serious bottom fishing."
hell is serious bottom fishing?" Don said. "You just throw the line
over and pull the fish in."
exactly what I had in mind," I said, thinking that if I had a thin,
pencil-line mustache it would go with my smile. "What I mean is I wonder if
there's anybody here who thinks he's any good at it," and then there was
silence. The gauntlet was down, I thought, and I waited for it to be picked
himself another martini, but it was Mel who made the reach. I had set him four
tricks doubled and vulnerable the night before and he still hadn't forgotten
money," he said, "I can fish rings around anybody in the boat."
Bert sort of
gargled his martini and then he laughed. "I wouldn't be any too sure about
that," he said. "What sort of money did you have in mind?"
And we were under
way, or I thought we were under way. As it turned out, we weren't.
Don decided that
if we were going to do any planning about serious bottom fishing we needed
another pitcher of martinis and he went and got it. We all hunched up around
the table with the pitcher in the middle and started working on the plan. Don
said that we were going to make this an annual affair and he said we'd call it
the First Annual Sandy Neck Bottom-Fishing Derby.
The planning went
on—and on. The wives had dinner by themselves because none of us wanted to
interrupt what we were doing. I'm not too sure what we were doing because we
were into the fourth pitcher of martinis and there was a lot of discussion
about how many lines you could use and how many hooks and if everybody had to
use the same kind of bait. Then Bert got started on the subject that ended the
First Annual Sandy Neck Bottom-Fishing Derby before we even had it.
don't count," he said.