Rebecca and I had a friend and his lovely newlywed wife over for dinner last night. They are both a little older, and each already has three older kids from before, and when I asked them what they did for their wedding, I was surprised to hear them tell me that, because they wanted to have a quiet, low-key wedding, they decided to go to the thriving metropolis of Eufaula, Alabama, population 14,502.
Why Eufaula? Well, there is an interesting story there. My friend, Mike is a bass fishing fanatic, and Lake Eufaula (whose real name is Walter F. George Lake) is known as “the bass fishing capital of the world.”
“Why not bring your two great loves together for your honeymoon?” you might ask yourself. I can picture my wife’s reaction had I tried that maneuver on her, and the image involves her giving me the ring back. Mike, however, is a great salesman, and an all-around great guy so he was able to talk her into it.
“Did you catch some big Bass, Mike?” I asked.
“Only one.” he replied. I asked my friend, a very accomplished bass fisherman who has won tournaments, why, after a whole week fishing, he had only managed to catch one solitary fish. Here is his reply:
The plan was to arrive Monday morning, head on over to the Justice of the Peace, say their vows, sign the paperwork, head to a romantic cabin, carry her over the threshold, and start out the next morning bright and early angling for some nice bass. His plan was to then fish every day the rest of the week. Even the best laid plans can go awry.
On Monday, Mike and his lovely bride-to-be got a later than expected start. He told us he was driving 80 while towing his 22’ fishing boat. When they got to Eufaula, it was late, and the courthouse was already closed. Not to mention the fact that the office was also closed due to Thomas Jefferson’s birthday.
That was OK with Mike, because he had an idea in mind. They checked into the cabin, and since it was in the upper 90’s, he turned the AC down as low as it would go, and then they headed out to grab some dinner.
When they got back, the room was very cold. Mike’s fiancée asked about the temperature, but Mike told her not to worry: He had a plan.
The plan was to move the king-size bed’s mattress from one of the rooms into the main room in the cabin, and then to light a fire in the fireplace!
Mike said that the next day he got some strange looks from the other folks who were also renting, since his was the only cabin with the AC running full blast and with smoke coming from the chimney.
Tuesday came, and the second trip to the courthouse was also fruitless: The Justice of the Peace had left to go to another courthouse. Mike said he could have sworn he heard someone whistling the theme to the Andy Griffin show as he left. No fishing on Tuesday.
Wednesday came, and the trip to the courthouse was finally successful. Mike wouldn’t fish that day, either.
Thursday, Mike eagerly got the boat out on the lake, but he broke the fuel priming bulb when trying to start the engine. No fishing that day either, but he did get the boat fixed.
Friday was a hot, but beautiful day. The boat started fine, but a short while into the trip, his lovely wife started feeling a bit seasick. Back to the cold cabin with the warm fire.
“Sorry you only caught one fish,” I said.
With a twinkle in his eye and a huge smile on his face, he looked at his wife and replied to me, “It was the best fishing trip yet.”