Okay. Okay … I know you are envious not to be the proud owner of a DEAD FISH PLAQUE like me! How did I acquire such a lovely piece of art? Well, I am glad you asked… I have been dying to tell you!
It all started when my husband decided to go fishing on a very hot, very humid day in the middle of August. We were visiting family in the western part of NC. We did NOT bring our boat. This was NOT supposed to be a fishing trip. This was to be a family vacation of sorts. We had just returned from a few days at Emerald Isle. Chad fished for 3 days. I guess that was not enough.
The first morning of our stay, Chad and Chase were off to fish in a pond that was close by. With a little canoe, a few baits, and some poles, they set off in search of the
It was 95 degrees and the humidity was suffocating. I teased them that they would be back soon joining us for a dip in the pool. Who else but my guys would attempt such a sport in that weather?
Several hours passed and they were not back. Then, they showed up with the "catch of the day".
The biggest bass my husband had ever hooked. The biggest 10 pounds 8 oz. pile of seafood I had ever seen. He was so proud!
And this one.
Then he made me email all his friends the pictures. He could not be bothered with the computer because he was so busy calling everyone about the bass he caught. The story got better and the fish got bigger with each call.
Then I heard the awful news. He asked his brother to put it in his freezer. I am thinking Fish Fry, Potato salad, Cole slaw. He was thinking wall art!!!
“Oh no, dear, that is much TOO BIG to put in our home. Wherever would you put it?”
*Note to self: never ask Husband where HE would hang a dead fish! Or you might hear answers like this:
“Over the mantle.”
“Over the sofa.”
“Over the piano.”
“Over our bed.”
At the same time he was talking, I was mentally composing my own list of things to do with said fish.
1. Donate him to a museum.
2. Donate him to a local seafood restaurant.( for wall art of course)
3. Give him a nice home in the attic.
4. Slather him with peanut butter and birdseed and let the squirrels and birds make a "snack" of him outside.
My thoughts were not kind. I left the room. I did not want to bring Mr. Fish home with us in a petrified state.
My husband was so happy. He was euphoric! He had never caught such a large fish before. He knew this day may never come again.
I suggested more pictures. Pictures say 1000 words.
He said pictures crumble. Memories fade. He wanted something more permanent.
His brother suggested a local taxidermist by the name of Bubba who did “fine” work.
I knew I was not going to win this one.
Time passed. Summer turned to fall. Fall became winter.
I hoped Bubba had decided to keep the big bass.
Last Friday before I left for my "Girls Only" weekend I got the news.
The DEAD FISH PLAQUE was ready!
Ready…ready for what?
I immediately thought of the family that so generously opened their home to us last summer. I was sure they would want a “Housewarming Gift”. I began thinking of creative ways to wrap and present the gift. My excitement diminished when I learned they would not be receptive to such a gift.
I offered it to my brother-in-law. (The one that doted on us last weekend) I even offered to have his name inscribed on the back. (Caught by Brother-in-Law) I told him he could show it off to all his friends and none would be the wiser. Because on the back would be the proof that HE had indeed caught that Bass. He did not think my idea was amusing.
And so, when I arrived in Greensboro last weekend, I was greeted by this.
He came with a bill too.
1. Do I take the money for the DEAD FISH PLAQUE and do some serious shopping on my Girl’s only weekend?
2. Do I make my husband the happiest man in the world and bring home the biggest fish he has ever caught …petrified and stapled to a piece of driftwood?
I chose door number 2.
I wanted my children to continue to live with both parents under the same roof.
I felt good about my decision.
Then, I got a phone call from Chad.
“Honey, did you get my fish?” he asked.
“Yeah, Yeah, I have him. I strapped him to the top of your Beamer with a few crappy bungee cords.”
“I know you didn’t. But I do have one small request.” He continued.
“There is more?” I chimed.
“I don’t want ANYTHING to happen to the fish. I want to be sure he gets home in one piece. I don’t want you to slam on brakes and destroy the fish.", He went on.
(Please note the sarcasm.) “He is DEAD, dear!” I said.
“I really want you to strap the fish in a seat belt in the backseat so it won’t get damaged on the route home.” “Please!”
Was he kidding? Was this the same man that thinks all the car and booster seat regulations are ridiculous? Safety seats that protect our precious cargo. (AKA our children!)
Thanks to the help of my sister-in-law, we harnessed Mr. Dead Fish Plaque in the back seat tighter than any car seat I have ever owned. This may be the reason Claire and I got so many stares on our drive home.
I received some good news on Monday morning. No, No we did not receive a letter requesting the DEAD FISH PLAQUE be put on display at the Museum of Natural Science.
Chad called to let me know he got the "okay" to hang the DEAD FISH PLAQUE in his office at work.
I haven’t been able to stop doing this.