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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

VoHo can you hear me?

     It is official. I had a bad week followed by an even more painful and depressing week-end. And a craptacluar beginning of the week As I age I become more and more broken and the wounds do not heal with any kind of expediency. This week it is a shoulder. This happens to be my casting shoulder, which is a problem, because I love to fish, and the relaxation I get from being in a boat is a huge boost to my JADIP ideals…
     Last week it was something else. I am not looking for pity, and know I have made the bed in which I lie, I am merely setting the stage for the story I am about to relate. As my buddy George says “upright and taking nourishment.” And that is a good thing.
     This weekend started out like it was gonna be great. I picked up the BASSMONKEY and installed the new throttle actuator thingy. The TuckMonster and I got the fishing gear all together and headed out to do the shakedown cruise. With giant smiles on our faces we hit the lake. Then the weekend started to head south.
     The boat motor ran the worse that it has ran all summer. “It is still f-ed.” I exclaimed to the TuckMonster. He turned and looked at me with his big brown eyes from his ready stance on the bow, next to the trolling motor. He said nothing, because he is a dog, and lacks the ability to talk in human language, but his body language told me he was still counting on a boat ride and a fish chase.
     I did not have the heart to tell him it was not gonna happen, so I made a token effort, knowing full well that not much good could come from this ill-fated cruise. The only thing that would have made our *three-hour cruise* much worse is if the boat were christened the S.S.MINNOW.
     We puttered out a half mile or so with a howling tail wind, blowing at just a shade under 20mph with gusts topping 25mph. (white caps form at around 25nph) and threw out the anchors. They did not hold. We proceeded to continue a slow crawl dragging the anchors until we were dangerously close to the McMansion docks.
     While all this was happening, I managed to get out about 5 casts. Weak ones at that. The pain in the shoulder was not gonna allow the endorphins to flow in the thrill of a catch. It was time to fire up the engine and head in. Of course that was a daunting task in itself. The starting of the engine was difficult at best. After several failed attempts it roared to life and I went forward to pull the anchors.
     About the time I had them pulled the motor stalled out and refused to start. I *bluetonguelashed the biatch* and she finally relented coughing to life and staying running long enough to avoid an insurance claim boat collision with a docked speedboat. I have had almost as many fender-benders in my boats as in my cars. Well, not really just one little crash with the SEAMONKEY…a story for another day.
      Defeated and limping toward the dock, head into the wind, the spray hurling at us was a lunchroom full of prepubescent kids flinging spit-balls we slowly headed in. We made the dock and began the arduous task of loading the boat, complicated by the fact that the Reeds Lake launch prohibits motor loading and further complicated by the fact that the motor barely ran. Needless to say, I got a bit wet loading the boat.
      When we got home we tuned into the magicDVR’d WINGS exhibition game in which the WINGS beat the hated butthawks from Cit-town in an exhibition game. I was flying solo on the watch so the high-fiving and fist bumps were nonexistent and a good thing as the dull pain in my shoulder was wrested away by the whiskey and cokes. And a bit of advil… Jus’ Sayin’…
     I awoke on Saturday with a renewed vigor, and a chance at fishing redemption, heading out with my Bro-in-Law, Chuck. We were ready to drop the boat when I received the second text of the morning from my friend Rich. “Text me jackass.” That is kinda like the Bat-signal. As I was riffling off a return volley of text sarcasm, the phone rang. It was Rich. Uh-oh…He NEVER calls you; he just TEXTS you…When he calls it is *Bat-Signal* of the highest order.
