Blue Pork Chops
"Ah, yes-s-s," I said, imitating W.C. Fields. "Pork chops! that’s what water tastes like at its finest. But don't mind me, friend, I'm a mere simple man with complex tastes— yes inde-e-ed."
I winked and walked away, leaving a coworker bemused at the water cooler. He couldn't have known two months prior, my buddies and I had vacationed at a secluded Canadian lake for six days of fishing. Mid week, the wife had called my cell during our evening card game. Though well intentioned, she pestered me some about getting enough sleep, of drinking too much, and asked if I was eating right.
“Fish? Every night, fish?” she groaned. “What about breakfast? Are you at least eating a good breakfast to get your metabolism going? What’d you have this morning, leftover fish, I s'pose?”
“Pork chops,” I blurted. A lie, but it was the first thing that popped into my head as I anteed-in ‘poker chips’ while downing my tenth Labatt's Blue. “Sorry, gotta go. It’s my turn to deal. Love ya. Bye.”
Early next morning, same routine— I'd curse, grumble, and groan from bunk to boat. Half asleep and still woozy, I was content to sit back and let my fishing partner maneuver us into a lovely cove and set anchor.
“What you need is a ‘hair-o’-the-dog’ to git you goin’, boy,” he said, nodding toward the cooler at his feet.
“Nungth. Water,” I grunted, my palate still raspy from a case of cotton-mouth. Turning away, I resumed savoring the breathtaking gold and crimson hues of an encroaching dawn. The pristine stillness held me captive as vapory wisps pirouetted like tiny ballerinas over the glassy surface, dancing to a pair of loons serenading in the distance. There were no words to describe the feeling; as if I were suddenly transposed into a Degas masterpiece hanging in the Louvre; an alive but motionless character forever destined to behold the serenity of this supernal moment.
After another much deeper breath of crisp and curative air, I grinned at my boat mate. “On second thought, Hank, toss me one of them blue pork chops, will ya? I’ve heard a good breakfast gets the metabolism goin’, doncha know. That first prickly chug was wondrous. Ah-h-h,” I winked, “nothin’ like an ice-cold Blue and fishing, eh pard? I'm ready, m'man. What d’ya say we toss them pike all the Detroit twinkies they can handle? It don’t get any better than this.”