We spend our summer at our lake place in the upper Midwest. We own a mobile home and lease a lot at the Adventure North Resort. Years ago I met this Norwegian bachelor farmer named Carlin. If you’ve ever listen to the Minnesota Public Radio Program, A Prairie Home Companion then you’ll understand Norwegian Bachelor Farmers.
Carlin didn’t do any farming when I met him. I don’t know what he did, other than be retired from the actual farm work. He cash rented the family farm. I don’t know how old Carlin was, but living in the family farm house, he still lived with and cared for his father, Elmer. Both Carlin and Elmer were avid Minnesota Muskie fishermen. Elmer would sit in the back of the boat and hold a pole while Carlin drove and fished. (Elmer fished like until his death at age 99) They would leave the at 6:30 every morning and troll for hours. Carlin had this habit of getting extremely excited whenever he caught a muskie. He’d would talk fast, shake all over and bounce around on one foot then another.
I watched how he and other muskie fishermen acted. I thought it was ridiculous. These muskie fishermen would get all glassy-eyed, excited and talk about the fish they almost caught.
I put the breaks on. I refused to go muskie fishing. I was NOT about to turn into one of those kinds of people.
I caught a muskie the other day. It wasn’t a big fish as Minnesota standards go, it was only 40 inches, 14 inches short of the state “keeper” limit. But I thought of Carlin. As I was taking the hooks out, I notice I was shaking all over. I had difficulty removing the hook because of my trembling hands! I was sort of bouncing from one foot to the other. I was talking fast, even though I was the alone in the boat!! Somewhere in my timeline I had slid into the avid muskie fanatic!
Oh, whoa is me, I’ve caught the Carlin disease!