My uncles have been going on this yearly fishing trip since nearly before I was born. There's always a big turnout. This year seven of Dad's eight brothers (Spiker Mike, Bob, Mono Jack, Paul Jr., Mudboat, Joe, Tommy Joe) showed up. A good number of my cousins (T-Bird, Redman, Banger, etc.) as well. Plus a few assorted friends and brother- or father-in-laws.
Everyone asked, "How long has it been since you've been up here, Arnie?" The general consensus is that it's been about 19 years.
Besides being big (in numerous ways) my extended family is very funny. Lots of laughing. They are funny is a different way than I am, though, sort of on a different frequency. Like a game of Sheephead, I haven't had the decades of experience at the table, gaining a feel for everyone's rhythms and tells. I mostly find myself quietly enjoying their company.
Second Cousin: You're probably getting a lot of material, huh? Come up here, hang out, get enough material for a whole year.
Me: That's why it's been so long since I've been back. It takes 19 years to run out of material.
Another cousin suggested I write a screenplay about the trip. "It could be 'National Lampoon's Fishing Vacation.'" There was a lot of agreement that this was a good idea.
Tuesday, June 9, 2009