2011 Elite Series - Evan Williams Bourbon Carolina Clash
Lake Murray - Columbia, SC, May 12 - 15, 2011

B.A.S.S. odd couple: Excuse me!

Don Barone
At the prodding of Canadian emcee guy Dave Mercer, Russ Lane busts out Don Barone.

About the author

Don Barone

Don Barone

db has been in the reporting biz for over 30 years, won some Emmys and other awards, but is proudest of his four-decade marriage, his two kids and the fact he founded Tackle The Storm Foundation to help children.

"Weeeeellll … you know you make me wanna … "

Dateline: Roomin' Lake Murray, SC

Excuse me, but I'm calling you know what on Russ up there on the Bassmaster stage.

Not all of what he said, but pretty much all he jabbered about his roommate.

Me.

I'm out there standing in front of the stage with my good camera with that there big lens that I only use for special occasions, like making little fish grow magically larger,  and I have all sorts of sweaty perspiration running down all sorts of places, and I just want to get this photo shoot over with.

I'm being honest here, when your Triple-Man-Smell deodorant starts to melting, you don't want to be hanging around in the sun much longer, especially if you are amongst the public who keeps looking at you and you know that they will soon be going on Facebook writing "you know I saw that db today at weigh-in and he's kind of stinky … "

Facebook has single handily revitalized the deodorant biz.  Just sayin'.

So I got the good camera with the big lens stuck on my sweating face and I hit the button that brings Russ and Dave Mercer (the host of the shindig) into the real sharp focus that my real eyes can't do anymore, and I'm just minding my own business taking pictures when I hear my name come out of the big speakers connected to Dave's microphone.

And my roommate up there on stage starts laughing.  Since he is only the third roommate that I've had in my entire life, I'm not real experienced in roommating but I'm thinking that when someone with a microphone asks your roommate something about their roommate and your roommate starts to laughing that might not be the best-case scenario for the roommate not being asked anything.

Me.

And that would be correct.

My roommate, Elite Angler Russ Lane from Prattville, Ala., and only the third person in my life (not related to me) who has seen me in my slippers … BUSTS ME UP right up there on  stage in front of the whole planet watching on the WWW and wondering to their on-line selves if the funny looking dude with the good camera with the big lens is actually sweating that much while being happy the WWW doesn't have a smell-a-vision ap.

I didn't catch the entire turn-on-your-roommate conversation because I wasn't prepared to be listening to anything but dudes I caught this:

Dave:  "So Russ, you come in with a limit of fish that hardly weighs anything like that boy Jami Fralick over there (or something like that) and I know that DON BARONE (said loud like that in case me standing 6 feet from the big dude host from Canada, which by the way bud we don't be asking roommate questions like that down here, can't hear my name even whispered from the huge speakers two feet from my ears) has been coaching you, so is DON BARONE'S coaching working?

And for some reason I'm still standing there taking pictures with my good camera with the big lens instead of throwing my good camera with the big lens at both of their big heads.

Then someone somewhere back where all those speaker wires runs to, starts turning up the big speaker speaking knob to high just as Russ says this, "NO."

And still I'm picture taking instead of picture taking machine throwing.

So then with all the speakers in the state park now plugged into that microphone, and quite possibly, all the speakers in the state of South Carolina also somehow spliced in, Dave Mercer, a GUEST in this country, with only GUEST papers in his pocket starts asking Russ another question about someone not here as a GUEST, but rather someone who is not an invite-ee, but an invite-er, Dave Mercer says this:

"So are you going to keep listening to DON BARONE?"

And for some unknown reason I'm still photographing instead of photo-throwing.

And Russ BUSTS ME UP AGAIN!

"No."

And that echoes across the entire world via the WWW and maybe into outer space if the WWW cord reaches that far.

No, he, my third roommate ever says, huh.

We'll see about that.

"Shout!"

For all the journalism students out there, here's a little known trick you can use when you are about to interview someone out there who may be leaning to bending the facts a bit.

Make them wear slippers to the interview.

If you are asked a question and you are wearing your ratty old house shoes it is physically impossible to be stretching the truth.

Also, if they have their slippers on AND their PJ's, then, then you probably don't even have to go searching for those two sources they are teaching you about right now.

Frankly, I think every politician on the planet should be REQUIRED to go to work in PJ's and slippers.  Maybe with a bathrobe just to make sure.

But, I now have my roommate away from any microphones and anyone not quite versed in the proper protocol of this country's sacred roommate trust.  And he is wearing slippers.

And PJ's.

Along with his wife cuddled up next to him who is also wearing slippers and PJ's.

Russ is toast.

I know it.

His slippers know it.

So I'm sitting BAREFOOT in a recliner across from him and I'm looking at the paper in my lap where I have gone to the trouble of writing down my question in case I get all fired up.  I begin my in-depth two question interrogation/interview by mentioning his slippers, my subconscious reminder to the house shoes.

I say, "Am I a bad coach?"

I have one eye on him, one on his slippers.

"No."

I say, "Do you still believe in the 3 C's to winning that we have been talking about all week?"

Both eyes now moving up and down from his slippers to his face.

"Yes."

Done … take that Mr. Dave Mercer host guy.

Dear Jerry McKinnis (I'm not supposed to call him an owner but you know, he, ah, you know, owns B.A.S.S.) while you are looking at the rules with the rules committee would you please put in there that no angler will be allowed up on stage without first putting on slippers … will save me a lot of time dude. 

" … throw my hands up and … "

Now, even though Jill told me Russ woke up with a "mad face," and even though Jill said she was going back to bed, and I put my headphones on and started writing just as she sprinted out of the bedroom saying "db … db … " and scaring the bejesus out of me, "db … db … do you know what today is?"

"Yeah, Friday."

"db, the date, the date … it's Friday the 13th."

Uh-oh.

Haven't quite coached for that.

Dave Mercer is going to bust me up again!

Didn't see that one coming.

In cases like that I go to the 4th C of winning, the one I sort of forgot to tell Russ about.

The 4th C is … CIRCLE … as in Circle The Wagons.  But then I remember what Russ told me last night.

While still wearing slippers.

"db, I'm not going to panic, I'm going to make adjustments, fish the same way I did today but just do it in my other spots."

Jill sitting next to him and eating pound cake, which is also a truth-multiplier, says "I've seen panic on his face and I have seen mad on his face, but looking at him I can tell you he is far from that."

Russ is sitting at the table eating mother-in-law chicken salad which is NOT a truth-multiplier, looks at me, "db today the water level dropped, became clearer and the water temp went up 3 degrees while I was watching it."

I just let him talk.

"The area I was in, the fish in that area had the option to move or leave that area, that's why I didn't catch them as I thought I would, but during practice I planned for that adjustment and tomorrow (today) I'm going to my area where the fish don't have an option to leave."

Seems like it is going to be Friday the 13th for the fish as well.

" … come on now … Shout!"

Shout

Isley Brothers

-- db

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