Monday, February 02, 2009
Some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent. Several years ago I joined B on an ice fishing expedition. He had initially planned to go do some ice fishing with his Young Men and his co-leader Lee. I had no interest in a Young Men's activity, so I declined his invitation. The morning of the event, he called to say that none of the young men had shown up. He and Lee for were already all set to go and figured I'd be interested. I didn't have much else going on, so I met them at the mouth of Provo Canyon. I jumped in Lee's big ol' truck, where I was joined in the back seat by Zach. I greeted Zach and received a two-pronged response. The verbal component was something most akin to a Chewbacca groan. The ohter component was an overpowering fecal smell. Not like he'd passed gas, but more like Zach had filled his pants some time before and nobody had bothered to change him yet. I mentioned I changed the name of the innocent - Zach was not really his name, but is rather a reference to how his breath smelled 'xactly like his a*$. When we stopped in Heber to get snacks for the day, I excused myself from changing him - "Not it to change Lee's special younger brother's depends," I whispered to B. It was then that B pointed out that Zach was neither Lee's younger brother nor did he have specially needs - at least not technically. Although he did point out that he wouldn't disbelieve that Zach could have had a brown out. As we piled out of the truck at Strawberry my lungs burned as I gasped as much of the -5 degree air as possible - anything to get the stench out of my nose. I got a short reprieve as Lee took Zach on his snowmobile as we headed to the fishin' hole. Once there, Lee and B set up their ice fishing tent, complete with a heater, seats, and a fish finder while Zach and I sat on the snow mobiles. Unfortunately, I'm not Han Solo and can't understand wookie. Fortunately, like Chewie, Zach understood English. As the saying goes, revenge is a dish best served cold. Since my eyes and nose were pretty much frozen shut, I figured it'd be a good idea to get a little payback. We hadn't had so much as a nibble the entire day. I had deciphered some of the gestures and grunts as questions from Zach as to why we weren't catching any fish. I told him about the magical fish finder Lee had and how it showed how many fish were around as well as how deep they were. I also told him that I didn't really understand how it worked, but that he should definitely ask them about how it works. I also mentioned they might have snacks. And maybe something about warmth. For nearly half an hour, the comfy enclosure that was keeping my companions warm served as a steaming pouch for the aromatic goodness Zach had to offer. To get Zach's head out of the tent, Lee suggested that Zach take the snow mobile out for a spin. Zach got the feel for speed quickly. Unfortunately, his skill didn't follow. Soon after he started riding he took a huge jump and pancaked the landing. Instead of falling off, he held on to the handlebars for dear life. His death grip on the handlebars had him maxing out the gas. After digging a 50 yard trench with his legs, the snow mobile sucked him into the tread, pulling his hands from the handlebars. His plaque-caked grin belied his shreaded overalls and ice-encrusted whiskers. Apparently, he'd never had more fun. Lee and B on the other hand had already had a gut-full of ice fishing by then, so we loaded up and headed for the truck. All the excitement had stirred up Zach's odor enough to what I had thought were impossible levels. Seriously, it was overwhelming. Lee couldn't take it and cranked up the fan as high as possible. Nothing. Lee rolled the windows down, but even though it had warmed all the way up to 10 degrees, the highway speeds still made the truck a blast chiller. In desperation, Lee ripped open five or six Tree-Deodorizers and started jamming them into the vents. Lee tried in desperation to wolf down his sandwich while the trees masked the odor. He was still working on his first several bites when he started sputtering the sandwich out into the wrapper. "You've got to be kidding me!" he screamed in disgust as he threw his sandwich out the window. After a while, the smell settled in the back (with me). Lee opened a bag of chinese crackers and offered us all some. Zach was happy to get involved. Lee asked whether Zach would like more and then promptly offered him the entire bag. I was confused. Lee was starving and he was giving away a nearly full bag of tasty crackers. Sensing my confusion, Lee glanced at me in the rear view mirror and then fake licked his fingers. Apparently, Zach had been licking his fingers after each handful. Lucky for me, that wiped out any appetite I might have had. As fun as that was, I haven't been ice fishing since.