Some years ago, I and some of our employees were working for a summer in Biloxi Mississippi repairing church windows that my father had made. They had been largely destroyed by hurricane Katrina.
During our tour of duty, we stayed at a very interesting independent hotel.
The hotel was owned and run by a middle aged lady named Bridget. She had been an engineer up north who had decided to get out of the rat race. Her dream was to buy and run a hotel. So that is exactly what she did. Whenever I would see her, she would be somewhere on the property potting plants. The place was falling down but there were plentiful and beautiful potted plants all around.
There were a couple of people that she let stay at the hotel long term free of charge with the caveat that they help out. They were the nicest people and seemed to be good friends of hers, but I don’t think that I ever caught one of them actually doing any useful work. Things were all haphazard and half done, but as a customer, it was very laid back and easy.
Somehow, Bridget seemed to think that the proper way to run a hotel was to pot plants.
Just to make conversation one Saturday, I asked her where one of the “workers”, Joe was. She told me that he was fishing off the dock out back, so Buddy Pondrom and I decided to pay Joe a visit.
There he was, sitting back in a chair, completely motionless. He was always motionless. Somehow he just magically got from one place to another when I wasn’t looking. He had his bare feet up on the railing with fishing poles between his toes, one on each foot. I think that he was a good fisherman. I never was a good fisherman. If fishing had consisted of running and chasing them down, then perhaps I would have been a good fisherman. But it doesn’t, and that is why Joe is a good fisherman.
Buddy, trying to make conversation and fit in, asked “so, do you like to fish?” Joe answers, and for full effect, you must read the following quote painfully slowly. “It’s a good way to pass the time.” Just then something in a plastic five gallon bucket next to him grunts very loudly.
Now I didn’t know that fish in Mississippi grunted, but apparently they do. Buddy, trying to keep the lively conversation going asks “I wonder what it is saying?” Joe, in the same slow drawl and not showing the slightest emotion says “Probably get me the fuck out of this bucket”.
Now Buddy and I are trying to choke back the laughter while Joe keeps on looking ahead completely deadpan. I suppose that he must have been thinking “what’s wrong with these people, I only answered their question.”
I find myself growing two fishing poles between my toes these days. This change is being forced upon me. It is nice to live life day by day and not get bent out of shape about future planning, but I am finding that that does get old. Stress and excitement has it’s rewards, it depends on the day you ask me.