Wow. What a year, huh? I bet more people than ever, especially those involved in politics, have really tested the line between naughty and nice. You must be especially busy evaluating behavior and preparing your lists.
Speaking of that, let me address the unfortunate business of last year’s empty cookie plate. It was neither an indication of our faith you would come, nor any statement on our concern for your BMI. For what it’s worth, people are apparently now saying that the BMI is just a hoax and not a reliable measure of one’s health.
But that’s not my point. My point is this: especially during the holidays, I have insufficient self-restraint. So, we made you cookies, but I ate them all. Which puts me, I hope you will agree, in the neutral position on the naughty-nice spectrum. I’m thinking: one point for being thoughtful enough to make the cookies, and minus one for eating them.
Anyway, that was last year. This year we will have a full plate of your favorites waiting for you. I’ll have Ellie help me. She must be solidly on the nice side of the scale. That, as always, will rub off on me and will, hopefully, be enough to warrant some consideration of my wish list.
Just in case, here it is:
1. A bigger boat for my friend Dave. I know. He already has a great boat that is big enough to safely and comfortably fish the Long Island Sound, which he does all summer long. He’s pretty good about inviting me to fish with him at least a couple of times a year. This year, I went more than ever, and forgive the pun, but I’m hooked. I caught my first bluefish, my first tautog and lots of porgies and sea bass that I learned to fillet and cook.
So, to be frank, I’m looking for more opportunities to fish in saltwater, and Dave is my best hope. I figure if he gets the bigger boat he wants, he’ll feel pressured to use it. And, if he knows I put in a good word with you, how can he not invite me to join him?
Please consider (according to Dave): a 28-foot Steiger Craft, a Parker 2820 XLD or a Boston Whaler Conquest.
2. A classic sports car for my friend Gerry. Something cool, like a Porsche 911. Gerry actually wants a diesel truck big enough to tow his boat to and from Mystic where he docks it for the summer (and, yes, fishes the Sound). But, if you get him a truck, he won’t need to borrow mine. Gerry is a great guy, and I’m sure he would still invite me to fish the Sound with him, but why take the chance?
3. A new saltwater rod and reel for my friend Mark. There’s actually nothing wrong with the ancient, scarred gear Mark has now, but maybe a new combo will change his luck. I’m tired of him always out-fishing us.
4. A winning lottery ticket for my friend John. John was my most reliable fishing buddy, but he moved to South Carolina this summer. I miss his company and his sense of humor. Please make the jackpot big enough that he can afford to retire, get a second place up here and come fishing whenever he wants.
Although, come to think of it, you could just give me the ticket and I’ll spend some time fishing in South Carolina. There are lots of saltwater options down there.
5. More time to write. This is really for Rita and the hard-working staff at the Drummer, who I’m sure are getting tired of me pushing up against, and blowing through, deadlines. But let’s be clear: more writing time CANNOT come at the expense of fishing time.
6. The opportunity to chase bucket-list fish in a few more states with Gage and/or Ellie. Our quest to fish in every state has really slowed down of late. Trips for giant snakeheads in Virginia, blue catfish in Missouri and sturgeon in Idaho would all be excellent choices.
7. Whatever Kristal wants. You know what they say: “Happy wife, happy life.” Not to be presumptuous, but with more saltwater fishing, visits to South Carolina and snakeheads, blue catfish and sturgeon on my horizon, I’m going to need her to be really happy.
P.S. The cookie plate will have at least one of my famous Brownie Toffee Cookies. They are to die for!