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From the Mouth of the River

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From the Mouth of the River

These things are funny (odd).

This being an opinion page I guess I can give mine, on several topics  I think are funny.

First is the news on TV. All three of our local channels now give 30 minutes of uninterrupted commercials. On occasion they will break in and show a picture of some guy wanted for child molesting by the Sheriff; apparently all the district attorneys and judges in Spokane are sympathetic with perverts because this guy has 12 prior convictions. The district attorney doesn’t want to prosecute this guy because that would mean he would have to get off his dead ass and do his job.

In Oklahoma they have a cottonwood tree out back of the courthouse just for men who beat women and molest children. There’s enough room on that tree for sympathetic judges and lazy ass attorneys.

The appearance on camera of our local news media indicate they’re trying to keep up with the latest Hollywood fashions, by letting themselves go. Words heard from the makeup room: “Don’t touch my hair, I have slept under my pillow for a week and it’s just now starting to dredge.” Men who never comb their hair and have a three- or four-day-old beard think they are sexy, when in fact the last thing a woman wants is some guy whiskering her with a three-day-old stubble while looking like he hasn’t washed his face or combed his hair in a week. 

Some of the women newscasters perch on stools showing as much leg as their religion will allow but no cleavage. While others wear wigs that look like road kill and show a little cleavage. The other evening during a close up we saw a small varmint crawling about in one women’s wig; it was the most interesting part of the news.

We also like the sweet young things sent out to do live coverage shots for the news, while trying to read off of scripted notes. “‘How does that make you feel? Sir, sir, how dos that make you feel? Sir, sir.’ And as you can see behind me the paramedics are placing Mr. Jones in a body bag for transport to Sacred Heart Medical Center after being drug for nearly a mile under this car, driven by his wife of 52 years. If the camera will just pan over here we can see Mrs. Jones setting on the curb drinking a beer to apparently calm her nerves. ‘Mrs. Jones, how do you feel? Mrs. Jones?’ We will update you at six on Mrs. Jones’ condition from such a horrendous accident. Mr. Jones’ name will not be disclosed until his family has been notified. This has been Britney Sweet Cheeks reporting for station 0u812.”

The newspapers differ slightly by reporting the national news the day after it was on TV and our local paper the day after that, only spelled wrong.

Idaho’s Transportation Department is the worst in the continental U.S. And second only to Haiti after the quake. Like Russia, who sends its misfits to Siberia when they screw up, the state of Idaho sends its screw-ups to North Idaho. Engineers, whose diplomas say, “I. R .One,” direct the highway system here. When laying down a new highway surface it requires three passes with a paving machine. Our misfits can’t seem to make the seams come together, leaving a gap to be filled with water and ice, busting it out even wider and shredding your tires as you drive along it. Most of these areas are long, continual stretches and in both lanes.

Pot holes are a common thing in the Northwest and some are even named after highway personnel who have retired. One pot hole we know of was here in 1973 and is still growing.

Idaho is the only state who marks passing lanes going over hills and around blind curves. This dates back to the Model-T days without any changes. Passing a wagon and team with a touring car didn’t require a lot of distance; this may help explain why there are so many fatalities on Idaho highways.

As some of you know I fish a lot and all over the country. I don’t catch a lot of fish but I fish for a lot of different species. We live near Lake Pend Oreille; it is one of the largest and deepest lakes in the state with over a hundred mile of shoreline. It has two rivers and a numerous amount of smaller streams feeding it. Two world record fish have been caught here, a Rainbow and a Bull trout. At one time this lake was commercially fished and with no limit on Kokanee. This lake was a jewel—God’s gift to the Northwest.

Then, man decided to improve it. It’s gone downhill ever since and to the point now of free falling. Any time our government says, here, “We can improve this perfect lake,” you may as well sell your fishing gear and buy a wave runner.

The U.S Fish and Wildlife has put the Bull Trout on the endangered list and the Idaho Fish and Game are using gillnets to catch and kill all species of fish in the lake except Kokanee. As for the Bull Trout, the Idaho Fish and Game said at their last public meeting, (and in a low voice), “Yes, we do catch and kill Bull Trout in our gill nets, but they are just collateral damage.” While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife turn a blind eye to these deaths (of protected fish), should YOU catch one, it’s a heavy fine.

Catching all the fish in this lake that feed on Kokanee requires special equipment. Professional gillnetters from back East are under contract to Fish and Game and paid for by our electric company, who draws water from the lake and sells electricity back to us. Fish and Game makes you buy a license to fish here but wants you to catch and kill Lake trout and Rainbow. Then pay you for every one you kill.

Already the people are calling this one-time jewel of the Northwest, “The Dead Sea.” Guides and outfitters have become collateral damage along with the Bull Trout. While the Idaho Fish and Game hope to restore Lake Pend Oreille to its 1940’s and ‘50’s heydays, that’s not going to happen.

The fishing world has changed along with the fish. While the Rainbow has been the Queen of the streams and lakes in the past it has been reduced to fly fishing catch and release. Today fishermen and women can drive or fly to the best spots in North America, and fish for whatever species there little hearts desire.

What will the Fish and Game do for our lake? Make a great place for sail boats and wave runners? Or leave it alone and let it develop its own fisheries? If you really want to know what’s going to determine our fisheries here, look to Montana and the Clark Fork River. Whatever is coming down is what we’ll have to fish for.

Come on, Walleye……

Rusty Hook

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Boots Reynolds Boots Reynolds The "internationally-renowned cowboy artist" Boots Reynolds has moved his comedic interpretation of life into the writing field with his regular column in the River Journal - From the Mouth of the River.

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