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FROM THE VALLEY; Throwing Tantrums, Clubs And Sticks

BY TOM VALLEY

I usually see my doctor twice a year. He's a good guy. And like myself, he enjoys a round of golf. The last time I was in his office, he asked me how my game was going.

I told him, “Doc, you wouldn't believe the distance I'm getting on my drives. I'm hitting it so far down the fairway, I can't even see it!”

He quickly pointed out, “I'm over here. You're talking to a medical skeleton.”

B-O-I-N-G! Oh yeah.

Last stay with that nonsense: I played horribly the last time out. I was missing shot after shot. An encouraging playing-partner tried to cheer me up. “Think positive about your next round.”

“Come on,” he continued, “what are you gonna shoot next?!”

“My swing coach?!” I joked.

“He's safe. You'll miss by a mile.” So much for the encouragement.

But to be honest, I know my capabilities – or lack thereof – and I can deal with it. Sure, I get frustrated, it's part and parcel of the sport. But I try to get over it before the next hole. Why? Because there's nothing more annoying than spending four hours playing with someone who acts like a spoiled child, a black-hole who sucks the fun out of the whole outing for everyone with him. Someone who doesn't know how to put the nature of friendly competition into perspective. Someone who acts like he's on the PGA Tour and has the skills to go along with it. It's immature and it's selfish.

Politically influenced message to those sorts: I know Chuck Ladouceur And you're no Chuck Ladouceur. If you're going to whine about every little thing, either play alone or head over to the bowling alley and rent yourself a pair of germ-infested shoes and give that a whirl. Good idea, huh?

I feel better now.

Switching gears. Since I brought my boat back from the St. Lawrence River to where I live, between Rochester and Buffalo, I've been getting the urge to go out fishing again. Literally, across the street from where I live is a small lake which runs into Oak Orchard Creek and on into Lake Ontario.

I decided to get some worms and give it a try. In the past, I've caught some nice fish there.

First things first, I needed to pick worms. Because the weather had been fairly dry, I watered an area of the lawn to entice them to surface later that night. What a pain. Standing outside holding a leaky-ass hose for about an hour, my shoes and socks got soaked. Hopefully, it would be worth the effort and produce results.

A couple hours after the sun went down, I put on my night-crawler camouflage and decided to go a-pickin.' Gee, what a surprise … NOT! When I opened the door it was pouring out. The torrential downfall was so bad that some guy with a long, gray beard holding a lantern floated by in an ark. I wasn't deterred, despite the rain, I decided to go for it.

It had been awhile since I last got my own night crawlers. I kept confusing wet, glistening twigs for worms. Thinking “what the hell, if I can't tell the difference, maybe the fish can't either,” I threw some in my bait can.

Long story short: after I got out on the water and hooked the twigs on my hook … it worked … kind of. I drove my boat up to the waterfalls-area of the lake and caught eight large tree limbs. Apparently, the submerged branches were quite smitten with the smaller sticks. And being a firm believer in the 'catch and release' philosophy of conservation, I didn't keep any. I threw them back into the water.

Moral of the story: Sticks and stones may break my bones, but they make even worse fish-fries.

Anyhow, my final piece of advice: if you are an impatient sort and want to relax and have fun, cast a line … not a 7 iron.

And that's the way it looks from the Valley.

****************************************

Remember civil discourse and the ability to respectfully disagree? What

happened and who's responsible for its absence? Contact Tom if you can

'respectfully' explain: Tvalley@Rochester.RR.com




THE AUTHOR TOM VALLEY ANGLING FOR LOW CALORIE HIGH FIBER FISH FRIES



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