When You Pee Upon a Tree

In the remote Forest Country of Northern Wisconsin, lies a lake which throughout my life has always held a special place in my heart, there on the west shore of Lake Lucerne nestled at the bottom of a hill stands a small yellow fishing cabin. It has been given many titles by the round table members of the Gruening, Schwartz, and Zwerg families. Ol’ diaper Floor, Fishing Shack, Pile of Wood, an excuse to drink beer, but whatever surnames the shack has had, none other is better than simply,

“The Cabin”

The lucid waters of Lucerne shimmer so clear, that not even the Bald Eagles who call the Southern islands home, have to even work in search of food. The amble weed beds, rock piles and cribs populate a seemingly endless supply of prize fighting fishes, while speckled fire pits along the rocky shore, populate the smooth breezes with their charred cologne. The illusive loon resides here as well serenading the Zodiac gods of constellations so vivid above, you’d swear Hubble took the pictures and pasted them upon a dome over the lake. The leafed gods surrounding the lake carpet the area in a dye so vibrant it is said Crayloa ventured here to craft their shades of emerald. Looking up, the black of the universe is almost visible through the virtuous midst of day.

Right smack dab in the heart of the West shore, held together by what might be described as God’s will, sits a little yellow cabin. While countless improvements have been added to the structure in more recent years; Flushin’ toilet, new shower, microwave which doesn’t stunt your sperm count, stuff that pretty much keeps of our female counterparts satisfied when they do come up, still she is but a old fashioned fishing cabin. The furnishings have undergone many changes but in twenty years queen of the living room is still the couch, a pullout which has caused more giggling and subsequent yelling from parents than well I’m not sure what. For art, look no further than Mounted Walleyes, Small Mouths, Deer heads, Junior High shop class projects, and fishing lures. TV you say well yeah there is one in there, although I think maybe the BetaMax that was connected to it finally died, anyway pretty sure Charlie Chaplin came in pretty clear back in her hay day. The Kitchen appliances are new but the old stuff never stopped anyone from cooking up a pancake or two. “Oh word of advice here, never put twelve year old Scotch in thirty year old Tupperware sippie cups, just don’t do it.” Two bedrooms, the overhead loft and another two beds, which occupy space in the front porch, keep their inhabitants enthralled in dreams through the night. In every nook and cranny one can expect to find a good read, as mentally reciting a few hundred pages at the cabin is well, a must. There’s no need to search for a drink as the closet is always kept fully stocked, just in case of emergencies. And of course the dark iron forge of a fireplace inhabits center stage in the middle of the cabin, keeping the air of venturous winter travelers warm inside the almost uninsulated partitions.

This year as many of you know I worked at Gardner Dam Boy Scout Camp, an experience which I entirely loved every second of, you will get stories about camp later, but the camp is relatively close to the cabin and for my birthday my family as well as a couple of buddies of mine, Dan and Joe of whom I am sure I have spoken of before in previous posts came up to spend the weekend at the cabin. We have wanted to do this for years but with Navy and all of that kind of stuff it just never got done. Beware the below story is that of tragedy!

The Green Alum Craft rowboat equipped with two oars, a three horse Minn Kota trawling motor, and three college guys, knocked nosily against the fresh paint white paint of the dock. The Sun, having already pulled the black covers over its body, lay behind the tree line.

“Alright got the beer (an entire pony keg of Spaten original Lager plus a couple of bottles of other misc stuff), got the fishing gear, lights are on battery is charged, were good to go guys, I think well head North see if we can’t pick up some late night Smallies, or maybe even ol’ Moonie eyes himself.” I said fully not caring if I even all I catch is the highly sought after weed bass of Lucerne.

“Well might as well throw a line over the side, can’t catch anything if you don’t have a lure in the water, mmmm now that some good brew.”

The Minn Kota pushed us along the drop off of the west shore topography.

“Thank You German Purity Laws”

“Look at the stars up here guys have you ever seen anything like it? No seriously you can’t beat this.”

“This looks like a good enough place, Joe get the anchor ready” Our fishing vessel came to rest just offshore of the large bay just north of the Cabin. “Let’s try ol Faithful, why did you guys not get fishing licenses?”

“Bah I don’t need one, besides I never go fishing anyway.”

“For god sake Dan.”

A little while longer and no fish later………………….

