Oceans For Emotions: Making new friends

Elaine Wheat

"A friend loveth at all times."

- Proverbs 17:17

Right at "dark-thirty," I began fishing at the lighted corner of the dock at the Indianola Fishing Center. I had grabbed the prime location, and I occupied the very best spot to fish.

I had caught one trout and I settled in for a long night of solo fishing. I noticed a lady came up and started fishing closer and closer to me as the night wore on.

I could tell from her language that she was from a foreign land because when she spoke to her husband who was dozing in a chair, I couldn't understand anything they were saying.

When I caught another trout and left my corner to string it down the dock from where I was fishing, she just ran and grabbed my corner spot and started fishing in the same spot I was catching in.

I approached the stranger carefully but firmly said, "You are in my spot." She just as firmly said, "You left it. I took it."

So, I indoctrinated her to the rules of Texas fishing and told her that if she wanted to continue to fish in Texas, she had to follow these rules.

Wouldn't you know it, right then she caught a keeper trout and left the corner spot to put it on her stringer. I took this as a sign of Texas Independence and reclaimed my corner spot.

She came back shouting at me in "New Yorkeese" that I was breaking my own Texas rules.

I said, "I am amending that rule and saying that this Texan rules.

I could tell that this argument was going to get either bitter or better and something or someone was going to have to yield to the speaker who spoke last.

I said, "We can work something out. This Texan will fish here 15 minutes and you will yield to me. Then, you can fish the corner for 15 minutes and then, I will yield to you."

She said, "Youse guys have gotten pretty smart since you succeeded from my Union, and we can erase the old Mason-Dixon line."

With this plan, the fighting changed to friendship as we talked on into the night. I tried to get her to say New York and cork by putting "r's" where she used "w's" and she tried to tell me that you is both plural and singular and there is no such word as "y'all!"

We went on with our 15 minute circle of friendship until we were both exhausted, but we promised each other we would always remember our "foreign fishing friends."

As we drug our stringers off the deck, she gave me her card with her personal address and phone number and told me if I ever came to "New Yowk," to call her and renew our friendship on her turf.

I told her that I would probably never do that, after all I hear the mayor of New York would frown upon us friends drinking a large sugary Coke and trolling behind the ferry that takes you out to the Statue of Liberty.

Dear Lord, you know I am not a Theologian, just a fisherman, so I cannot explain the Trinitarian concept. I could just know we are friends and we will go on like this forever.