This picture is of our middle and youngest sons. Looks like a peaceful boat ride, right?! Wrong. Or at least it didn’t end up that way. My husband and his best friend frequently go jug fishing in the summertime. For those of you who have no idea what this is (like me, until recently), you tie fishing line to a chunk of styrofoam and then you put a live bluegill (one big enough to eat) on a huge hook tied to the other end of the string and you throw it out in a lake or a river and wait for catfish to eat the bluegill. You sit in the boat and wait for this to happen, then you go to the styrofoam chunk and scoop up the catfish with a dip net. (Wow….in writing that, it sounds like a total redneck thing to do, and it probably is) We are talking catfish that are at least 30 pounds and the biggest one they ever caught was nearly 100 pounds.
Ok….so fast forward to the night this picture was taken. My husband and his friend thought it would be fun for all of us to go, kids obviously included. It was a nice night so I figured what the heck. We left home around 7pm and got to the lake by means of a remote, uninhabited road, got the boats in the water, head out to the spot where they want to throw the jugs out and all is well at this point. Soon it gets dark and the kids are loving this. The guys are cooking hot dogs on the grill in the boat, the kids are drinking soda (usually a big no-no in our house) and everyone is having a great time. There are a few catfish on the jugs so we go to them and as I’m scooping up the fish, the dang thing breaks the 100 lb. test line and is gone. I am so disappointed. We get another one, which weighed in around 30 pounds. We quickly catch at least a dozen catfish like this one.
We are sitting and waiting for more fish to bite and in the distance I see lightning. A storm quickly blows in and now it is raining and waves bigger than I like were beating the boats around. I insist that the guys take the kids and I back to the truck while they collect all the jugs. They take us back to this remote little spot where the trucks and boat trailers are and the kids and I get in and get warm. I specifically ask my husband what do I do if someone comes down here while we are waiting. His response is simply “No one will come down here, but call my cell if you need something”. Ok…simple enough. They tie off my hubby’s boat and go back to gather the jugs in our friend’s boat. The kids are instantly asleep (it’s around 11:30pm at this point). I’m dozing off and on, anxiously waiting for the menfolk to get back in a hurry. When they’ve been out on the lake for another 45 minutes, I’m getting more and more nervous. Suddenly, down the path that got us to this place, I see headlights. (Insert horror movie music here) My heart starts pounding, I’m sweating and I instantly start freaking out. Our daughter wakes up at this moment and joins me in my panic. I’m trying to rationalize that this could be a game warden, which I would welcome seeing right now. NO. It’s a big, old, junky white van (yes, a scary van!!! You know the kind I’m talking about) slowly coming toward us. The driver slowly drives in front of us and then pulls around behind us and parks the creepy van. All I can think of is “we are all about to die”!! I mean we are in the middle of freaking no-where, all alone, with a creepy guy in a child-killer kind of van behind us. I’m frantically calling my husband and of course, this is one of the times he does not answer his phone. I decide to pull the truck and trailer around and at least wedge myself between where my husband’s boat is tied off in the trees and the scary van.
My husband FINALLY answered his phone and says they are heading our way, which would take about 10 minutes or so. I can see the driver of the van, a middle-aged man, go to the back of the van, turn on the interior lights and can’t see exactly what he is doing. All I can imagine is him plotting how he is going to kill my family before my husband gets here! I ask my husband what I should do and his response is “just sit there and wait for us. Whatever you do, don’t leave my boat!”. What the heck?!!! We’re being stalked by some crazy (probably) serial killer and he wants me to stay with the boat?! If I had known where in the heck we were or how we got there, I would’ve driven away, but the area we were in was so remote that I didn’t know how to get out of it. In what seemed like a lifetime, the guys finally got there and got everything loaded up. You know how guys are, not worried at all about the freaky van man. They take their time and after an hour or so, we are on our way home.
On the way home, our friend got pulled over by the game warden (where was he when I needed him?!). My husband knew one of the tail lights on his boat trailer was out so we continued about a half mile up the road and pulled over to wait on our friend and to avoid getting a ticket from Mr. Game Warden. Of course, our dear friend decided to go a different way home and we had no idea. This particular friend, at the time, refused to be like the rest of America and own a cell phone. We wait for over an hour, thinking that this game warden is reading our friend the riot act. Finally we get a phone call from our friend….from his HOME phone number. He tells us that the game warden simply wanted to know how the fishing was that night. A friendly chit-chat if you will. I want to scream at this point.
We head on home, which was still about 45 minutes away. As we are coming down the main street toward our house, two cats are fighting on the side of the road. Yep…you guessed it. The cats split and go their seperate ways, and we run over the big puffy Siamese-looking one, not with one set of tires, but ALL the tires, boat trailer included.
This was like the night from hell. From the creepy serial killer in the van to killing the fluffy cat. Honestly, at this point, I’ve never been so glad to be home and I think I’ll leave jug fishing up to the guys from now on.