|DONALD EFFINGHAM-MUDDE AND DAMIEN|
Nineteen year old Damien is a mad-keen, cool-dude, ‘up for it’ angler, who won’t miss any opportunity to go fishing. He has an aged uncle, an angler of some renown and a staunch traditionalist, Donald Effingham-Mudde, who spent his earlier years in service to the Viceroy of India. His family jokingly refer to him as WIMDOC, which is an acronym for the phase he uses to start just about every conversation (“Well, in my day, of course….”).
The old boy has come to stay with Damien’s parents for an extended visit, giving the pair the opportunity to go fishing together. Donald’s fishing references are impeccable as, according to him, he taught the Taylor Brothers all they know. However, both participants view the opportunity from slightly differing perspectives. Damien really doesn’t want to be landed with babysitting some doddering old fart, whilst Donald sees this as a perfect opportunity to show this young pup how to do things properly. They are bound to get on famously – aren’t they?
|Carbelling with Donald and Damien – Part 3|
Donald turned back towards the water and dropping his clay balls, scrambled down the bank to the water’s edge to grab the old cane rod, which by now was hooped over and beginning to creak ominously.
His hands were covered in mud, which he transferred to the rod butt and reel making the task of just holding on very difficult. Then the old boy realised that he had no landing net; Damien had forbidden him to bring his old one even though Donald insisted that he thought it was the very one that Dick Walker had used to land ‘Clarissa’ although it had seen two new nets and one new handle since then, the hoop was still the original. He had spent the evening patching up one or two of the bigger holes with string and soaked it overnight in linseed oil. Damien wasn’t interested and had muttered something about it not being ‘fish friendly’ – pah! Donald decided he had no choice but to swallow his pride and holler down the bank for assistance.
Damien had just got back to his swim when he heard the old boy’s plaintive cries to “Come quick laddie, and bring yer big butterfly net.”
He paused for a moment, biting his bottom lip, if that old tw*t has kicked his bait bucket in it can bloody well stay there. I’m not fishing it out, he thought, as he marched back to Donald with his 42″ net over his shoulder. What greeted him was not a pretty site, Donald was down at the water’s edge, having wiped most of the mud off his hands onto his jacket, but the rod and reel were still well plastered, and the old boy was having a heroic struggle to bring his capture to the bank.
“Get closer with that net laddie, don’t want you to mess things up,” wheezed Donald, slobbering and farting with every gasp.
“I’m close enough, thanks, and I couldn’t make more mess than you’re in right now,” replied Damien, from the top of the bank, trying keeping a good distance, as he didn’t want to add mud pattern to his camo gear, although, suddenly, he found himself right beside the old git. Looking down he found the reason for his unexpected rapid descent down the bank was that he was now sporting a discarded clay ball on the sole of each boot.
“It’s nearly there now, he’s tiring laddie, feels like a good ‘un, what’s the record for this river, reckon this one’ll beat it, no problem.” Donald was beaming. “Told you me clay balls would do the business.”
“They don’t offer much grip on your boots,” said Damien, lifting up his foot.
“Oh I don’t know laddie, they look like they make good ‘slippers’ to me,” giggled Donald.
Damien was quick to reply, “Ha, ha, bloody ha, very funny, not. Let’s get this fish in, it’s probably only a 2lb chub you’ve foul hooked up the chuff.”
Damien was going to be ever so slightly jealous if the old git had caught a big barbel, but didn’t want it to show. He had the net half-submerged and waited for the unseen monster to appear. Suddenly a deft jab with the net and he scooped Donald’s prize catch up onto the bank. Seeing something green and bulging in the net the old boy was overcome with excitement, and throwing down his rod rushed towards Damien and as he got up close he stumbled, grabbing Damien’s sleeve with his still muddy hands. Damien didn’t seem too upset as he opened the folds of the landing net to reveal the rather large conifer hedge clipping that Donald had so skilfully landed.
Damien was chuckling away now as he displayed the ‘specimen’ in all its glory.
“I was wrong, you hooked it fair and square in the bark,” he sniggered while recovering the hook. “And it probably is a record for this stretch, ‘tree-mendous’ specimen, although a rare example of the species, not quite sure what particular ‘branch’ it is, although if it still had a sparrow sitting on it, you could always claim it was a ‘perch’ I suppose.” Damien was nearly doubled up by now, and there were tears in his eyes.
Then he straightened up, and started scrambling up the bank on all fours, kicking off his clay ball slip-ons as he went. The cause of this frantic activity was that he had heard a short blast from one of his bite alarms. Damien got to his swim just in time to see his rod butt slipping beneath the water, heading towards the deeper area on the far bank, obviously a fish had pulled it in. “B*gger, b*ll*cks, cr*p, f*ck It!” He shouted out loud. He had forgotten to take off the anti-reverse, but he wasn’t about to blame himself, if he hadn’t been tw*tting about with the old git, he would have got to the rod well before it got dragged in. He checked the other rod, and made sure the anti-reverse was off before going down to tell Donald just who’s fault it was that he had lost a nearly new rod and reel. Donald had cleaned up a bit an had settled down to start fishing again when Damien appeared beside him, obviously without his happy head on.
“See what you’ve done now, you stupid old fart, dragging me over here to sort you out has cost me a rod and reel. I knew it was a bad idea to bring you along, it’s far more trouble than it’s worth having to baby sit you all the time, every trip with you costs me money and ends up ruined!”
Donald looked upset at this outburst, “I’m sorry laddie, don’t want you to think I’m a burden, I can always lend you some bits of tackle to tide you over, if you want, and perhaps I’ll be able to save a couple of bob out of me pension each week and you can put it towards getting something to replace your missing gear.”
He does it every time, thought Damien, turns on the ‘pity me, poor old pensioner act’ and it’s worse because he’s family, but he certainly wouldn’t be taking up the old boy’s kind offer.
“I don’t need any of your minging old tackle, thank you, especially as most of it is stamped ‘By Royal Appointment to Queen Victoria’ and you won’t live nearly long enough to save up the money to buy two new matching outfits that I will need now, because the others were nearly six months old and probably needed upgrading anyway……”
Part 4 next week.