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Stickman Readers' Submissions April 12th, 2004

Gone Fishing (In Isaan) Part 12

Now I've never really done much fish netting. Yeah, I've netted minnows/shiners for bait before, and netted an already hooked Bass or Pickerel or Pike. Mostly for insurance reasons, in case the hook came out once I got the fish near the boat. Netting isn't really my forte. I've seen it done though, and have enough remaining brain cells left to recall the different basic procedures of how to go about it. So.

He Clinic Bangkok

I quietly approached the edge of the pond. Sis sat far enough away to escape injury from her insane brother-in-law, me, who was now wielding a four or five foot long potential weapon. Smart lass she is.

I watched the surface of the waters with the intensity of a grizzly bear waiting to grab a nice tasty salmon. I tip-toed around the edge of the pond until I found a spot close to where the little fishy fuckers were close enough to the bank to be within my nets range of capture. First I tried the silent but deadly netting approach. This is where you very quietly and slowly lay the net in the water on its edge and let it rest there for a minute or so, so as not to frighten the scaly prey. This works best when quietly muttering under your breath things like "C'mere little fishies. Don't be afraid. It's just me. A friendly little tree branch. Nothing to be afraid of. This other net looking stuff? Why, it's just some water grasses! Nothing to fear here. C'mon. Just swim right in there." or sometimes the old reliable "Here fishy fishy fishy." works. If these don't help I usually would fall back on a bit of intimidation. Maybe "C'mere you little cocksuckers! I swear if some of you don't let me catch some of you I'll drain this whole motherfucking pond with a bucket, if I had one, and kill every last one of you little bastards! Mothers and children fishes included!"

I very gently and slowly twisted the net opening and raised it toward the surface of the water, my back feeling a bit stiff from the extended time spent bending over the water holding the net in such an awkward position. Nothin'. Shit. I tried it this way a few more times. Nothin' but a few weeds and a sore back. Hmmmm. Okay, let's try netting technique number two, the lunge-ing thrust and swift scoop. Standing on the pond's edge like Captain Ahab hunting Moby Dick, my net my harpoon in hand, I stabbed, slashed, and fairly mutilated any waters within my reach. In a frenzy of testoserone and frustration I attacked the pond like the fiercest of enemies. I injured the waters. I hacked and slaughtered the H2O within which lived these aquatic Houdinis. I was primal, neolithic, hunter supreme, aborigine incarnate, the last of the true missing links. I was fucking tired is what I was.

"FUUUUUUUUUUCCCCCCCKKKKKK!! You little motherfucking, cocksucking, worm eating, cunty, sonsabitchin', goddamned little fishy bastards!!!!" I ranted. I raved. I think I may have even foamed at the mouth. I was losing it. Sis sat there, a look of utter horror on her puss. She looked as though she was seriously considering walking over to the truck and using her mobile phone to call the guys in the little white coats with their own nets to come and take my ass to a hospital with padded rooms for patients who may harm themselves, or others. A sickly grin was plastered on her face, and her eyes had the look of an animal that knows it is in grave danger, yet has no escape avenue handy at the moment. Hers eyes darting about looking for escape. Doom was impending, and she knew it. Brother-in-law was a friggin' looney.

I was huffin' and puffin' and sat down on edge of the pond in the grass. Remembering the newly learned, and painful, "Dance of Pain" I quickly jumped back up and scuttered about in circles, like a dog checking for snakes before lying down. Searching for the vicious little red ants, I did a new dance, the "Dance of Searching for Nasty Biting Isaan Ants". This seemed to amuse Sis and she mistakenly let a giggle slip from her lips. I glared at her. The smirk slipped quickly from her lips as she started looking for the easiest and likeliest path to escape this farang maniac, in case he decided to attack her, instead of crafty little pond fish. A water buffalo who had been grazing fairly close to us stopped chewing his cud, and a look of worry clouded his features as he stared intently at this possible threat. He shook his head, lowered his mighty horns, turned away, dumped a load of fresh waste on the ground, and hightailed it out of the vicinity to a place more peaceful, and less threatening.

Once I got my breath back I continued my onslaught of the pond. I tried every remaining orthodox netting technique my little brain could remember from its vault of knowledge. When these failed I resorted to more unorthodox techniques of my own devising. In one of these slash and grab attacks I came up with paydirt. HA! A fish! Yet another anemic looking little bugger. It was proudly displayed for Sis and placed in the plastic bag. I now had two rice pond fish. Which the weight of both combined would register, maybe, on a cocaine dealer's scales only. I'm talking grams here. Hardly a feast in the making.

Another idea hit me, and it hurt. I figured in my thrashing about on the edges of the pond that all the fish were eluding my valiant efforts to catch them by hiding out further toward the center of the pond. All I needed to do was get a bit more reach out toward the middle of the pnd and I'd scoop up a net full of the elusive buggers. I stopped choking up on the handle, and used the very end of it for grasping and leaned out as far as I could reach and tried to catch some more fish.

Now, netting is a dirty messy business. Due to all the water stirred up and deposited along the banks by the dripping net and handle the edges of the pond I'd been working from had become a mite muddy. So, the inevitable came to pass. Falang went swimming. Yeah, I slipped on the mud and grasses as I stretched to my furthest reach toward the center of the pond.

I took a header, right into the pond. Remembering my earlier thoughts of the roiling waters and the Piranha eating the water buffalo, and not knowing what the hell else might be residing in this Isaan pond, my fight or flight responses kicked in pretty damned quickly, and a fairly agile middle aged falang slipped and slided his arse right up the nearly vertical slippery pond embankment in what would have been measured by an atomic clock in nanoseconds most likely. Pretty quick for an older bastard actually. I was soaked, though for some reason I had the presence of mind to have still held my death's grip on the new 200 baht net, and hadn't lost it to the depths of the rice pond. There was no sloping edge into this pond. It was a sheer drop of a depth that was surprisingly……deep.

Sis could no longer contain her mirth. She roared in delight at my predicament. There would be a fine tale to tell over dinner this evening! Her infectious laughter soon caught ahold of my own funny bone, and I joined her in her merriment and gales of laughter. I was a sight to behold.

We laughed and laughed. But in the deeper recesses of my stubborn brain, the reptilian parts first formed during gestation, I was still planning on completing my ancient impulses to fulfill my fish flesh needs. There was enough time left to get in one more place of fishing before dark.

Yes, laugh woman. It is all so amusing. But defeat is not in my vocabulary. We falang didn't get to the moon by giving up so easily.

(to be continued)

Stickman says:

More Magic From Cent.