Monday, July 20, 2009

Crustacean Idol?

*From my '06 fishing archives, and one I prolly shoulda left there...*

Personally, I don't see a resemblance to Simon Cowell here, do you? Not that I know if this specimen is a he or a she, but I digress.

Irony comes in many forms; sometimes, one has to look hard in life to note it. Other's obvious one looked a little harder than was warranted.

I recently took my Ma fishing at a place called Flatiron Lake, W/SW of Loveland, CO. Small acreage reservoir, between two larger fishing lakes in the area. This one -- according to the CDW officer who stopped by and did that inevitable fishing license check -- stocked rainbow and cutbow trout, as well as suckers.

Not all of which were living in the water; at least one was assumed to be at the waters' edge.

I hadn't been fishing in a spell, but as we set up along a sparsely-populated shoreline, I had cause to feel confident: two fishermen were leaving with a stringer of decent sized trout (14-16"), and folks in the other direction were just landing a specimen.

"This will work", thunk me.

In life, sometimes a reputation follows one in whatever they do, and wherever they go. This is generally true of celebrities, but occasionally touches those of (much) lesser stature. Particularly in a cyber-connected world, as would shortly -- and unexpectedly -- be demonstrated.

While Ma caught two trout in relatively short order (one a 13" keeper, the other a 10" wannabe that was sent back to find a larger colleague), I sat there doing little more than drowning worms. A couple of insignificant nibbles, and little else.

Finally, though, I felt that had-to-be inevitable 'tug' on my line. Or at least I thought I did. Then again. And again. Not really like a fish toying with the bait before running with it; but enough to let me know that I had something doing out there.

So I patiently awaited one more, "got 'em" tug, and set the hook. And missed.

I thought.

As I reeled in to check the bait, I noted that there was more resistance than there should be; perhaps I'd hooked the younger sibling of Ma's caught and released trout. Or some kind of bottom snag that I'd pulled free. Perhaps even a land shark, playing docile and attempting to pull a "candygram" on me.

When my hook cleared the water, I found it was none of the above. I had a hitchhiker; one clinging doggedly to what was left of my bait, with a "mine mine mine, it's MINE!" look on it's crustacean mug.

A 4" long crawdad.

Hefting it above the surface of the lake, I quickly noted that I didn't have the hitchhiker hooked: but for one claw, determinedly clinging to the worm remnants, this freshwater minature lobster was free to go, and was making no effort to. The dogged spirit demonstrated by the 'dad suggested it had something of a legal bent to its education (possession is nine-tenths of the law), if not a more practical grasp of the situation (a few ounces and two claws vs 6'2" and 235 lbs = to the victor goes the spoils).

When I reached and grabbed it from behind, it immediately assumed the pose depicted above. A natural defensive pose, I thought.


As I looked it over, while Ma resisted pointing and laughing at me -- barely -- the 'dad slowly lower its claws to a more passive pose. Then it suddenly raised them again. And lowered them again.


It was auditioning.

Somehow -- or so I surmised -- this freshwater crustacean had discovered my International Crustacean Obedience Training Institute web site*, and was auditioning.

So standing there, holding a wet crustacean in front of me while Ma sat there trying to convince others she didn't know me, I put the crustacean through an audition:

Me: "Stick 'em up!"
It: *raised it's claws like it was being held up*
Me: "At ease!"
It: *lowered it's claws*
Me: "Touchdown!"
It: *raised it's claws to signify same*
Me: "Penalty flag!"
It: *lowered it's claws to what passes for it's hips, and glared at me*
Me: "After review, the call on the field stands!"
It: *raises it's claws in jubilation*
Me: "Your fly is open!"
It: *lowered it's claws, looked down, and then gave me a " funny" look*
Me: "Weight of the world on your shoulders!"
It: *raised it's claws like Atlas holding up the world*
Me: "You've got CRAB LEGS..."
It: *lowered one claw, then extended the other and shook it in my face*
Me: "Asking to become bait for a tiger muskie in the next lake down the road here!"
It: *shrugged with a "just kidding" look*

Convinced I was dealing with a beyond-ordinary crustacean, I decided that this one had earned the right to live to see another audition, as well as a reference letter recommendation if it ever contacted the web site for a job. After all, Budweiser should be working on their Superbowl ads by now.

