Fishing lies go untold in Galveston

By Rickey Thibodeaux
“Dadgumit! I’m more excited than a boll weevil in a drawer full of cotton underwear,” said my old childhood friend Stinky Sawyer. “How much longer before we get there?” I sighed. “Not much longer.” The sun was peeking over the horizon as we drove toward the Galveston docks to board a charter fishing boat. Exhilaration raced through our veins in anticipation of spending a full day aboard a fishing vessel, catching huge deep-sea fish and swapping lies with fellow fishermen.

Finally, we reached berth four and imagine our surprise when we saw the name painted on the charter boat. “Beelzebub,” said Stinky, pointing at the ship. “Ain’t that one of Satan’s names?” I nodded and gulped. The boat looked more like Humphrey Bogart’s African Queen than a deep-sea charter fishing boat. Another strange sight caught our eyes. On the deck roamed ten frocked monks. The first mate, which wore a bait stained t-shirt with the slogan “Bluebeard was a Wuss” printed on the front, told us the other passengers were cloistered monks from a nearby monastery.

“This is their first visit into the outside world in ten years,” said the mate. “They ain’t allowed to speak except once every ten years, and then they can’t say more than five words. I’m kinda curious as to what they may say today, ain’t you?”

Stinky grunted. “This is a fine howdy-do. Sharing the boat with a gaggle of brown-clad silent Monks. Can this day get any stranger?”

“Probably so,” I whispered to no one in particular.

Their religious order had clothed the Friars in traditional monk uniforms. They wore a brown shirt, a sash, sandals and a skirty-looking thing. One monk tipped the scales at 450 pounds—a huge monk of a man. He was so large he put the “MO” in Monk.

After a four-hour boat ride, we tied up alongside an oil platform. We fished for a long time without Stinky or me catching one single fish. The monks, on the other hand, were having a grand ole time catching fish after fish, and after each fish snared, they went through a mute cartoon gesture routine of high fiving. By late afternoon the sun bore down hard and the large monk decided to remove his brown shirt, exposing his milky-white, Pastor-ized fish belly.

Stinky scratched for his Ray-Bans. “Whew, that ole boy’s gut ain’t seen the sun since Moses walked the earth. He needs to invest in a tanning bed.” I nodded my agreement, still aggravated about our poor fishing luck.

The day wore down, and we were about to steam toward Galveston when the giant monk snared a huge mackerel. Monk fought that fish for a considerable length of time, during which all his monk buddies danced some kind of strange monk frolic. There were monks fake hollering and clapping each other on the back during the entire fish fight. Monk finally hauled in his catch, and I could not believe my sad eyes. It had to be a record catch. The fish was gigantic.

Pulling into the dock, the silent, large monk used his five words to describe the event. “Look! Holy! Holy! Holy! Mackerel!” he said, pointing at his catch. Another hushed monk spent his five words appropriately. “It is a great evening,” he sang in a singsong Gregorian chant.

Stinky and I left the boat in disgust—fish-free. As we walked toward my car I said, “That was kind of strange.”

“What’s that?” asked my friend.

I tossed back my head and belted out, “Some monk chanted evening!”

Stinky looked at me like I was crazy. “Have you lost your mind?”

Unfortunately, I wasted a great line on a person who wasn’t familiar with the movie South Pacific. Some people ain’t got no sofistikation.

C’est la vie!

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