Gary Meyer | Tuesday, 25 July 2017

This FP most probably belongs in the “Manshit” section, but since I did not get out to fish last weekend I don’t have any recent fishing experience to draw from. I wanted to fish, actually had planned to do so, and had the perfect opportunity. My “editor” was out of town and all I had to do first were a few things on the homeowner list. So, on Saturday, after mowing the yard and scrubbing the kitchen floor - something that had to be done according to “she who must be obeyed” or… well, lets not go there… I began packing up the van. It was then that I found the leak, or more accurately, the evidence of the leak. The top gasket around the van’s back door had a problem, which is not good during the wet summer of South Florida.

You see, I commonly “camp” in my van if you can call sleeping overnight camping. I detest driving through Miami to get to Everglades National Park. So, I usually drive down late the night before a fishing trip and pull into one of the campgrounds in the Park, which are free during the summer and, even with that, usually devoid of other campers. That way I can avoid most of the usual traffic and I can get on the water before sunrise. It is well worth it: there is an unusual sort of beauty to the Park after hours when the critter eyes shine on the side of the road and the cool air is full of the sounds of innumerable insects, frogs, and night loving birds.


A leaky van is a damp and musty thing that is not a comfortable environment in which to wait the dawn. Up front was fine, it was in the separate back storage section just behind the fold-out seat/bed where dampness had snuck in. I had to remove all the equipment and dry it in the sun; I had to set the fans on high to drive out the dampness in the upholstery; and I had to address the leaking gasket. Those tasks took the remainder of Saturday. The fans stayed on through Sunday. The best laid plans…


So Sunday, instead of fishing, I practiced casting and tried different flylines on different rods searching for the best combinations. I am lucky to have a small private park with casting room right outside my backyard gate. Actually, it is not luck: the park and nearby fishable water were the reasons I agreed to purchase the house when my now ex-wife wanted to buy every one we saw. So my day was short durations of casting interspersed between changing lines or just chilling on a picnic table in the shade of my backyard. And that is where this FP is headed.


When it is not raining it is not only hot but also extremely humid during a typical summer in South Florida and this year is typical. Just casting will bring out a good sweat after only a few minutes.  So, I spent quite a bit of time at the picnic table appreciating the shade and ocean breeze. I was not alone, however, the cats and the parrot vied for my attention, but the truly unwelcomed guests were the mosquitoes. Although nowhere as numerous as out in the ‘Glades, and nowhere as aggressive as the Saltmarsh subspecies, these “Metro” mosquitoes can be somewhat annoying… or a source of great entertainment!


Enter the “Mosquito Zapper”! This wonderful tool/toy looks quite a lot like a cheap plastic racquetball racket. It is about the same size, but instead of string woven through the head this thing has a netting of what looks to be made of fine stainless steel wire. Two “C” sized batteries are stored in the handle and according to the literature they will produce 300 V when a momentary switch on the handle is engaged. Of course, you could simply swat the mozzy like a miniature badminton bird but it is oh so much more enjoyable to simply and gently net them out of the air. When they cross two wires there is a rather surprisingly loud SNAP! which is accompanied by a bright flash of brilliant white light. And if the air currents are favorable, the above pyrotechnics are followed by a quite enjoyable odor of barbeque!


I’m tellin’ ya, this thing is the embodiment of retribution…. Five Stars!