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Wednesday, April 27, 2005 

Ah sweet ritual

How to fish Sven’s crick

My childhood friend Sven and I have a yearly tradition of fishing the crick behind his parent’s house. We have been doing this since the early 80s. We fished the crick last weekend. This is our story. I ain’t making any of this up it is too good to mess with.

First what is a crick? Well it is defiantly not a creek. A creek is an honest stream. A creek flows tranquilly through a picturesque landscape, it has been known to babble and produce potable water. Deer would drink from a creek. A crick on the other hand is a dastardly flow. It oozes through cow pastures, gathering what nutrients it can from what the cows provide. Cricks never babble they slug and to drink crick water is an exercise in insanity. Deer use cricks only as a means to mire wayward hunters following tracks. Sven’s crick is just such a crick.

I call Sven and tell him I will pick him up at 5:00 am sharp, he says he will be ready. I prepare a sack lunch consisting of a choice turkey sandwich made of ½ pound of turkey crisp lettuce, spicy mustard, tomato, and miracle whip sandwich spread. I include 2 apples a tin of Pringles and a bottle of a&w cream soda. I set alarm and head off to bed. The alarm clock fails to go off. I swear I did not hit the button regardless of what my wife says. I hurriedly get dressed and dash out to the pickup truck forgetting the lunch. My wife and kids eat it for lunch feeding the 4 of them.

I arrive at Sven’s house at 6:15 and blow the horn on the truck. Sven shows up at the door in his underwear wanting to know what the noise is about. I tell him that I have been down here knocking on the door for an over an hours and tell him to get on with it we are missing the best fishing time. He comes out 5 minutes latter looking like something put together by an inept taxidermist.

I ask him where are the worms. The annual argument starts about who is supposed to dig the worms. We finally decide to dig them now. He hands me the shovel. Then the annual argument starts about who is going to do the labor. He wears me down and I dig the worms. I spade up half an acre of ground and find only two worms. Sven says that we should look in his compost pile we get all the worms we need in about 3 minutes. Latter that day he plants his garden on the ground I dug up.

We walk out to the crick. Sven falls in the water. He has done this at some point every year since we were 12 years old. He breaks his record by falling in before he has a chance to put down his worm can. Watch the worms I yell as his head disappears under the slime coating the top of the water. This is why I always argue against a communal worm can, but Svens parents imigrated from Norway and are socialist so I get nowhere with that argument

For the rest of the day we catch two fish a big one and a small one. Sven says he wants to mount the big one, as it is the largest fish he has ever seen in the crick. I remind him that it will cost 20 dollars per inch to mount the fish. He decides not to mount it, as he does not have an extra 80 bucks. I release the small one.

We get chased by a cow, Sven has an encounter with a wasp nest which he disturbs as he runs from a brush pile with a roll or toilet paper in hand. And I loose a shoe when I get stuck in the bottom of the crick and then step on a nail. As we wait together in the doctors office for a tetanus shot we celebrate that we have not after 25 years forgotten the ritual of Sven’s crick. Same thing every year.