Mariaville, Fall, 1975. Full duck hunting regalia including chest high waders.
We ran the checklist: hunting license, duck stamp, 12-gauge shotguns, 50 rounds of #4 Remington magnums, thermos, lunch, cigarettes, flashlight, insulated socks, long underwear, Elmer Fudd hat and duck call.
After pulling up swampside, we slid open the side door of Glenn's Volkswagon van and, in the dark, made our way to the swamp. We positioned ourselves perfectly for the morning flight. We waited...and waited...and waited for the morning flight.
Sunrise never came. Befuddled, we made our way back to the van, flicked on the radio only to hear, "don't forget to turn your clocks back one hour."
So, here we were, each taking a seat in back of the van with an hour and a half to kill. To not get overheated, we removed our waiters and some insulated clothing. We killed time telling jokes and resorting, once again, to our infantile fart fighting. Once again, it was a tie!
It wasn't long before we saw the sun rise, albeit through a mist of flatulance. Groggily making our way back to the swamp, we repositioned ourselves. Shortly after first light, we spotted ducks in the distance and Nick began to call them in. One came in range and flew directly in the direction of Nick's call, and was quickly disposed of with one shot. In excitement, Nick handed his Browning Automatic to Glenn and proceeded to wade into the water to retrive the fallen prey which was just beyond his reach.
When the water reached his family jewels, he turned to Glenn and screamed, "I forgot to put on my waders!" We laughed from the time of retrival until we arrived home. Our wives laughed as hard as we did, but not as hard as you will after this next story.
It seems as though one of our hunting friends wanted a new shotgun, which was given to him as a Christmas present from his wife. He immediately called us and we made plans to hunt that Sunday morning.
Upon arriving at his home, we rang the bell and out he came, obviously not prepared to hunt. George rolled down the drivers side window to hear what John had to say. He informed us he was not ALLOWED to hunt that day. As if we were a highly trained chorus, in unison, we replied, ALLOWED!!!???
He told us there was a disagreement over last night's dinner. We busted his chops until he broke down and confessed, " I didn't finish my peas and she won't let me go."
We stared at each other for several seconds, then broke out into spontaneous laughter. Not believing him, we requested he summon his wife, and the fool did just that.
Out she came, IRATE! Spit flying from her mouth, she informed us, in no uncertain terms.....George sat at the opened window facing her; Nick was rolled up in a ball trying not to laugh and Glenn was clutching his stomach making dolphinesque clicking sounds.
She continued on, "This is my house and he and I had an agreement that he did not live up to. I clearly told him, no peas, no hunting."
It was at this point that the three of us lost total self-control. Glenn was alternately laughing and fighting for air, and Nick was laughing, kicking his feet and slapping his legs, while George howled with laughter, pumping his arms like a long distance runner.
She turned on her heels and returned to the house. John stood there watching us laugh, until his wife stuck her head out the door and made him return to the house. We remained in the driveway until George was well enough to drive. The entire time, she watched us through the picture window.
It took us a long time to get ourselves under control. It was all good until Nick ordered eggs over easy, home fries and peas...for breakfast.
We never had the pleasure of John's company for another hunt.