Swedish version

How Do I Spell Relief
By Gideon McCain

It’s been a while since I last wrote about my fly fishing exploits, and I must say my technique has improved dramatically. At least that’s my opinion, along the same lines as "the more I drink, the better looking I get". If you can’t trust your own opinion, who’s can you trust? Well…enough of that, I have to tell you the story of my first fish caught with a fly!

It was a dreary overcast morning the fog was as thick as the smoke at a Grateful Dead concert. I stepped out of my truck adorned from head to toe in fly-fishing regalia, ready to battle one of the most feared fish in the Rogue River. So feared it has been given the ominous moniker of STEELHEAD, sounds more like a James Bond villain than a fish, nevertheless I am here to capture one of these monsters of the Rogue.

I stroll to the waters edge with my soulmate Taylor by my side, she’s always leery of any adventure that puts me in harms way. The melodic sound of the raging river as it smoothes the rocks trapped in its belly, calls to my soul like the song of Parthenope to Ulysses. I wade out waist deep into the river; its swift current embraces me like a warm hug from a long lost friend. I stand silent for a moment, eyes closed, enjoying my fate in life. When something comes to me, an epiphany of sorts; and I realize that not only does the sound of the river call to my soul, but to my bladder as well. My remarkably full bladder. Which now possess a sense of urgency that is often related to that of a racehorse. I scramble up the rocks to the parking lot; I spot a Porta-Potty on the far side of the lot. I make a mad dash towards what has now become my temporary Nirvana. I twitch, twist and walk knock-kneed, like some three-year-old boy waiting for a shopping mall Santa after drinking a Big Gulp. Half way across the lot I realize, I have on three…no, make that four layers of clothing (including my underwear). All of which possess an intricate system on buttons, snaps, buckles, zippers, toggles, levers and so on! In an attempt to save time I begin my striptease about twenty yards before reaching my quest for enlightenment. I shed my clothing faster than a newlywed couple on their honeymoon.

The trail of debris that follows me looks as though a sporting goods store has exploded behind me. I burst into, what I now laughingly refer to as Satan’s fiberglass Sarcophagus, the stench of a thousand tortured, decaying souls slaps me hard across the face like a woman scorned. I poke my head out into the fresh air and inhale as deeply as I can and hold it. I step inside as the door closes behind me with a loud "BANG". I am now sealed like an unwilling servant in King Tut’s Tomb. The pressure of my overfilled bladder coupled with the diaphragmatic down force from holding my breath, allows me to empty myself faster than a keg at a "Delta House" frat party. Finally, I am finished, and just in time too, as I can no longer hold my breath. I burst out into the sunlight and fresh air, as my eyes, burning from the caustic gases, attempt to adjust to the light, I realize that my burlesque boogie across the parking lot has drawn a small crowd, which to my embarrassment, begins to clap.

So, there I stand with my waders around my ankles with nothing on but my Fruit of the Loom briefs and a smile. After 44 years of life, I have learned that the instances when people actually clap for you are far and few between, so I did what comes natural. I gave my best Broadway stage bow and curtsey, pulled up my waders and waved to the crowd as I picked up the rest of my clothing. I then dressed and proceeded to fish as if nothing had happened. Taylor refused to come out of the bushes until everyone had left! As for the fish story, perhaps another time.

Gideon McCain 2004 ©




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© Mats Sjöstrand 2004

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