After an unproductive hour on the water, my friend’s elderly dad was becoming grumpy. He was a generally hateful man. Perhaps even miserable.
On that day, he was unhappy with me in particular. Earlier, in a fit or rage, he had changed my name to Spankie after I accidentally caught his pant leg with a circle hook. The horrid nickname stuck with me for a few years thereafter.
We fished on separate areas of the boat. I sat on the front of the boat minding my business, he on the rear of the boat, cussing under his breath. The boat started to shake.
Frantically, my friend’s dad shot up on his feet.
“I’ve got one!” he screamed.
Immediately, he was transformed from a angry old man into a champion angler. His slumped body became strong, and stable. The beautiful red drum fish jumped out of the water, flexing his coiling muscle in the daylight.
“Dinner’s on me tonight boys!” he shouted. His mood had lifted, and the clouds of his gloom had parted. Bipolar can be fun.
All of a sudden, all traces of joy left his face, his fishing pole went limp. His smile flipped into a scowl.
“I lost him,” he said, holding a hookless piece of fishing line.
“Who tied the @#$* hook on this #&*@ line?” he said, one of his eyes twitching.
I looked down. “It was me sir. Spankie.”