where her father rolled his eyes in mock horror.  “You’d think fishing is safe….we were just looking at fishing flies.”

My girl proudly opened the latest L.L. Bean fishing catalogue.  “See, momma, there’s the butt munch.”  And lo and behold, there it was.  The Butt Munch Beetle, to be exact.  It comes in metallic blue, metallic copper, or metallic green.  $2.25 each.

Here are some other words and phrases we acquired recently, thanks to L. L.:

  • Psycho Prince
  • Squirrel Nymph
  • Quasimodo
  • New Trick Soft Hackle
  • Mouserat
  • Hornberg
  • Surf Candy
  • Crazy Charlie
  • Rag Head Crab

And while these, my friends, hold a fair amount of barely suppressed laughter from the parents in the house, by far and away the child’s all-time favorites are……..wait for it…………

The Bean Wooly Bugger

The Egg Sucking Crystal Leech and the Hot Bead Bugger.  Wooly Bugger comes in a distant third, and let me tell you, it’s no surprise a Hot Bead Bugger will cost you a pretty penny.  It’s $2.25 where the Wooly Bugger is but $1.85.

Not particularly noted by the child, but worthy of honorable mention to those of you who appreciate such strange pockets of humor, I leave you with my nominees for underdog flies of 2011:  The Shenandoah Chugger; The Humpy; The Conehead Madonna; The Zonker; and The Mushmouth.   Sometimes truth is just funnier than anything you can imagine….and I am not making that up.

Image credits (in order of appearance): Mountain Anglers, J. Gaucher, L.L. Bean

Real Friends: Manning Up to Curve Balls, Together

A very good friend of mine from college shared with me this (edited) email that her own father recently wrote to a group of his fraternity brothers.  My hands-down favorite has to be the “we all manned up” comment at the end.  The timelessness of the friendships moved me, and got me thinking about my own feelings about old friends.

Despite our ever more technologically connected world, I generally feel more disconnected from my friends.  I love Facebook for its capacity to keep me from not losing touch all together with far-flung relationships; and yet there is the danger of buying into the dynamic that people are products.  We set up our own profiles, we decide what photos go up, what stories are shared, what image or slice of our realities we want to present.  I only know what you want me to know, and vice versa.

I miss that greater sense of entirety about my friends’ lives.  When we all were in the same physical space more often, I knew that you said that dumb thing in front of an important person.  I knew your mom was mad at you, that your dog was really sick, that you wondered why I hadn’t called.  I knew you liked peanut butter in your milkshakes and had to take a nap every day or you became an unbearable pill to be around. 

We could talk about politics and sex and religion because we weren’t afraid the other one would walk if we said the “wrong thing.”  I knew you were a cheap date, that you were not sure you liked girls “that way,” and that you cried when you woke up from a bad dream.  I knew you were under too much pressure, that you had almost cheated on your taxes but didn’t at the last-minute.  I knew you were afraid, really afraid, that you had picked the wrong career, or the wrong life partner, or the wrong dress.  I knew you were an unrepentent dork about Star Trek, and that you were not even joking when you said, “Worf’s hair looks really good like that.”

Knowing these kinds of things is what makes for real friendship, and we can only know them from time spent together.

Here’s to real friends…………

Dear brothers, I certainly enjoyed seeing all of you this past weekend.  Sarah and Tim overdid the hospitality and I know everyone appreciated their generosity and hard work as much I did.

Many thoughts hit me on the rainy ride home.  I did not take notes, but I should have because the details were as interesting as the big picture was chronological — our “here’s what happened to me” stories.  Following are my general impressions of our collective “my life so far”stories:

  • Small decisions can have big long-term implications and impact.  Many of those “small decisions” start with a whim and develop into life changes.
  • Big decisions that turned out to be questionable can in fact be course-corrected for the better.
  • We are a funny bunch.   Our collective sense of humor has only gotten better over the years and  probably has served us well in life.
  • In spite of the very different paths we each have taken over the years we are a relatively homogenous group, sharing the same values, stories and friendship.
  • Fifty three years is a long time not to see someone you like to be with.
  • We have accomplished much, yet retain modest egos.
  • We received a damn good education at our school. The Liberal Arts degree (that some of us initially did not know how to turn into jobs) gave us a wonderful foundation for a wide variety of challenges.
  • It seems like we are all happy with the way things turned out and are content. Those of us who have retired seem to enjoy being irrelevant compared with the stress of running businesses, practices and careers.   Those of us still working have figured out both what we like to do and a way to get paid to do it.
  • We have all “manned up” and dealt with the curve balls life sends us all.

Image credit: The Complete Pitcher