     The guypack that I run with are all men of high character. I would fall on a grenade for any of them. I would lie or die for them. I am a fiercely loyal guy. They are as well. They are all brothers of different mothers. I know that saying is cliché, but it is true in this case. Rich, Cookie, Laramie, PornFairy, Freeman Jim, VoHo, Old Dan…These are the first generation of WInterCampers. My GuyPack…
     I am not as sure about the second generation of the GuyPack, as they still suffer form the affliction known as youth. I prolly would throw myself on a grenade for them as well, and I know my wife would want me to if it involved our son, who is a SecGener… but I digress…
     I answered the phone with the utmost trepidation. This cannot be good, I thought. My first thought was he was in jail. But that made no sense, as they take all your possessions away when they lock you up. They even take your shoelaces so you cannot make a Dixie Cup telephone. Or mebbe to keep you from hanging yourself.
     I asked what was wrong. He told me VOHO was in an accident. It was not good. It was very NOT GOOD. Rich was at the Hospital. And, no, I did not need to come down just yet. It was very probable that VoHo would not make it thru the day. But it was chaos at that point and I could do nothing to make it any better. He would let me know…
     A lot of things go thru your head when you get that call. My weekend just got worse. Big-time worse… But at least I was not in a hospital fighting for my life.
     I am a worrier and a fixer. I worry about how I am gonna fix the things I worry about. I try not to worry, but all the same I do. But this is not about me. So what if the boat is f-d…I am not laying in a hospital bed, fighting to stay alive.
     I have known VoHo for a long time. I never really call him by his given name anymore…I have hundreds of VoHo stories…
      He has about 100 (HYPERBOLE) brothers and sisters as his family like my family took in foster kids. They were much more prolific than my family. I cannot keep track of all the kids that call his mom, mom and call him brother. He is a family first guy.
     VoHo was my first business partner. We managed to put together a business that made just enough money to keep both of us working full-time at our other jobs. We managed to end the business and remain friends, although it was dicey for a few years.
     Neither of us was a sales guy, but we could both work hard. I know we both blamed each other for a time, for the failure of the business. However, we were young and with youth is a certain brand of incredulous stupidity that makes you think that you have all the answers and every plan is a million dollar idea. Putting the plan into action is easier if the partners have different strengths.
      One night early on in this endeavor after we finished up losing money for that day, we decided to smoke down in my Dodge van. We parked behind the McD’s and fired up a joint. We rolled out of the van laughing like two stoners are want to do. The smoke poured out like the scene from Fast Times at Ridgemont High. We were definitely Spicoli’d. Jus’ Sayin’…
     We stumbled into McD’s and walked up to the counter. I said in the quietest voice possible for my stoned condition, which BTW was prolly just below a shout, “We’d like to see the King.” The person and I do not remember if it was a girl or a boy, behind the counter stared blankly at us, as we howled with stoner laughter. That’s why they call it dope…
     The business was called Handy Home Care Services. No matter what we tried to find to do, we mostly washed windows. One of the many jobs we lost money on was a two-story house window job. I had VoHo do the exterior windows on the ladder, cuz I hate ladders and heights. He was out there washing the window and I saw a furry black body of what looked like a mouse. It was actually a bat. I banged the window and woke the bat, which flew off towards his head. The ensuing chain reaction startled VoHo and he nearly fell two stories to the driveway below. He didn’t fall…
     VoHo is kinda charmed like that. I would have fallen and smashed my head open, VoHo, did not. He has had many close calls…He has survived at least one (serious) motorcycle accident, a WinterCamping near suffocation, a sub-zero pass-out in his car on a ski trip, and numerous other things that would kill the common guy. No, VoHo is uncommonly charmed. He has more lives than a cat. At least we all think he does.

