Doyle's Fish & Hicky Bar

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Saturday, February 04, 2012

Deliverance Weekend

Thursday, August 16, 2007 11:04:25 AM
saved from an email way back.....
WELL, this last weekend was weird. It ended with me and my wife with cuts and bruises and caterpillars crawling out from our hair and clothes, soaked in sweat. Sounds great huh?
This was a political trip for a hanging I built last year. My commissioner is relatively new to art, and actually new to being able to afford art, who invited us up for the weekend at his lake house. He wanted me to see the finished work hung up (which I refused to help with, Thank God!) and be introduced to his circle of friends. The carrot he dangled in front of us was lots of new potential art customers and a relaxing weekend at the lake.
We kenneled our little dog (with doggie day camp!), and drove the 3 1/2 hours to BFE. I should have known something was up when the cell phone stopped working. We arrived to see my buyer grilling chicken on an outdoor grill. After being congratulated for making the trip we sat at an outdoor table where the buyer made himself a plate and ate his lunch in front of us. Just him, with no offer to us whatsoever. It was a little uncomfortable since etiquette wasnt followed at all. This was the second hint of our fabulous weekend.
We were shown our quarters in a separate house. They were quaint with a nice view of the lake. No problem there.
My host immediately showed me the piece hanging from an A frame porch. I was struck with it and stared for some time. Its cool to like your own work because it doesnt happen every time. I did note that it was placed in kind of a shadow and that the stop-rust coating made it too dark. I sold the job based on a natural or rust condition that showed up well against a dark background. This piece virtually disappeared against the background. I didnt point it out but instead told him how great it all looked. His house is in some odd repair process so I didnt mention that either. He was replacing some old wood with new wood but only doing so in a sporadic manner here and there. I got my camera and took a bunch of photos hoping that one of the shots will be good enough for my site.
After that we all went to his boat dock to ooh and ahh over his collection. Only four in his family but they got 6 motorized boats plus a paddle boat. We climbed on his pontoon boat having already dressed in swimsuits and accompanied by loud country music from his all weather stereo began to move slowly in front of his lake home. I obliged this and took about a dozen more photos. He loved that I did that and pointed out all kinds of angles that might be better for showcasing his "compound". We finally struck out across the lake to find some friends. The temperature outside then was about 100 degrees.
Needless to say, we baked quite well and had our ears pounded by some poor hillbilly soul whose wife left him. We slowed down at a neighbors boat dock and they hopped on our pontoon. We were introduced all around as the artist and wife who built the "thing" on the porch. The conversation quickly petered out so we went back out on the lake. About half way across the bay our host yelled that it was too hot and that we should all hop in and cool off. Which we did. My wife however, hopped off and hit her hand on something sharp and sliced open her little finger. She was bleeding profusely in greenish brown lake water. I honestly didnt know what to do except get her out of the water. Surely fish poop laden water isnt good for an open wound.
She managed to climb back on board the boat with blood running down her arm and dripping off her elbow. No doubt it was a pretty good cut to bleed that bad. Our host though was annoyed that she hurt herself. He basically called her a dummy for getting hurt on his boat and then he followed her around with a spray hose to keep blood from getting on the floor. She took all this in good form admitting that she could be a klutz. But that wasnt enough for our host. He went on and on about it for the rest of the day. Not once did he ask if she maybe need a stitch or even a bandaid. His wife finally found some butterfly strips and put them on her hand. The other guests too jumped on this delightful bandwagon about how dumb my wife was to get hurt. It was getting old but we didnt know exactly what to do.
Bored with insulting my wife and the heat approaching 102 the host decided to go back to the neighbors house and we would float there for awhile.
All this time we were drinking beer and bottled water. My wife mentioned that one reason she landed oddly when she jumped out of the boat was that she didnt was to get her hair wet and then have to deal with that later. She does have a great mass of hair.
This started the abuse all over again from host and neighbors. The neighbor lady said something about her being a city girl and all foo foo. My wife finally had enough of lip and riled up on them. I cant repeat what she said but it was clear she was going to show her some foo foo if she wished. My wife works out several days a week, one day being kickboxing.
We finally left that gathering and went back to the hosts dock. There we found his parents who live next door floating in the water with life jackets on while still fully clothed. No one said anything about it so I didnt either. It just looked odd.
I took more photos of the artwork, none of which were going to look very good, and then helped apply more bandages to my wifes hand. It looked terrible and was still seeping.
