As my incredibly handsome identical third cousin Arthur ‘Don’t call me Art’ Dekko’s latest surgical wounds ameliorate, he and I have been talking about the important stuff. Neither of us being qualified to speak of pork belly futures or why a cup of gasoline costs so dearly, we talk about which is the best all around, all season, “git out there and git-em” fishing bug ever created. Arthur says Wooly Booger, I say rubber spider.
During one of our especially heated debates Arthur was raising his voice and waving his arms all over the place like he was experiencing a particular version of some disorder when Princess Penny came into the game room, made her little left hand into a ball and smacked Arthur unethically just below and in back of his cranium bone…or as she calls it “His alleged brain case.”
I will give her credit for not making even a peep as she stared Arthur down, arms akimbo. That being done I decided for the sake of poor old Arthur’s continuing physical improvement we might seek some untainted air, down the road, far and safe from violent wrath and those who mete it out at will. We hopped in the ranch truck, spun the tires that are about as bald as ‘you know who’s scalp with a big red mark on the back of it’, and headed off directionless.
We stopped at Pay and Leave, the new convenience store on New Monia Loop East to get some refreshments and smell the newness of it all. Their beer was a little disappointing. It tasted much like the stuff they sell over at the ‘Big and Tiny,’ New Monia’s original 7-11. Arthur said the Half & Half was cold and hit the spot. Arthur went on about how in his life he had caught so many fish on Wooly Boogers there were times he could have provided enough fish for a small caravan of the nomadic bent should they wander by at feeding time. I said you could squeeze the water out of a rubber spider and fish on the top if you had a mind to.
Once we got back on the loop we followed it on around past HeathenGate Baptist church where a couple of deacons were mowing. Arthur mentioned how nice it was to watch good, hard-working people while motoring along at a nice clip in an air conditioned pickup truck. I was thinking the same. The church has one of those signs out front with replaceable plastic letters so there’s always something inspiring to read whenever you end up going that way on the loop. Sometimes I intentionally go that way just to get inspired. This particular day someone had rearranged the letters from last weeks message to read “God is waiting on you.” Arthur wondered aloud if that were true , what kind of tip would a person feel good about leaving.
On past Our Lady of the Virgin Pines we got off the loop on the dirt road that in dry weather takes you close to El Caballo Bayou and B.J.’s House of Ice #1. Dominos and such. It was too early for B. J. to be up so the joint was closed to the public and to us as well. We’ve been treated so nice there that we will rarely pass any establishment called B. J.’s in hopes that they are all owned by the original B. J. Arthur said you could drift a Wooly Booger in a stream that was running pretty swift but a rubber spider would look silly in a fast riffle and wouldn’t fool the foolest of fish. I said just cut off her little rubber legs and watch those genius fish try to ignore her squirming in the current.
We made it up to Slander’s Ice House and were just in time for some hot pork and beans with extra molasses dressed in aluminum foil and, straight from the crock pot, squirrel dumplings. Arthur said they hit the spot. It’s rare to have your spot hit twice in the same day. I recollect back when Arthur and I were little we’d cut through the woods, go to the back door of the ice house, and Arthur would holler up Mrs. Slander for some squirrel dumpings. I soon got him straight on the difference between dumplings and dumpings. Of course it used to be common for every little backwoods tavern to have some kind of food all the time but now days you are lucky if you can stumble up on some cold corn bread with fake butter. Arthur said he could make a Wooly Booger in two minutes if he had some grizzly hackle, a length of thread and a little mercerized cotton chennile. I said that was fine but I mail order my spiders and they are delivered to the door.
We took a short cut through Old Man Geezer’s pasture as his fence was down in a couple of places and got on over to the county road without Geezer’s bull ‘Snotwad’ catching the truck. …I need to remind myself to tell Old Man Geezer about his fence being down if I can remember. We passed Little Spittle Pond which was looking as if it wanted to dry up and relocate to a more temperate clime. Arthur said a rubber spider is not technically a bug at all. I said a Wooly Booger is nothing but yarn, tinsel and a hook.
What we did was end up on the back side of the Stonebroke Non-Profit Fireant and Rodent Ranch out of Princess Penny’s view right where Swallow Hole makes herself apparent in El Caballo Bayou. I rolled the pickup right up to the bank so Arthur wouldn’t have to walk so far then jammed on the parking brake so as not to end up with a soggy floorboard. As I was assembling my take-down #4 bug rod with matching weight forward line and an eight foot 2x tapered leader Arthur said he sure wished he’d brought some Wooly Boogers with him seeing as how the water was dimpling everywhere with a bluegill under every dimple. I said that it sure was a shame to not have a Booger when you need one then I reached into the glove compartment and pulled out my little medicine bottle that holds a dozen or so rubber spiders in various color tones. Arthur sat on the bank and watched me laugh and creel fat bluegills.
Your loving cousin,
Rev. Dr. Buck Stonebroke