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life as we rounded every curve at 75 mph in a big ole sprinter van, and that’s when he said it.
“I think I know what happened,” he began. “What do you mean?”
I asked. Up until that moment I did not think ‘what happened’ was in question.
“I think it was the glove,” he said to me. “WTF? What are you talking about — It was the glove?” I answered, my irritation level going from about a zero to full scale in a little less than a second.
Then, my beloved husband of nearly 34 years proceeded to detail his theory of how this series of unfortunate events occurred.
“When you got in the boat you were carrying gloves. I think the Strike King KV Square Billed Crank Bait got stuck on one of your gloves and then the glove ended up on the back seat.”
That, he theorized, is how the Crank Bait came to be lodged between the cushions of the rear bench seat and ultimately implanted deep into my ass cheek.
As he spoke, I became more and more annoyed by his theory — his “justification.”
“You mean to tell me you are going to blame this on a glove!?”
So I sat there, perched uncomfortably on my left hip, clinging to the armrest to keep from moving any more than necessary, blood rushing to my face as I pondered the two possible scenarios: Scenario 1: In his quest for a trophy bass, while fishing earlier in the day, he took the Crank Bait off his line and attached another lure to bring him better luck — something that he does multiple times per fishing trip. He simply forgot to put the removed lure in the tackle box and as we stepped in and out of the boat, the cushions moved and the Crank Bait became lodged and concealed between the rear seat cushions.
Or Scenario 2: Perhaps all of Bill’s hundreds of fishing lures were stowed properly and safely. Then I entered the boat carrying a pair of gloves. I tossed them carelessly up onto the dashboard behind the windshield, a solid 18 inches away from the little plastic container where the Crank Bait might have been. Then, miraculously, the glove crawled over on its own, and the Crank Bait got stuck to it. Then somehow the glove made its way to the backseat of the boat, pushed the Crank Bait down between the seats and then by some supernatural, unexplained force, the glove made its way back up to its spot on the dashboard.
Friends. I ask you all: Which scenario is more likely?
We pulled into the ER parking lot and I limped in gasping with every single step.
I explained to the triage nurse that there was a fishing lure stuck in my butt and I needed help getting it out.
She promptly put me into an OB/GYN room saying with a compassionate tone, “It’s the most private room we have.”
A nurse was first to assess my “situation.” She had me lie on the papercovered table face down and butt up and then she swung a bright spotlight around to get a closer look at my denim-covered ass. I felt her probing the afflicted area and I tried hard not to flinch. The way the Crank Bait was embedded into my keister through my jeans made it difficult to see exactly how bad the situation was, but she could tell that at least one of the six barbs had impaled me. She said they have a little trick called the “String-Yank Maneuver.” She explained that they tie a string to the hook and then, as the name suggests, they “yank” it out.
After her description of the “String-Yank Maneuver,” she asked me if I was okay to proceed.
“Well …” I said, “that sounds kind of painful. What are the other options?”
“There are really no other options,” she said.
“Well … if there are no other options, I guess I will have to be okay with it. Let’s roll!” I said.
It sounded unpleasant, but I did not care. I had a Crank Bait lodged into my tushy, my jeans were pinned to me preventing me from pulling them down to go potty, and I was over four hours into a large Aquafina and a 16 ounce Diet Mountain Dew. Time was of the essence.
She left the room and said she would be right back.
I prepared for the worst. Finally, Dr. Olyer came in with his three-person entourage in tow — nurse, nurse practitioner and paramedic. What a treat to meet the doctor and his medical coterie with my butt up, spotlight shining on my denim-clad buttocks.
It was such an utterly hilarious moment I could not even find it anywhere in me to be embarrassed. I just laughed and in response, he laughed too.
“You will be surprised just how often we have to remove fish hooks,” he said reassuringly. “But this particular location is a first.”
Not knowing exactly how to proceed he asked if I could take my pants off.
“Hahahahahah! No, that is actually part of the problem,” I replied.
Then Dr. Olyer devised a plan.
Still lying face down, prone, butt up, surrounded by a group of sympathetic onlookers, I, like an inchworm, hoisted my rear end higher, reached under my belly and unzipped my favorite jeans. Then the nurse kind of peeled them downward like a banana, stopping at the place where the crank bait had stapled them to me.
Finally, the doctor could see it. Two of the three barbs of the treble hook were indeed pushed deeply into my flesh.
So, with me on the table, butt up, jeans folded down, spotlight on my derrière covered now by only my cutest pink-striped undies, Dr. Olyer and staff got to work. I could feel them moving around the treble hook while trying to tie the sting onto the barbs.
Then, finally the moment of truth, as he inhaled and said, “This is gonna hurt like hell. Are you ready?”
I was ready and did not even care one little bit how much it hurt, how embarrassing it was or how angry I was at Bill’s stupid “glove theory.”
I. Did. Not. Care. “Ready!” I exclaimed. And then … he yanked
it. OUCH! He was right. It hurt like hell, but it was fast and thank God it was over!
But then I heard Dr. Olyer speak the words that nearly broke me.
“One down, one to go.”
OMG! I screamed silently to myself as I realized, “the two barbs would have to come out separately, one at a time.”
And then, he jerked it again. And again, I remained motionless.
And then, right there in front of the crowd of medical onlookers, and without permission, I stood up, jeans folded down exposing my pretty pink striped undies, blood running down the back of my leg, and said “I’ll be right back — I’m going to pee.” They watched me waddle to the door at the back of the OB/GYN room and into the restroom.
When I returned, they slapped a bandage on my boo boo, and in no time I was on my way back to Shady Glade Marina and campground.
Again, I swear this: I was still not mad. But I will note that it was a very quiet drive back to Uncertain. I think Bill may have been a little scared of me.
To this day, over two months later, Bill continues to maintain his innocence in the ridiculous misadventure, but I made three important observations: First. Bill almost always complains about how much he dislikes my music, but on the drive back to the campground that night, Bill played my favorite playlist (John Denver and James Taylor).
Second. On the night when we arrived back at the campground, Bill quietly went to work and prepared my favorite dinner — salad with grilled chicken and a cold Diet Coke.
Third. Days later when we finally returned home to Cartersville, he promptly went outside and washed, waxed and detailed my car inside and out.
Ladies, I ask you: Are these the actions of an innocent man? In hindsight, the “Crankbait in the Butt Caper” was undoubtedly a memorable adventure. Despite the circumstances that landed me in that unforgettable situation, I can’t help but look back and find humor in that series of events. And yes, while Bill’s bogus “glove theory” will live on in infamy, his subsequent actions spoke volumes, and actions speak louder than words. Right?
And in the end, Bill remains the “Catch of my Life,” and I’m thankful to navigate the boring and mundane days with him, as well as all of the unplanned moments, regardless how chaotic, embarrassing or absurd. It is his unwavering support and love that stand as steadfast as an anchor, guiding us through life’s unpredictable waters. I truly treasure him.
But we all know that he left the lure on the seat.