You Know, You Could Have Said Anything Else….But THAT!

Ernie & me, back when I thought I was smart

Last Saturday was the opening day of fishing season.

In recent years, it has become a tradition to head up north to the Templin family cabin in Norway Park, up by Lake McMurray, get up early on Saturday and join the hundreds of other drowsy fisherman trolling around the lake.

Fortunately for us, the cabin is right next door to a former Navy SEAL and his nurse-during-WWII wife, Luther and Mary Jane.  Great folks and kind enough to not only lend us his aluminum boat, but also a pickup truck to haul it down to the lake!

So, early Saturday morning, we managed to get to the truck by 6am and drove down to the happy fishing ground.  Yep, it was opening-day busy, but after dropping off the boat, I found a place to park up on a grassy area and we hit the water.

After several hours, no luck, which equals no fish.  Ernie, my father-in-law, was convinced the fishing would improve if we had the worms he had forgotten that morning at the cabin.  So, our plan was to hop in the truck, drive back, have breakfast and get back out there.  The only thing standing between us and the worms was a truck parked in wet grass–as in, give it gas and it goes nowhere.  Give it a LOT of gas, and it starts to drift into the car parked next to it.  Trying to think on my feet, I figured that if I pulled forward, I might be able to go sideways, back and forth, until I could get out of this muddy trap.  It didn’t work, I just went further down the sloped hill.

Oh, the heck with it.  We’ll deal with that problem after we get done fishing.  Ernie hiked up to the cabin, got the worms, came back and off we went.  Six trout later, we came back to deal with the stuck truck.  As Ernie and brother-in-law Kris tried to rock the truck, I gave it pumps of gas, hoping those rear wheels could catch.  They didn’t.  So, plan B was to contact the caretaker, have him bring the tractor down and….

Oh, wait!  Here come Luther and Mary Jane in their car.  They just wanted to come down to the lake and see how things were going on opening day.  I yelled out, “The truck’s stuck in the mud, so we’re going to have it towed out.”

There was a pause and then Luther yelled back something he could have avoided, if he really wanted to.  But the second those words came out of his mouth, I felt like the biggest moron in the world.  I swear, I thought I heard the fish laughing, as Luther blurted out: “Did you put it in 4-wheel drive?”

Oh.  You mean the big “4X4” painted on the side of the truck.  That button next to the steering wheel labled 4X.  Oh THAT!

No I hadn’t.  I did.  I drove out of the mud.


At least I caught a fish.

Tim Hunter

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