“Wow getting low here Joe, Mind filling me up man?” My third cup of the wonderful Spaten already.

At that very second the true fatality of my request came down upon our craft with a terror which even Lucifer himself would have cowered in trepidation.
“UUUUUUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM” My ears heard hesitantly as my Heddon Torpedo Cratered, rippling the crystal waters our starry evening mere. “There’s something wrong with the keg…….its empty.”

See we had already taken the rowboat out previously that afternoon for well, a trip around the lake, go to the south end see if the Eagles are in their tree maybe fish the weed beds, or really a nice excuse to get out on the water with a bunch of beer and drink it. Well the winds picked up just as we were reaching the south end of the lake. A unanimous decision was made as the beer was running low and the winds were becoming a problem for out little Bismarck, to start heading back for dinner. The airstream battled each of us as we all had a turn at rowing, although we did have a three horse motor mounted, rowing is just what a bunch of shnookered up guys do no matter what. Of course we ended up cheating and using the trawling motor to get back because lots of beer in small boat in crowed area of the lake meant the generally accepted solution of “just whippin it out” would just not have worked. Oh and of course as the water level of the lake is so low, when we were trying to fight the wind to get back to the cabin by rowing we got stuck on the rocks. Ok picture this; Three guys in a little green row boat, completely smashed attempting in vain to row themselves off of a giant rock pile against the wind. Anyway we had been there for a few minutes when from the distance comes the motorboat of course loaded with my Parents, Aunt, and Uncle. Seeing that we were in well not trouble but in a definite predicament, my uncle hails via his sarcastic voice;

“You guys want a tow back, you seem to be stuck”

“No, were good” we responded to the hail

(well be dumbasses and row back with two people who have never rowed a boat before against mother nature’s wrath while enjoying our cold filtered Miller Genuine Draughts)

The loons, as if hearing us, echoed their ancient tunes of sorrow in the silence which instilled the now in the beer infused air.

“WHAT……………..There’s no way we finished that entire keg in forty five minutes, how much did we have to effin drink?”

Hold on here one second I should elaborate as this quote. See the very first thing all of us did when we got there was to open a nice frosty one, or, eight. So the possibility of having actually drunk all of that wonderful Spaten was very a real prospect.

“No No the tap is open the bottom of the boat is filled with beer”

“Damn it Joe there’s beer everywhere” Dan said, mocking the hilarity of the situation.

“Wait what, how much beer did we loose?”

“Like the whole Keg, there’s like one or two cups left in here, but there’s like an inch on the floor.”

“But that is Spaten,……….. Dear lord please forgive Joe for being dumb and dumping one of the world’s finest beers all over the bottom of our worm gut fishing dinghy”…”Why couldn’t it be Coors.”

“My god Joe, my shoes are full of Beer, you fat bastard” Dan Chimed in once again.

“Joe your cast is gonna smell like beer and sweat for weeks”

A little while longer and no fish later………………….

“We’ve got to go soon these few beers are not enough to last us much longer, just a few more casts” Zinggggggggggg….Thwat.

“Oh god damn it I’m in the tree, were going to have to go get it it’s my favorite lure, I feel like my grandpa right now no fish and stuck in a tree.”

“Dan, Dan, are you sleeping?”.“Dan pull the anchor up dude”

A whimper from the bow of the craft wisped aft, “Bahhahah its to heavy heheeheheh, I can’t……….., I can’t do it”

“Dan just pull the god damn thing up, we have gotta get this lure and get back so we can burn stuff, have a cigar, and drink beers, we have limited time here.”

“All right all right all right”

The Minn Kota pushed us along the drop off of the west shore topography.

“Oh man guys can you imagine how funny it would be if the DNR just happened to come out here right now and ask us if we had been drinking” As the tang of over a gallon of beer washed about the bottom of our private Titanic.

“No sfficer we haven’t had a oingle trink donight” The Laughter so great at this point, the Brian cruiser was in trouble of capsizing.

“Well look at it this way guys were have some story to tell the future generations”

We pulled in a short time later. Dan, Joe, and I spent the remainder of the evening enjoying each others company, the warmth of the campfire, a few cigars and a few more beers before letting the resonance of Lucerne woo us to sleep as the little green Alum Craft knocked alongside the freshly painted dock.


Anonymous said...

LoL. Great story; I certainly enjoyed it in between classes on a hectic day! ~Jennie