How to Tell You're too Old for Spring Break
As photos go, this one isn't much-but this out-of-focus concert flyer represents about a million memories-most great and all funny as hell even if it did see me paying a large price for a long night of revelry and proving once and for all that at age 49, you need to act at least half your age. A March pilgrimage to Corpus Christi Texas to chase some warm weather, live music and fish saw me at my finest and worst, all in the same 24-hour period. Scott and I met up at the Atlanta airport and somewhere over the Mississippi River we had made mincemeat of a flaskful of bourbon. I am a nervous flyer and I never, ever board a plane without some liquid courage. If the thing goes down and they find a piece of my face in the rubble, it will have a crooked smile on it. We hit Corpus like a gulf coast hurricane-two grown men as excited as kid's at Christmas. We caught a cab to the Executive Surf Club, toured the record store then grabbed a bite at the place next door-I've forgotten the name. We tossed back the Shiner Bock drafts as fast as they could be poured, the first one with salt on the rim like a beer/margarita. No more of those-it was godawful. The free acoustic set started at 6:30 and we assumed that the small courtyard would be jam-packed and paranoid we would be shut out we sat down on a concrete bench while the boys set up. I can't remember if it was before or after the free show, but we talked at length to another one of the talented Braun brothers from Stanly, Idaho, Gary Braun, who along with his older brother Micky, plays in a great band called Micky and the Motorcars. They were the opening act that night for their brother's band, Reckless Kelly. We talked about their great new CD-Ain't in it for the Money and their life on the road and such and then we went into the main venue to catch the soundcheck for Reckless Kelly and kill a few more brain cells. By the time the Motorcars took the stage at 8:00, we had been drinking for about 12 hours and hell, we weren't even getting warmed up. I lost count at 20 during the two shows then we hoofed it across the street to some bar where they had live music and line dancing. We met a couple and in our stupor actually attempted to cobble together plans for this guy to go fishing with us the next day on our charter trip. We forgot small details like getting his name or phone number. Thank god or it would have been a trip he would have never forgotten.
We went to bed about 3:00 A.M. and got up at 6:00 A.M. to go fishing. About 7:00 we were at the dock greeting Capt. Dick Gerstenberger for a day on the Laguna Madre. The sun was warm and we flew across the watery expanse and set up at a spot of the captain's choosing. I felt a slight acid reflux coming on from all the beer and spicy food so I reached in the cooler to grab a bottled water. I took one sip and my body immediately rejected the first non-alcoholic offering in over 24 hours. Without word or warning I was soon puking on my own Tevas.
It came onto me so fast, I couldn't even find the side of the boat. This went on far longer than I care to remember, then I got the chills and despite the 80 degree weather, I lay in the bottom of the boat shivering even though I was wrapped in Capt. Dick's winter coat with the hood over my head. I lay my head on a comfy anchor and watched as Capt. Dick, (we insisted
that he fish), landed the first ten trout. To prove that I hadn't puked all the "smart-ass" out of me, I slowly lifted my sorry head up off the anchor and opined, "Hey Captain Dick, do you ever let your clients catch any fish?" Scott snorted his approval and even Captain Dick managed a smile once he realized what a pair of complete goofs had hired him that day. Through the small oval in my hood, I could see Scott landing fish after fish-he and Captain Dick seemed to be having a blast. I just laid there and moaned. I was even too sorry to reach for the sunscreen which was a couple feet away, so the small opening in the hood provided the sun a convenient target to unleash its full UV fury on my alabaster pate. Scott and Dick fished till about 3:00 and headed in to Marina 37. I told Dick I was sorry-it wasn't my normal procedure to pay a dude $400 to throw up in his boat. When we told him we'd see him again next year, he got kind of a strange look on his face-I think it was foreboding. Before getting into the rental car, I had to complete a farewell puke in the parking lot. Scott drove us back to the motel-I knew then that although he probably had never seen me at my best (whatever that is), I damn sure knew he had seen my worst so when he continued to talk to me, I was relieved. I cleaned up pretty good except for a crimson oval on the front of my face that shouted out the unspoken message that said-"yes, the dude you're staring at just spent his day laying in the bottom of a boat in the hot Texas sun with a hood covering most of his face puking and being too sorry to put on sunscreen." Too old for spring break, indeed, but I bet we try again this year.