So I released my one and only catch of the day. Along with my website address for follow-up.

As it gratefully or grudgingly wandered back into the depths -- crawdads are generally pretty inscrutable -- it turned back toward me one last time, and gave me that one claw *act of defiance* gesture in parting.

Much as I wanted to respond in kind, I desisted. Besides, the folks on both sides of us had already begun to move further away.

I didn't want to incite a stampede.

* web site was disabled in '07, to the satisfaction of the Vaduz, Liechtenstein CoC...


Blogger Miss Cellania said...

Ah, if you took him under your wing for the sake of his career, you'd just have to feed him, stroke his ego, and make sure he has his exercise.

09 October, 2006 07:42  
Blogger Herb said...

Well, sounds like yer about as good a fisherman as me. Oh wait. I never caught a crawdad.

10 October, 2006 05:21  
Blogger Monica said...

How cool. I think he was just having fun with you because he felt safe since you weren't in Louisiana where you can't go in a bar without an appetizer plateful of crawdads.

"Ma" sounds like she's had enough experience with you over the years to know how to play off that "I don't know him" scene. She sounds pretty cool, herself.

10 October, 2006 06:27  
Blogger header5 said...

I think you could have made a life-long friend, but missed your chance.

10 October, 2006 13:28  
Anonymous Cyndy said...

Many the time I've snagged one of those little darlings...
more fun to be had for you...
go fishing in the gulf of mexico and pull out a blue crab. HAAAAA

11 October, 2006 08:02  
Blogger phoenix said...

OMG Skunk! I loved this post! Thank you!!

16 October, 2006 11:03  
Blogger Cheffie-Mom said...

It's all about second chances, right? Great post! Thank you for the kind comment on my recent post.

20 July, 2009 08:35  
Blogger Sandee said...

As I was reading this I was wondering what cold adult beverage you were consuming. It appears maybe you had one too many. Bwhahahahahaha.

Have a terrific day. :)

20 July, 2009 09:41  
Blogger Little Lamb said...

Are they good to eat?

20 July, 2009 09:55  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

Cheffie Mom: you're welcome ;)
Sandee: sadly no beverage; but with three concussions, I don't think I need any LOL
LL: dunno...think economy lobster, and maybe... ;)

20 July, 2009 19:26  
Blogger A Lawyer Mom's Musings said...

Send one of those crustaceans in an envelope to one of those "penpals" you've got. It will probably unlock the safe to millions.

By the way, your mom sounds like on helluva' fisherwoman! I mean, fisherperson.

20 July, 2009 21:15  
Blogger Skunkfeathers said...

LMM: Ma ain't PC; fisherwoman's fine wid her ;)

21 July, 2009 04:48  
Blogger Debbie said...

Training School? Don't let PETA hear about this, they will picket wearing weird clothing, or maybe show up naked with green body paint on them.... On second thought, you might like this idea, ha.

(p.s. Just heard the weather report, tornadoes in Colorado....)

Deborah F. Hamilton
Right Truth

21 July, 2009 10:40  
Blogger Serena said...

Oh, those zany crustaceans.:)

21 July, 2009 20:04  
Blogger Frank Baron said...

Nicely told tale. :)

I've caught a few crayfish over the years, some on purpose, some not. They're ornery critters normally, so your success at taming one is admirable. ;)

23 July, 2009 23:30  
Anonymous Leeuna said...

Yeah, I can see the "cowell" resemblance...a little...maybe around the eyes.

I think crawdaddies are good to eat. That's what they make jambalaya out of...I think? (whoever THEY are.)

24 July, 2009 13:23  

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