As noted in a previous entry, Arnold and I hired a guide for a morning of fishing on Lake Fork. Now I had used a guide before but on a different lake and in pursuit of a different variety of fish. The lake was Texoma, the fish were striped bass (stripers), and the guide was a large male that guzzled beer, wine, or champagne, whatever he happened to have on board that day.
When our guide for Lake Fork turned out to be female, I wasn't sure how the inevitable and often urgent need to go pee-pee was going to play out. Arnold and I had decided beforehand to fore go the beer that morning (the only wise move of the day) but even drinking nothing but water, there was the question of proper etiquette if the need arose.
After a couple hours of fishing and learning that Barbara was just plain folks like us, we asked about the problem. "Well, as you know," she said, "it's no problem for the guys. I just face forward until I hear an all clear. But for me, it gets a little more complicated." She explained how her clients were paying good money for their time on the lake with a guide and to have that guide pull them off a hot spot for her to go to the bank when nature called, wasn't good for business. "I just rely on my male guests to be gentlemen and fish off the front of the boat while I step to the rear." But that arrangement didn't always work out. She told of the incident where she was in the back with her pants down when the boat hit a stump, dumping her in the water. "So there I was with my jeans around my knees, treading water, and trying to protect my modesty all at the same time. I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt that morning and when the guys swung around to pick me up, they grabbed my by the hood and pulled. The problem was, not only couldn't I get my pants up, I couldn't breathe either as the shirt was around my neck. But they finally got me out of the water and we had a good laugh about it."
We asked about other guests and if any of them made a pass at her while on the lake. "Yeah, there were a couple but I got control of that in a hurry. I do keep .38 pistol there in the glove box."
She told us about some other customers that were less than friendly. "I had a bunch from New York once. They were okay I guess but they were a little different than the fisherman I usually get. They would ask things like "What's up with all these people you meet on the road waving a finger at you? They'd never seen the one finger over the steering wheel wave before. It started raining really hard with lots of lightning when we were out and I took them to a covered dock that belonged to an acquaintance while we waited out the storm. The guy that owned the dock saw us there and brought out drinks and sandwiches. The New Yorkers were incredulous, "You're not going to eat that sandwich are you? That guy might have done something to it."
"Then there was the lawyer who repeatedly told me that if he were injured in any way while on the lake, he'd sue me and own my boat before it was over. After listening to his threats for half a morning, I'd had enough, took him to the shore, and told him to get his ass out of my boat."
Needless to say, fishing with Barbara was a hoot. And not once did she pull her gun on us.