Fishing Fool

Time marched on. Every day Ronnie had off he was elbow deep in the motor of the Fishing Fool. It didn’t get any better and it wouldn’t restart after it was shut down and warm. Finally he’d had enough of working on it, sending it to the shop and being towed in. So it sat in the barn and gathered dust while Ronnie worked and worked overtime, and then worked some more. All the while, if we ate fish, it was from Kroger. Years later he decided he wanted another boat, found a good deal on a smaller boat, bought it, went out in it…but it just wasn’t the Fishing Fool that he’d known and loved. So he parked that one in the barn, too.

Over time, the fishing need and the fishing fool reached fusion. It was January 2010 when he finally told me he wanted another boat. This time, not just any boat…he wanted a NEW one. Just as any other respectable wife when faced with potential disaster, I ignored him. After all, I’m getting ready to retire and as soon as I get his truck paid off I will tell my employer adios.

That was my plan. When all the bills were paid off I would no longer feel guilty about retiring before Ronnie and I could leave my job of 27 years with a clear conscience. A new boat would cost mucho bucks and I’m not working long enough to pay for it, no way no how, uh uh, nope, nein, ain’t happenin’ now, later or no time in the foreseeable future. I’ve worked for 42 years and I’m tired (don’t cha hate how that happens?). Nothing except death (his, of course) could make me stay longer in my job. (Come to think of it, I have insurance on him, so I could feasibly still retire.)

So he told me again in February and I realized that this time he was totally serious. When he told me the average price range of the boat he wanted, my life, credit rating and fleeting dreams of retirement flashed before my eyes. Cold, hard panic hit me! What could I do? What do you do when you’re 58 years old, in a panic and no one’s around to pull your flabby butt out of the fire? Sobbing didn’t work even though it had worked in the past. I was beginning to wonder if he could see me at all through the stars in his eyes. Once the tears abated and I put some figures on paper I decided he wasn’t as nuts as I thought he was, especially since he said he would pay for it, that I could go ahead and retire whenever I wanted to. What a sweet deal!

I thought back about all the things I’d spent money on since we’d been married (computers, cell phones, a few elective surgeries) and realized that if I added it all up it still didn’t equal the price of his new boat. And he would have three boats! Why would any sane person need three damn boats? I didn’t know anyone who had more than 2 boats and maybe 5 or 10 guns. This is Texas and everybody in Texas has more than one gun. But polygamous boating? And with my money? (Well, Community Property made half of it mine!) OMG! This man was going to kill me yet! However, I agreed as long as it debited out of his check so I’d know he was indeed paying for it.

Once he saw me smile he knew: my money and my fishing fool were going boat shopping.

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