We gathered about dinner time on the front porch and talked and drank more beer as the sun went down. My wife still taking barbs about getting hurt and bleeding on the hosts boat. It got darker and later until it was full night. It occurred to me that it should be getting time to eat dinner but no notice was given to that effect. I saw one of their children eating something and mentioned it to the host. He said sure, go in there and find something. He had a pot roast on the stove top. I went in and sure enough there it was nearly ice cold. Somebody said grab a plate so I did and went back to the table to eat. I went outside and told my wife to come eat. She looked suprised and asked the host if dinner was ready. He looked suprised back and said it was if she wanted to eat. I can only suppose that they are an unstructured family when it comes to mealtimes. It was never announced, no plates were set. We just fended for ourselves hunting forks and spoons down. There was also nothing else served or ready. Just potroast. Still, we were appreciative as it was way better than nothing.
After the loosely held dinner we gathered outside again and our host talked of going out on the lake again and to see the stars. We did, and that was the true highlight of the trip. I had forgotten what a field of stars looks like on a truly dark night. It made me feel less alone in the universe. We made the trip back without any problems and said good night.
As we were settling into our bed I turned on a ceiling fan that made a clacking sound like a train on a track. Then the central air return being right by the bed sounded like a load of gravel slowly being poured on sheet metal. It was a marvelous cacophony of sound that made me sleep like a baby. My wife did get up in the middle of the night to take some painkillers for her hand but I didnt know it.
Next morning, me and my wife were already talking of leaving early and going to get our little dog out of the kennel. She had had enough of being insulted for getting hurt and of not being exactly being fed and getting heat stroke on the boat. I agreed so we went over to the main house and visited with the entire family on the front porch. It was about 9:00 and already 95 degrees outside. Our hosts wife produced a foil wrapped set of sasauge bisquits and we gratefully ate them. Nothing else was offered for breakfast. Just coffee and water and if you wanted it, go get it.
Our host asked about our leaving time and after we told him announced that we must take the nature tour and that it only took 15 minutes to get there. Trying to be socialble and looking at our watches we apprehensively said sure, lets go. After all it would only take 15 minutes.
We went to the boat dock and instead of getting on the pontoon climbed into the flat bottom boat. Maybe I should have been concerned right then but I was lulled into the 15 minute remark and thinking further that my obligation would be over in just a few more hours and I could go home.
The flat bottomed boat was slightly uncomfortable as I have a bad back. I cant sit in the position required for very long without it becoming excruciating. Plus it was very hot and incredibly humid at this time. Oh well, only 15 minutes.
The baking, jarring, painful boat trip took at least 30 minutes across the lake. Our host cheerfully oblivious to our distress. Still making remarks about how dumb my wife was to get hurt and to please be careful today. We both smiled and ignored him as best we could.
We finally crossed under a small bridge and entered a quiet creek amid lush near tropical foliage. I kept expecting a hippo to rise up and tip our boat over. It was all quite beautiful but dreadfully hot as we lost even a vestige of breeze.
Our host talked of aligators and snakes and giant loggerhead turtles and went further and further upstream. He gave us paddles to help keep the boat straight and to keep briars and other bushes from pushing us out of the boat. The stream got smaller and smaller and sometimes was no more than 6 feet across. He constantly plowed the boat into briars on the bank that not only scratched us repeatedly but dumped all kinds of vermin on us and in the boat. My wife, hating spiders, began an extermination attempt with her paddle but she couldnt kill them all. All the time the host thought this was the funniest scene he had ever witnessed.
This type of fun continued for two more hours. We were drenched in sweat, leaves and sticks and other debris stuck to any vacant skin available, scratched from head to toe, bugs crawling all over us, boat full of spiders, and my wifes wound bleeding again from all her exertion.
All the while being laughed at by our host.
Did I mention my back was killing me by this time?
He finally tired of torturing us after my wife mentioned that this reminded her of the movie Deliverance. All she was waiting for was the little funny looking kid to start banging a way on a banjo somewhere. If it all wasnt so true it would have been funny.
The ride back felt like we were in a furnace with hairdryers blowing in our face. We survived to the lake house and basically made our getaway. I didnt bathe or anything. Hell with it, I can bathe at home!
We made our goodbyes and hurried out. Three or four hours later we picked up our little dog who was exhausted from Doggie Day Camp and promptly fell asleep in my arms. On the way home my wife looked at me and said God intended this weekend to go this way no matter how bad it seemed.
I looked at her and said that Hes still laughing over our decision to do it in the first place.
We argue over Gods actions frequently. I think He has to have a strong sense of humor.
So ends the tale of dealing with the nuveau riche. They only play at being frugal now since they dont have to anymore, and make small attempts at showing their status by buying art and artists. It reminds me of an old saying , you can take the boy out of the country but you can never take the dumb ass out of an ignoramus.
I may have added to that a bit.