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Kirk Gibson is blasting flights of ducks with an imaginary shotgun fashioned from the fingers of his two large hands as his good pal and Detroit Tiger teammate, Dave Rozema, drives his '84 Audi over the forbidding southern Ontario landscape at speeds that might unnerve Chuck Yeager. Like a kid playing cowboys and Indians, Gibson makes a cracking noise to simulate the sound of gunfire. "You're history," he bellows at the departing fowl. "This is the perfect day for hunting lake duck. It's cold and overcast. Bleeping perfect." Gibson is a spectacularly gifted cusser who seems to find room even between syllables for his thundering maledictions. Swearing comes to him as naturally—and almost as regularly—as breathing.
"Hope there're no cops around," Gibson says to the hard-driving Rozema, whose almost cherubic countenance is made blissful by excessive speed. "They'll never take us alive," Rozema shouts, nevertheless slowing down to about 90 as a cautionary measure. Gibson, 27, and Rozema, 28, are such close buddies that their girl friends are sisters and their dogs brothers. "They've got a chemistry," says their mutual friend, Grosse Pointe auto dealer Joe Ricci. "They're like the Three Stooges. You laugh your ass off around them."
"They really complement each other," says Gibson's girl friend, JoAnn Sklarski. "Dave is the one telling the jokes, and Kirk's the one with the self-discipline." The two friends are dedicated hunters and fishermen.
"Ever catch a walleyed pipe?" Rozema inquires of an increasingly nervous backseat passenger.
"Don't you mean pike?"
Gibson explains: "Rozie and I were ice fishing with some friends, and when he wasn't looking, I attached this broken exhaust pipe to his line and dropped it back through the hole. I suggested we take a little walk around the ice. On the way back, I said, 'You know, I've seen it happen more than once—a guy leaves his line alone for a little, and when he gets back there's a bleeping fish on the end of it.' 'Yeah, sure,' Rozie says. Then he pulls on his line. 'Hey,' he says, 'you're right, I got something!' Well, he fought so hard trying to get that thing through the hole he almost fell in. When he finally got it out, we fell down from laughing so bleeping hard."
"And that," says Rozema, "was a walleyed pipe."
"Bleep," says Gibson.
Rozema deftly wheels his speedy little car down back roads until he reaches the Luken Marina near the mouth of the Thames River outside Tilbury, Ont., across Lake St. Clair from Detroit. Gibson, inside whose large body hums the metabolism of a ground squirrel, bounds from the car and makes for Bad Boys II, the 36-foot cabin cruiser he owns with Rozema and Ricci. The boat is named for two of her owners, Ricci's reputation in Wayne County being relatively clean as a whistle. Gibson and Rozema, on the other hand, have been regarded as playboys of the Midwestern world, night owls and world-class seducers. It is a reputation that they feel, though justified in part, has been exaggerated.