Excerpt: Teller Teaches

…”the mission, if you choose to accept it,” he paused, he always did the ‘nerdy joke thing’ on the phone, “is to grab Lazy Eddie, and meet me at the boat ramp. Dude! Let’s go fishing!” Rad stood there in his long-johns, feeling like he was in some kinda spaghetti western, the lone comedy relief in his cabin. “Uh, huh. Alright.” He hung up the phone. After about an hour of moving this and doing that, he was ready for the day. He slipped on his boots, grabbed his pfd, grabbed the tote with the gill net, and waddled up the trail towards his truck…

After a short drive, he met Teller at the beach, where they launched Lazy Eddie, and began to cruise around the point. “I don’t like what fishings become man,” said Rad, “I want the fish to be healthy, I want them to die at home, I want them to fill the valley with nutrients, and continue the natural progression of earth. I want them to invade!” “What man? Naaah!” Teller replied, in his natural fashion, “who says they aren’t?” He cut the engine, and Rad began hoisting the net overboard. Teller grabbed out a couple beers from the cooler and tossed one to Rad. “Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t some tree hugger, an I ain’t ‘gainst fishin’.” Rad always spoke more ‘upriver’ jargon when he was uncertain of his ideas. “I jest think… that grandpa ate fish. An I do, so do you. Darnit! I jest want the dang’d ol’ fish to do what they’s supposta do. That farm land over there on the west coast..” he was waving his arm trying to point to wherever that was, “that’s cause uh dead fish. Darnit!” To emphasis his point, Rad took a large swig of his beer. “Your losing me man.” Said Teller, taking a swig in kind. “Fish On!” Teller was pointing to the cork-line, and already steering the boat round in its direction. Rad leaned over the boat, pulled up the net, and untangled a sockeye. He tossed the net back overboard, thanked the fish for its provision, then clubbed it once over the head, crushing its gills in the process. As he was setting the fish in the tote, he looked to Teller and said, “I’m not against fishing man, I just think there are a whole lotta people on this planet. An I ain’t sure they understand. You need more than enough, for there to be enough. Besides, you ever go to one of them, urban supermarkets? You ever see what ‘this fish’ looks like in those places? I suppose some places are better than others.”

“Yep!” Replied Teller, as he inhaled, his arms outstretched; rows of mountains and glaciers before them. “Fish on!”…

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