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Harry ‘N’ Charlie fish Youfallina Lake

Poor Ol' Harry. If'n there was ever a man what was born with a worse streak of bad luck a-runnin' through him, wellsir, I ain't never met him. The mere presence of my bassin' buddy Harry usually results in disaster. Like Wilbur Wangle down to the fillin' station says, "Harry is the only guy livin' what could screw up an anvil!"

The latest f'rinstance happened just last week. If'n y'all got a coupla minutes, I'd be right proud to tell you 'bout it. Setcha down, grab ya some Dry Roasteds 'n a bottle of R-O-C Cola and give a listen whilst I fills ya in on our trip to that hawg hole to end all hawg holes: Youfallinna Lake!

It'd been a long, hot summer down in Swamp Gas Corners and the bass fishin' hadn't been up to par. But me 'n' Harry was fixin' to make up for our empty stringers by makin' a doozy of a hawgin' venture 'way off yonder to where them Great Ol' Big 'Un's lives... Youfallinna Lake.

Now, this here lake was somethin' else, accordin' to all them outdoor writers in the papers and them guys on TV what goes fishin' down there. I can still recall Harry's eyeballs a-spinnin' when we tuned in on the "Buster Lyne Show" one night. Ol' Buster was there, all fancy-lookin' in his double-knit jumpin' suit, fishin' right alongside of none other than Tom Mann, that feller what makes all them scuppernong Jelly Worms and Li'l Georges 'n such.

"Looks like this here program's a-gonna be a good 'un," I said as I opened a bag of family sized Doritos with my teeth. The tellyvision pitcher showed Buster 'n Tom blastin' off into the mornin' mist in hot pursuit of them wily hawgjawed lunker basses. Harry, sensin' that lunker excitement were about to occur, was a-sittin' rigid as a dried-up pork chunk in his favert easy chair . . . the one with all the Viennie stains on the arms.

"Woo-wee, Charlie!" burbled Harry. "I kin smell them ten- pounders right here in my livin' room!”

"Tain't no ten-pounders, Harry," I reminded my twitchin' pal. "What you is a-smellin' is the garbage out in the kitchen what you done been puttin' off takin' out for the past week!"

"Charlie!" cried Harry right excited-like. "Lookee this!!!" The tellyvision screen showed Buster s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n' out as far as he could with his trusty hawg stick, then POW! . . . he crossed the eyeballs of a humongous lunker sowbelly bass! Tom Mann lower- jawed the critter and a floppin' hawgjaw was in the boat. Buster held 'im up all drippin' 'n floppin' for us poor souls out in Tellyvision Land to get a load of.

“Look at that bass!said Harry, clenchin' his teeth 'n breathin' hard. It was as big aroun' as a keg o’nails and looked as wide as it were long.

"Typical Youfallinna Lake bass," Buster said right matter-of- factly as they plopped the huge hawgjaw into the livewell. It sounded like a Cuban jazz quartet as it tried to bust the boat apart with its frustrated floppin's.

"Gotcha!" grunted the Jelly Worm king as the TV screen portrayed another outsized fish bein' conquered by Tom Mann.

"I cain't take no mo"!" Harry moaned, as he tried his best to cover his eyeballs with two Nehi bottle caps. "Them basses is a- givin' me heart failure!"

The show went on like that, with Buster 'n Tom sockin' it to them Youfallinna Lake basses right 'n left. When they finally wrapped it up, they had a shot of two bass limits what had to send 'em both to the Youfallinna emergency room with double hernias. Harry was reduced to a quiverin' blob of nerve endin's. Me? Wellsir, I had done made up my mind about one thing: We hadta get on down to fish this lake fast!

"Harry, how much money you got saved up?" I asked my bassin' buddy. In betwixt a-twitchin' and a-wigglin', he eyeballed me with that knowin' look what says we got a hawgin' trip on the horizon!

Harry went out next day and took his ol' lady's imitation nutria fur coat what he'd bought her for Christmas last year at the second-hand shop, down to the Pawn Shoppe. I waited outside and finally, after much hagglin', out he come, a-grinnin' like a Cajun at a crawfish bake.

"Hee-hee-hee!" he snickered, wavin' a passel of greenbacks in face. "That ther' frock netted me a hunnerd bucks. Looks like we is on our way to Lunker Heaven!" Harry allowed as how he never liked that coat much on Maybelline nohow, bein' as how it made her look sorta like one of them Abdominal Snowmen, only uglier. I couldn't disagree, neither. Why, Maybelline was so ugly, that when she was just a baby, her momma had to hang a pork chop aroun❜her neck afore the dog would play with her! But I digress.

Next stop was by Zonker's Tavern to spread the word amongst the local Bass Clubbers gathered therein that me 'n' Harry was a- gonna make the jaunt down to Youfallinna Lake. Once again, Harry's big mouth was about to get us both in a heap o' trouble.

"Well, wouldja lookee here," Wilbur Wangle said in betwixt gulps on a quart bottle of Grain Belt. "If'n it ain't the Pecks Bad Boys of Bassin'?”

“Aww, go change a fan belt or somethin'," Harry grumbled. "We hain't got time to sit 'n chit-chat with you right at the present, Wilbur. Me 'n' Charlie here has a lot o' preparin' to do!”

"Preparin' for what?" wondered Crusty Popodopolus. "What're y'all fixin' to make a mess of now?"