I posted this on a different forum, about eight years ago. I recounted the story a couple times this past fall and winter, and decided I'd share it here, as you were looking for some stories.
There's a touch of politics in it, but it's just a part of what happened.Don't be offended by it, it's just a setting.
So, here you go. True to the best of my recollection.
Looking forward to brighter and lighter times. All the best to every one, stay healthy, and wash your hands yet again.
The door was at the end of a long, dimly lit hallway. I'd passed a dozen more on my squishy, wet walk. I knew I had to open it, but was worried about what was on the other side, as I reached down to the doorknob, tentative, unsure. But I pushed it open to a well lit room…
and Michelle Obama turned, smiled brightly, and said, Richard, there you are, come in!
I don't belong in the White House!
I stood there, frozen. In my waders. Dripping, on the floor of the Whitehouse.
Think think think! What the hell am I doing here?
Please, come sit down.
I said, Hello, Mrs. Obama First Lady……. Ma'am, er… Ms, I mean…..
(OK, I was raised polite, not necessarily smooth).
I motion to my wet waders. She furrows her brow, smiles and shakes her head.
She says, You're fine, as she turns back to her needlepoint. Michelle Obama does needlepoint?
But the kids are there, (c'mon brain, what are their names??? Sasha and Malia? Yeah, yeah, that's it… oh yeah, like I'm suddenly an old family friend and should know their names….. except that I do…. I am).
Hi Sasha, hi Malia! They wave and go back to playing.
I sit down in an empty chair, on the far side of a small table from the First Lady.
She's even cooler in person.
I can't help it, I start smart-assing with the kids. I'm comfortable with this, having coached all my kids soccer teams. Pretty soon we're all laughing, having a good time.
Then there's a bit of a lull.
So Richard, what do you think?
That's me. Blank.
What the hell is she asking me about? The First Lady of the United States, asking me about….. what?
She looks at me a little exasperated. About the President, she says.
Uhhhmmm. Hmmmmmm. How honest do I want to be? I mean I'm sitting in the Whitehouse in wet waders, seems like I might want to just kind of wiggle out of this whole scenario. But, oh, I suck at lying. Even a s a kid, I'd have a perfectly good lie all worked out, and I'd open my mouth and out would blurt the truth.
Well, I have some issues with his environmental polices, and I'm completely unhappy with his bowing out on the migratory salmon and steelhead policy in the Columbia system… but overall, I'm a fan. I think he's doing a good job, especially in the face of an uncooperative congress.
(And yes, here inside my very own dream, I am already listening to a raft- a huge raft- of **** from all my conservative friends…).
She beams at me. Beams. Holy **** can she beam. Damn, she can beam, that smile just lights up… (yeah, so take that conservatives- when was the last time a First Lady beamed at you!?!? Quit- I don't want to hear your Babs fantasies. This is my dream- have your own).
Holy ****. Beaming. I'm on a roll.
You know, Mrs. Obama, I say. I think he's the smartest guy that's occupied the White House in at least 100 years.
High-beams! Can a smile get brighter?
It's quiet for a few minutes, the girls playing (aren't they too old now to be playing? This part is kind of obscure. What were those girls doing anyway. Video games? Somehow I don't think so. No, I think they were playing with little tiny dolls.. people and animals? Mice people? I guess it doesn't matter).
But then I get cocky.
I say, Like a lot of us who've married up, I suspect he know's where the brains of the family lie.
Her eyes cut at me quick.
Oh ****. Like me, on a roll, then roll too far.
But she glows, smiles, and says, looks back down and says, He is very bright.
Ha. Like my girl might say about me. Knowing the truth.
She looks back to her children, then smiles at me and says, The President will see you now.
You gotta be kidding- in my head, to myself.
Through there, she says, nodding towards another door I hadn't seen.
I get up, woodenly, and cross the room. Give Sasha and Malia a nod goodbye. They smile, such nice kids. Well, young ladies. So weird them sitting n the floor with those tiny dolls. Little mice people.
I stand before another door. I can't even make myself reach for the doorknob. And then she says, Richard…
Yes, I turn, relieved for the break from the door.
Mind your bottom hand.
What? This is inside my head, again. What? WTF?
Excuse me, I say.
Your bottom hand. Be mindful of your bottom hand.
I'm baffled. I've been baffled all week.
I say, Mrs. Obama..er, First Lady, er……. what, ahhh, what are you talking about?
She smiles, With your casting. Be mindful of your bottom hand. Draw the shape of the loop with your bottom hand. Like Yard said.
I stare blankly.
You spey cast?, I ask.
She tips her head down, and looking up, she says, Do I look like one of your spey casting buddies?
How do I answer that? Well, I've met Whitney Gould. She's an amazing caster … a lovely woman, you could….
The first lady just looks at me. Yes, I know Whitney.
How do you know?
There are things I know, she says. Now, be mindful of your bottom hand, and go in and see the President. He's waiting.
I realized that was the answer. the same one Yard had reminded me of the week before.
I turned and went through the door without thinking.
And things got weird.
It's smokey. The music is loud. Pounding. Serious base.
And the President is channelling Lawrence Fishburne. He's sitting there in a nehru jacket. Half glasses. Fingers tented at the finger tips, looking at me out from under his down-turned head.
And there are two girls dancing, one on either side. Like the girls in rap videos. Unbelievably hot, barely dressed, shaking, shimmying. Rhythmic. I can hardly notice the president.
The President of the United States, and I can hardly notice him.
They are hot.
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?!?!!???
Somebody yelled it from the dark.
The lights come up.
President Obama comes up out of the chair…
Richard! Whatya think? How funny is this?
I stand there.
Numb at first.
Then I start laughing.
This is awesome, I say.
Yeah, pretty funny, he says. We're kinda over the top. Out of control, really, but we started having so much fun, we just decided to go with it!
What is it?, I ask.
Oh, it's our October surprise…. Tightie Rightie's View of the President.
Then he started laughing, looked at me, and we started laughing together. He was laughing so hard he was crying.
I was laughing so hard, I woke myself up.
In a tent.
In the PNW.
Loco and the Scottsman, snoring away.
Holy ****. Best dream in ages.
I'd been in the PNW for a week. Having a blast, fishing with some great guys, already caught a couple steelhead. But my casting was sucking. I'd been casting two-handed almost exclusively for four years. And then, this year, almost no time to fish. In desperation I'd done a some bass fishing in August, standing in my canoe, tossing big bugs on a single hand 10 wt.
And ruined my spey casting. All the bad top hand tendency came roaring back
Yardsale and his lovely wife… ms. Yardsale… had taken good care of me, and by the end of four days of fishing, Jedi Yard had me tuned up. But then the Scottsman brought about 347 spey rods with him on our float, and I got excited about the opportunity to try so many rods, and… I lost it. My top hand was thinking it was there to save the day, new what it was doing, decades of habit overcoming my aims....
We got up in the morning and broke camp. No small feat with Loco and the Scottsman. These boys travel in style. Just before we pushed down stream I waded in, stripping line from the reel.
I already swung through here twice this morning, said the Scottsman.
I know, I said. But this is about casting, not fishing. I shook some line out, rolled it downstream, then circled up, set the anchor, and drew the loop with my bottom hand. I launched it forward, mind solidly in my bottom hand. I traced the cast across the river, tracking that small bright spot inside the climbing V of the cast. The Hardy squawked as the cast came up sharp and hard.
I smiled and started reeling up. I turned to the Scottsman as he said, Well that improved overnight!
I said, I love Michelle Obama!
Cheers gang. Stay healthy.
Last edited by SLSS; 03-22-2020 at 04:10 PM.