By Some Guy:
One day my good friend Bubba Greasly came over to the house to show me his “new” boat. I went out to the driveway half expecting to see a brand new Lund or something. In the driveway I asked Bubba, “O.K., where’s the boat?” I didn’t see one! He said, “Open your eyes!” “It’s right there in the back of the truck.” I still saw no boat. All I saw was a small pile of moldy wood. “That’s it?” “That’s your boat Bubba?” As it turns out this “boat” was actually an old wooden thing some guy made himself. It really looked home made too! I asked, “Umm, it looks like something you dug out of the grove.” “Umm, is that thing sea worthy?” “Yeah, of course it is.” Bubba replied. “The old guy I got it from said he used it just the other day.” “He just kept it stored in the grove.” “I got a great deal!”
Well Bubba convinced me to go with him to try out his new boat. This is the type of situation where hindsight is 20/20. I should have mowed the lawn! We decided to go do some catfishing on a local farm pond. As I was gathering my rods and tackle box I was thinking about this boat. “Hmm, if this guy used it the other day, wouldn’t the water have washed off some of the caked on dirt?” I returned to the truck to put in my gear and Bubba was scraping some of the mold off of the back of the boat. “Don’t scrape to hard Bubba, you’ll rub clear through.” “Yeah, real funny!” “Hey look, there’s a name painted on it!” The name wasn’t real clear. Bubba said, “Hey it says Lucky Titan.” “No, it looks like Little Titanic to me.” This should have been my first clue to this boats sea worthiness. This is if you overlooked all the mold and old rags jammed into various places.
At the pond we took the boat out and lowered it into the water. I said, “Wow!” “It floats!” Bubba said, “Of course it floats, why would I buy a boat that don’t float?” “Gee, there isn’t much room in that thing.” I said. Bubba said, “Ah there’s plenty of room.” “Just pull those mouse nests out from under that seat and put my tackle box there.” “Just leave yours in the truck.” “I have everything we’ll need in mine.”
I started to notice some water starting to seep into the boat. “Um, Bubba, this thing is leaking.” After a quick assessment of the situation Bubba decided that one of the corn cobs stuck in one of the holes in the hull had just dried out and needed replaced. Bubba said, “I can just get some out of that field there.” As Bubba walked over to the corn field to procure some “boat repair” supplies I continued working on removing the mouse nest and loading our gear. By now I was really beginning to question this crafts sea worthiness. But it did seem to be floating O.K., other than the small leaks. Besides, this pond is quite shallow. If the thing sinks I can just wade back to shore. I noticed another spot where water was coming in. I yelled, “Grab a couple Bubba!” “Maybe an armful!”
With a couple new corn cobs in place, out we went. I said, “Wow, this boat works pretty good.” “Kind of handy for these small ponds.” We fished for awhile before I landed a nice sized catfish. There really wasn’t much room in the bottom of the boat for the fish. No problem, I’ll just put him on a stringer and hang him over the side. “You got a stringer Bubba?” “Yep.” “In my tackle box.” I went to grab the tackle box from under the seat, but somehow the seat had “settled” a bit. I finally got the box loose, but in doing so some of the corn cobs starting leaking again. Bubba just stomped them with his boot to “tighten” them up a bit. When he did this the boat started to leak in several other spots. Bubba said, “Don’t worry, I have more cobs.” He then “skillfully” placed a few more corn cobs about the boat. A little bailing and we were back in business.
I put the catfish on the stringer but couldn’t find any place to tie it off. Bubba poked around the rail of the boat and discovered a hole that was packed full of dirt. He said, “I’ll bet that is why this hole is here.” We looped the stringer through the hole and dropped the fish over the side. We caught three more fish before the corn cobs started leaking again. Bubba said, “Boy you really need to jam those things in tight!” This is when Bubba pulled up the anchor and proceeded to use it as a hammer. “There, that’s got it!” he said. I was amazed at how well an old disk blade worked as a hammer when driving corn cobs into the hull of a boat!
Well I caught one more catfish. As it turns out this was our last! I put this one on the stringer with the other four. All went well until I dropped the stringer over the side. It kept going along with the top board of the boat! Bubba yelled, “What the hell did you do that for?” “You broke my brand new boat!” I replied, “I didn’t do anything!” “I can’t help it if your piece of crap boat can’t support the weight of stringer of catfish!” The argument and blame game between Bubba and I continued for quite awhile.
The conversation was interrupted by the water coming in around the corn cobs again. Bubba immediately pulled up the anchor and started pounding on the bottom of the boat again. The more he pounded the worse it got! It would seem that the board that the stringer of catfish so skillfully removed from this boat was actually quite important to the structural integrity of the vessel. With the absence of this board the corn cobs Bubba was beating on became like a wedge in a piece of stubborn firewood, and the disk blade was the sledge. Bubba kept driving the cobs deeper, and the pressure on the hull kept growing. Just like that piece of firewood, that little boat split wide open with a large crack! The two ends of the boat separated from each other and shot off into opposite ends of the pond. We seemed to just hang there over the water, but eventually gravity won out.
It was at this time I was wishing I had paid better attention at swimming lessons when I was a kid. It was also at this time I realized that Bubba had goofed off more at swimming lessons then me. I was right about the depth, I found myself in shoulder deep water. My initial plan of just wading back to shore was going to work fine. One problem with my plan was that I had underestimated the depth on the bottom muck. I really wasn’t sinking into the muck much though. That was until Bubba tried to pile his 250 pound carcass on my head! Bubba was a very poor swimmer, he knew it, and his imagination knew it too. In his panicked state he kept pushing me deeper into the muck as he was pretending my head was a muskrat hut. By the time he had calmed down enough to realize he just needed to stand up, I was buried up over my boots in the muck.
Any duck hunter knows how bad muck suck can be. It can pull the boots right off your feet, as it did in this case. As I was making a few plunges downward to retrieve my boots I found the rods. I thought, “I’m gonna go to shore and put my boots on before I search for our gear.” “I don’t want to step on anything . . . that’s when I felt it. . . sharp!” I plunged down and grabbed Bubba’s open tackle box.
When I got to the bank Bubba said, “Hey, my tackle box!” “Looks empty though.” “Got some of your stuff right here Bubba!” as I lifted my bare foot. There has to be a special place in Hell for someone who takes crank baits catfishing! I pulled the lures out of my foot, put on my boot and went back out to find our poles. Never did find the stringer of fish.
I just sat quietly on the way home. Bubba was carrying on like he always does. “To bad we didn’t find the rest of our lures.” “I wish we could have found those fish.” You would think a stringer of fish tied to a six foot board would be easy to find. “That stringer cost me a whole 59 cents!” “I think you owe me for that, after all it was all your fault!” “Come to think of it, I think that name on that boat was Little Titanic.” “I’m gonna go see the old guy who sold it to me and get my money back.” “I think he ripped me off.” Really. . . . .