A while ago I tried to put together a fishing derby on a local pier where my fellow unemployed freelancers could stand around and drink a couple beers, do a little networking and maybe annoy some fish. Things became odd.
Weird stuff happens when I’m around, it just does, I inherited a strange magnetic pull on crazy from my mother.
The day began as many a fishing day does with stopping at the bait shop. It’s a little tiny shack of a place called Wylie’s that’s stood on the side of the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu since the 40’s. I went inside to get some sardines.
While I was buying bait fish there was a nanny and a two year old little boy, and they were talking to the owner about giving fishing a try that afternoon. I smiled, I wish she had been my nanny, I also wish that my family had had enough money for that to have been a thing when I was a kid but I digress.
I met my friends at the pier and we set up shop on a couple of benches, opened up the potato chips and the cooler and started rigging our gear. We couldn’t help but notice the large crazy homeless lady wandering around yelling advice at her imaginary friends and the birds.
Just as we were getting set up, the nanny and boy combo showed up near us and began to fumble with brand new fishing tackle. While they were struggling the crazy lady immediately ran over to them and started trying to give the kid some candy. She was even claiming to be a liaison from the Malibu Police Dept. The poor nanny was trying to be polite but crazy doesn’t take social cues. I decided to save them.
I walked over and said “hey you guys were in the tackle shop this morning weren’t you? Why don’t you come hang out with us and we can help you figure out this fishing thing”
She looked at me gratefully, the crazy lady glared at me stealing her new friends. So we added two more to our party. Crazy wandered off to yell Russian literature at a seagull who honestly found it tedious and long winded.
Just when you think you’ve kicked crazy out of your life it’ll find a way. This time a guy wearing no shit, a Navy Blazer and Skipper’s cap and a marlin fighting belt wandered over to say hi.
He went immediately to my buddies wife, who was busy untangling a line snarl.
“I’ve got a surprise for you” The Skipper said to my friend’s wife with his hands behind his back.
I shot my buddy the look that says I’m with you if we have to restrain a lunatic. He returned with the look that says my wife is a green belt she’ll be fine.
“That’s ok..” She said trying to give him the hint.
“No really, guess what it is!” He beamed.
I clocked subtly behind him to make sure the “surprise” wasn’t a machete or something. I’m paranoid, blame my mom and my paranoia serving me well in a few instances.
Behind his back he held not a knife, but a very freaked out live pigeon.
“Tah Dah!” He tried to do a David Copperfield impression and magically produce the bird which did a weird drunken barrel roll in the air and landed about three feet from us on the railing looking a little worse for wear.
“Oh he’s fine, he’ll come around” The Skipped explained suddenly worried we may think he was the kind of person who shoplifts and abuses pigeons. “Well, if you need me I’ll be at the other end of the pier.” he said and with a tip o’ the cap he strutted back to his spot.
“Ok good luck fishing and have a great day!” my friend offered with an eye roll.
A minute later I looked over at the crazy lady who shot me a Cheshire Cat’s grin and then took an enormous piss on herself and wandered off.
That was my day.