turns out he hit a fire truck. if not for that he would have died on the scene...only VoHo....

    VoHo and Rich started the whole WinterCamping thing something like 22 years ago…The actual first WinterCamping trip date is a debatable thing at every WinterCamp. The date for the WC is supposed to be the first weekend after the first of January. Recently it has been a point of contention and the factions of WCer’s pick sides and argue the merits of when it will be. I guess this year it will be the 28th of January. Unless VoHo has anything to say about it. I hope he does. I pray he does…
     Years ago, and I know I have mentioned the six rounds Indiana Canoe trip before I nearly came to blows with VoHo It was the first time since our HHCS days that I saw him truly pissed at me. VoHo wanted to kick my ass. I told him I did not want to fight and I loved him like a brother…for some reason that really set him off…”I hate all my brothers” he shouted.
     As we danced the GuysReadyToFight dance, we circled around grappling each others shirts. I guess VoHo took exception to Billy G and me lollygagging our way to the camp ground. I guess we had Rich and VoHo’s gear. I do not know how that happened but enough Boone’s Farm or M/D 20/20 had SOMETHING to do with it.
     When VoHo bought his house on the Muskegon River, I thought he was nuts. At the time I lived in Cedar Springs and hated the drive back to GR, so I could NOT IMAGINE the commute he would have. But the place is cool and the frontage is awesome…I never get up there enough to see him…now I wish I had gone up there many more times…
     VoHo has an annual canoe/ tubing float called Friends and Family. I blogged about the most recent one. You can check the archives if you missed it…it is worth a read…
     A couple of years back being that VoHo is a Redskins fan and I am a Lions fan we made plans to trundle up to his house for the Lions/Skin’s Sunday game. We showed up around 12:45, and knocked on the door. There was no answer. We tried the door it was unlocked. We walked in grabbed some beers and checked the freezer. There was a frozen pizza.
     We turned on the TV. A few minutes later the phone rang. We ignored it. The answering machine kicked in. It was VoHo. “I know you guys are there, my neighbor called to tell me that a bunch of guys were in my house.” We picked it up. “Where the hell are you?”
     He replied that he was in Tennessee. And that we could have some beer and there was a frozen pizza we could have as well…Way ahead of you buddy….
     He is a great friend. Well brother actually…I have prayed a lot for him lately. I have cashed in a bunch of God credits…I hope it works…
     When I walked in and saw him words cannot describe my thoughts. In some kind of crazy science-fiction rotating bed…it was bad…very bad…hella bad…even worse than I imagined. All you saw was his head. And the weird crazy science-fiction rotating bed
     I quietly told him he better get better. Out loud I said to his mom, and the rest of the well wishers that I was not gonna drag his ass back to WinterCamp. He will have to find his own way back…
     I prayed like I have not prayed in a long, long time. Funny how we need God when we have personal tragedy. He may not make it. I pray he does. The hours and days pass, and there is progress, and little victories, but still no surety. But then again there are no sure things in life.
     I may have had a bad week and a bad weekend. And a crappy day today, But at least I am upright and taking nourishment, and not fighting for my life in some science fiction bed…
     I have hundreds of VoHo stories I hope I can have hundreds more…VoHo, if you can hear me…you better pull thru this…I love you like a brother, man…

2 comments:

  1. You can't make it upJanuary 28, 2011 at 6:44 PM

    This story is going so many places from when you started telling it to me a couple hours ago I am not even seeing how all of these things could be related.

    were you trying to be nice and not freak me out about the true nature of things when starting the story. Because obviously you know I would not have even wanted to listen to one word of this nonsense if it was what I had to look forward to when first meeting your friends that you have been talking about for days now.

    That's right, the poor dog is gonna be sittin' round waiting a very long time if he is expecting anything like a good time at my place.

    You know I don't play like that. And that I keep it to a minimum as it has to do with having other animals around all the time.

    At least I know I can count on you and the guys to take care of any rabid animals that might be out of control and on the attack.

    Always nice to have the boys around when you need them. I never thought I would like having red neck friends. But they are the best friends mioney buy to wind up any loose ends and since their favorite pass time is hunting animals of any type they actually get a stiffy at the chance to practice theirn target shooting skills.

    I'll see you outside. Tell the boys to be on the lookout for any wild animals coming after me.

    I actually saw a thread where they were talking about people sexing up dogs. Now that is just foul

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was wondering when I would get to this one.
    Big hugs my friend

    ReplyDelete

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