Dateline: A Dining Room Table Story
Don’t know about you, but unless you are Barb’s and mine accountant, Dawn, you might not know this about me, I’m not a numbers guy.
I’m a words dude.
Small, short little words.
I don’t get numbers, just don’t register up there. I could write a couple of stories explaining my check book, making the numbers equal out, ain’t going to happen.
So, let me tell you how I manage to room with two numbers guys … Paul Elias and Shaw Grigsby, this is exactly what we do:
In the morning they get up and go fish.
In the morning, I’m usually up before they are. They tell me what they are going to do that day, which usually sound like this: db, going to throw blah blah blah blah over by the little stump back in that blah blah blah…”
Now I’m not hiding their fishing secrets from you, it’s just that they are from Mars, and I’m from…Buffalo.
Not quite the same wavelength on certain things.
So after they fish all day, they weigh in, talk to the press, go find their boat and drive back to where we are staying as I follow them. They go in and get un-fish-like-smelling so we can go out to dinner; and while they do that, I normally hit the send button on whatever story I’m working on.
Then we pile into my 4Runner and we go out for some eats. Now this is the real honest to goodness truth; at the dinner table, on every tournament day, first thing up I ask them this exact question,
“So, how’d you do today…did you catch much?”
Now to be right honest with you, and you can ask the guys themselves, I think the first couple of times I asked that question, it sort of confused them, seeing that in fact when they were up on stage and being weighed in I was about 10 FEET from the whole thing…AND STANDING THERE LOOKING AT THEM.
It’s that numbers thing, I’m telling you.
So when I told Paul, “Hey, dude, I want to do a quick interview with you about going back to Falcon where you caught some big fish or something.”
I sensed in my roommate’s voice a little bit of bewilderment that I’m asking him a question that is obviously going to have a number in it, so to prove to Paul that #1 I’m listening, and #2 there will be a better than average chance that I will get the number right…I am going to do something special for Paul…and all of you who pay attention to numbers.
I’m forgoing the song lyrics between my thought changes…instead, I’m going to show you that I did pay attention to the fact Paul caught 132lbs and some ounces, the last time he was at Falcon, instead of lyrics, there will be this…
132lbs of Bass in Quarters = $2,640.00
After a series of attempts for Paul to place a phone call from his truck in Zapata, Texas, to me in my knee stress fractures forced bed confinement in Connecticut…
“db, we miss you dude, seems weird not having you here with us.”
I’m thinking it’s going to get weirder, dude; I’m about to ask a numbers question.
“So how you doing down there first time back since you caught the record of…what was it?”
“…and 8 ounces.”
“Yeah…that much…how is it going…big sacks yet?”
I get nothing for a moment from Paul who I’m sure is sitting in his truck on some dusty road in Zapata, Texas, and thinking….just how much pain medicine is db on.
132lbs of Bass = 844.8 Jelly Donuts
“…ah, db, not doing really good.”
Back up to last year, first day of practice OF EVERY tournament:
Me: “So dude, how’d it go today?”
Paul: “…ah, db, not doing really good.”
And then, as Shaw would say, “Then he goes out there and whacks them.”
I say to his answer, this, “Uh-huh.”
“db, it’s been really hard to get things dialed in, the lake isn’t like it was the last time we were here…I mean I could bring in a bag with nothing or I could bring in a 30-pound bag.”
132lbs of Bass = 16.5 Gallons of Ice Cream
And, to me, that’s the most interesting part of this sport, not so much the catching and weighing but the looking and finding.
Let me tell you something. After having roomed with two Elite anglers last year, these guys are obsessed with finding fish.
We go out to dinner, that’s what they talk about, driving home that’s what they talk about, Scott Ashmore joins us for dinner…that’s what he talks about…Steve Kennedy, I once asked him how much of the total amount of thoughts that go through his brain concerned fishing.
“Ah….” He looked over at his wife Julia who gave him that “you better not say” finger so I rephrased the question, “If you took thinking about sex out of what ever it is that goes through your head…”
And when I hear that, I always think, how lucky these guys are, how lucky anyone is to be doing what their brain was made to be doing.
132lbs of Bass = 3306 Crawfish
This week, there may be big sacks on stage.
There may not be.
Paul may set a new record, or not.
Paul told me, “…there’s 30 pounds out here for the taking.”
If that’s the case, someone will take it.
But Paul, dude, I wrote this for you, for all those times I didn’t pay attention to the numbers…I want you to know that’s a very special record you have there, one to be proud of, one that may last for a real long time.
And please know, I now realize exactly what 132lbs of Bass is…
…= 264 8oz Margaritas.
Editor’s Note: db is not lying... He is no numbers guy. He even submitted this story with the wrong record numbers in the title “Paul Elias’s 132LBS & (4ozs).” Elias’ record was actually 132 pounds, 8 ounces. Barone's talent with words eclipses this deficit.