Have you ever spent much time around a boat landing? Boat landings are busy places. During periods of heavy boat traffic and congestion, especially holidays, there are times one must wait in line to either put their boat in the water or take it out. The docks get crowded quickly. Around boat landings, there is a different language spoken called “Dock Dialect.” This dialect is based on the eccentricity of language and is simple and relatively easy to interpret. It contains, animal sounds, grunts, sighs, exhaustion exhales, stated on sunburned lips, and is usually built upon brief and simple synonyms.
Here is one example that comes to mind readily. Headed in toward the dock is approaching a nice boat in the already in the No Wake Zone. Positioned perfectly in the boat are multiple rods in holders, more of them propped on the gunnels, and the Yeti cooler perched on the bow of this center console. The captain is unshaven with his hat cocked to the side. The look of a true fisherman. He eases to the dock slowly and ties a nice cleat hitch to hold the boat steady. Time to trailer the boat and go home.
”Been a very long day,” the sunburned captain states as he pulled up his cap and wiped his forehead.
“Nice rig,” I commented as I sat in my boat piddling with all the electronic toys loaded on my Skeeter.
“Catch anything?” I asked.
“Yeah a few,” he said. “Long day.” That’s the second time he mentioned the word long. Which is a tell-all sign he almost got skunked. The fish won the prize in this challenge.
I always wanted to ask about the simple three-letter word, few…. What is a few? I must have been sick those days in Second Grade when they were discussing that definition. While the captain of the boat went to get the truck and trailer to load it, I utilized Siri as she knows everything.
“What is the definition of a few,” I asked Siri. Within seconds she said in no uncertain Siri terms that, it was a pronoun used to emphasize how small several people or things are in both numbers or size.
I thought for a moment in silence, Siri mentioned small in numbers. Maybe I should start answering questions with” a few.” I pondered how many times a day I could use this phrase and get away with it.
“How many of those reports do you have left to review?” the boss asked.
“A few,” I responded, realizing that I needed to get started sometime today looking at the rest of them. A few is a good phrase.
“How many hot Krispy Kreme donuts did you eat on the way back home?”
“A few,” I said, climbing out of the truck juggling those big, half-empty rectangular boxes with white sugar evidence smeared across my mouth and on my sticky fingers.
“How many beers are you planning on drinking at the drop-in tonight?”
“A few,” as I loaded the cooler in the back of my designated driver’s vehicle.
“Did you pick up everything at the store?” my wife asked.
“Not everything, but I did find a few of the items you had mentioned,” I responded sheepishly, knowing the list was left in the truck and was working solely from memory.
And as this phrase relates to fishing, I got a few fish today, period, and end the conversation right there. Don’t elaborate with the “but not going to tell you how many because the numbers of fish caught don’t count, it’s the experience,” knowing full well that fishing was tough today and it took every trick I had seen on YouTube to catch them. If I had wanted an outdoor experience, I could have sat in the backyard by the numerous bird feeders and watched the activity. And then, to further my amusement and add to the outdoors scene, I could have also watched mosquitos hatch from larvae to adults on my Coy pond.
As the captain walked back down the dock I again mentioned, “so you did catch a few! That’s pretty good.” And of course, then you make him feel better with an ego statement to include the weather. It is always the first culprit to blame in these situations. “With this high pressure and warm temperatures, the fish did seem temperamental today.”
“Yep. Didn’t catch anything big.”
“A couple, sore mouthed a few early. Several nice uns. Just couldn’t find that one big dumb fish though.”
Is a couple more than a few? Hope I wasn’t bragging, and he didn’t seem to take it that way. He nodded at me, grunted while he climbed back into the boat to drive it on the trailer.
“Better luck next time,” I said as he pulled around.
That leads me to ask this question. Are the sum of a couple of fish and a few fish equal several fish? That may be my new” go-to” answer!
Your wonderful writing made me laugh more than a “few” times. Great work! Very much appreciate you letting me sit on the dock with dangling feet as you helped the fishing guide prepare for another day on the water.