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Outdoor Life: Illness ruins a good day of fishing
Alvin Richardson

Not to create a scandal or anything but yes, this is another one of my many stories about life in the great outdoors. However I was not actually intoxicated during this particular fishing expedition even though that is the title. I suppose that this statement needs some explanation because the circumstances were different that one might assume. My head would wind up feeling like a tanked up old boozer on the day in question here, but I had not consumed a single dram of any alcoholic beverage and of course that begs the question — what in the world was going on?
    Here are the lurid details. Warning — It is not for those with a weak constitution.
    As the story opens Steve Cisson, my fishing / golfing / coaching buddy had called to see if I wanted to go to Lake Oconee and look for hybrids. Coming on the heels of three straight days of rain and with an imminent case of cabin fever around the corner I immediately said yes and thus we met at one of the local marina’s where he picked me up and off we went.
    On our first drop the old fishing guru had put us on a few hybrids and all was right with the world. We were catching one along and happily chatting about football, our next golf outing, and the World Series. Our normal fare of conversation.
    But then my world began to change.
    I started to get a little dizzy and the shoreline looked to be rocking up and down way more than the boat was rolling on the water. I ignored it at first and just chalked it up to another one of those old age things. But it got worse. By our third stop I told Coach Cisson that I was going to rest a little while he continued in search of our quarry. On the next stop I had a full blown case of what felt like industrial strength sea-sickness and the next part of the story is very predictable. I had my head hung out over the edge of the boat barfing up lunch into placid Lake Oconee. In the terminology of fishermen I laid down a chum line.
    Now if you’ve never been sea-sick it is absolutely the worst feeling in the world and if you are rocking and rolling around on the water it just becomes more acute. Coach noticed my discomfort, threw me a bottle of water and fished on. We’d both had sick partners before and knew that it’s no excuse to quit fishing.
    Meantime I continued to yak. Thankfully the fish quit biting and Coach finally turned for home. I wiped my mouth, closed my eyes and grit my teeth for the trip back to the dock. Once there I couldn’t stand up to get out of the boat and resumed feeding the fish once more. Steve had to back the trailer in and then came back to get me. I’m going to tell you straight up — at that point I couldn’t have hit the water with my hat and could not stand erect without assistance. I nearly sent both of us into the lake before Coach got me to dry land and I hung on to a handy signpost while he got the boat out of the lake. Had anyone driven by the scene at that point it would have evoked pity or perhaps laughter. It looked to be a classic case of a dude who’d had been overserved and a friend coming to his aid.
    Anyway Steve got me home, I staggered to my bed and got up twelve hours later with no ill effects. It was the first time I’d been horse drunk and did not have a hangover. As for Coach Cisson he told me the next day that it had been a long time since he’d had to haul a plastered fishing partner out of the boat, into the truck, back home and then tuck them in bed. Not unprecedented, just a long time.
    As things turned out I’d had a little sinus / ear thing going for a few days and Doc had given me some medicine to make it better but all of a sudden it got out of hand and messed up one of my ears — I think he called it the inner ear.
    Anyway I can tell you that the gyroscope of the human body resides in that part of your ear and if it’s messed up you’ll be too drunk to fish or do anything else.