|2/8/2014 2:31:00 PM|
Bubba was ready to walk on water
"This here's the White House operator calling. Hang on there for a second for Hiz Honor President Obama."
"This here?" "Hiz honor?" Only one person could be on the other end of the phone.
"How you doing, Bubba?"
"Dang Timmons! How'd you know it was me?"
"Lucky guess. So what can I do for you, Bubba?"
"Well, me and the boys at the Crawl-On-Inn were just talking about this here drought and how low ol' Morse Reservoir has got. And you don't rightly know this about me, but my daddy, his daddy and his daddy before all walked on water on their 50th birthdays."
I met Bubba Castiron a while back. Now, he's a little like gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe. No matter how hard you peel or scrape, it just never seems to completely go away."
"OK, Bubba, I'll play your silly game."
"What silly game?"
"Never mind. What's this about them walking on water?"
"Well, it's a well-known fact in my family that when a man turns 50 he walks across the lake on his birthday. I'm telling you Timmons, the men in my family walk on water."
Needless to say, skepticism didn't even begin to define my mood.
"So my birthday was the other day and me and the boys hauled out the bass boat and rode on out to the middle of the lake. I was kinda figuring it might even be easier because of how low that water's got. You seen the lake lately, Timmons?"
"Sure, Bubba. Cicero's annual triathlon got turned into a duathlon. Docks have broken because they're out of the water, boats are high and dry . . . Folks haven't seen the lake this low. It's historic. But Bubba, never mind that. You say your relatives walked across the lake. How do you know? Were there witnesses to this?"
"Heck yeah," Bubba shot back. "The whole family goes out. It's a big deal."
"OK, Bubba, if you say so. So what happened when you got out of the boat?"
"I damn near drowned, that's what!"
He expected different?
"I stood up in the boat and just thought I'd ease on out on the surface and walk to shore. But when I took that first step, man, I dropped like a lead weight. You know it's still pretty deep out there in the middle."
"Bubba, can't you swim?"
"Well, it kinda depends on what you call swimming. I mean I've been in the water before. You know, gigging frogs and fly fish-"
"You can't swim at all, can you Bubba?"
"No, not really."
"So let me get this straight. Some folks in your family have told a story that every man walks across Morse Reservoir on their 50th birthday. And you, a man who can't swim, went out in the middle of the lake and jumped in."
"Bubba, did it ever occur to you that maybe this is a joke your family plays on every male member on their birthday? I mean c'mon, walk on water? Really?"
"No Timmons, it's real. I swear. I've seen it."
"You've seen it?"
"Heck yeah. I was little when my granddaddy did it. But I was all growed up and in my 30s when my daddy did."
I thought about it for a second.
"Bubba, your birthday was when?"
"Couple of weeks ago."
"When's your grandfather and father's birthdays?"
"Well, let's see," Bubba said. "Granddaddy was born in 1921 and daddy was in '39, I think."
"What months, Bubba?"
"Both of 'em in January, why?"
"Just think about it, Bubba. Now I've got to go. There's a village on the other line looking for their missing idiot. I think I can help them."
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