Wednesday, January 31, 2007

A (Fishin') Hole in One

So my mother lives in a very nice, upper-middle class neighborhood in Goose Creek complete with golf course, country club, swimming pool, playgrounds, beautifully manicured parks, tennis courts, etc. It's a typical "plantation" community down here (which they all are, by the way), and very quaintly landscaped. This includes the many duck/goose ponds that pepper the golf course and are regularly visited by a variety of cool water fowl including ibis, egrets, and heron. Being an animal person, I know that egrets and heron are fishing birds which leads me to believe there are fish residing in the ponds. Where they came from or how they got there I have no idea. However, we do live in the, "lowcountry," and in a wetland, who knows which way the water's flowing. For all I know, the fish could be residing in drainage ditches that seem to connect up to the ponds on one end and local rivers on the other. In any case, the existence of fish is readily apparent from the birds I often see perched in beautiful statuesque style, wings spread open, beak poised for spearing.

But if there were any doubt in my mind, the presence of fish would be made all the more clear by.....the GOLFERS WHO STOP TO FISH! Yes folks. We are truly in South Cackalackie when a round on the back 9 includes a stop at the "fishin' hole". There are actual, "fishin' holes," straight out of a Mark Twain novel down here...and on an upscale golf course no less. AND PEOPLE FISH IN THEM! Imagine, you're driving by the fairway, catching a glimpse of what appears to be a golfer pulling out a 9 iron hoping to get his next shot on the green, when you realize that what he's actually pulled out is a fishing rod. He's got a fishing rod in his golf bag! And because this is an upscale neighborhood, the fisherman is a lawyer, and his fishing rod is made of fiber glass. But I'll be damned if when Doug and I were looking for real estate in some of the less expensive first-time-home-buyer communities we did not see people fishing at the local "fishin' hole" holding poles whittled out of sticks.

Ok. I exaggerate a little here. But come on. They are decorative, landscaped, planned community ponds. Some of them have fountains. Why on earth would people fish in them, let alone EAT what you catch? Apparently, it's a very popular pastime down here, as many a real estate agent tried to use it as a selling point with Doug and I in our search for a home. I finally had to point out to one that I not only thought it was stupid and somewhat "redneck" to fish in the pond marking the entrance to your development, but that if he brought it up again, he'd be fired (of course I put it more subtly and tactfully than that). This is the same person who offered to show us a "double-wide" because it was just such a steal. I quickly pointed out that Doug and I were not interested in any dwelling which came apart with ease or was mobile in anyway. But hey, this is South Cackalackie, and apparently the "yocals" think high-end trailer living (translation, a new double-wide) is akin to at least a luxury condominium elsewhere.

Anyway, I was pondering the hillarity of the local "fishin' hole" and laughing at the thought of seeing something like this back home in New York. And then I realized, I had. People fish out of the East River in Manhattan ALL the time. Granted, it's a naturally existing body of water, but if you live in a high rise just off FDR Drive, then I suppose it's the next best thing to the local "fishin' hole." I guess New Yorkers and Cackalackians are more alike than I realized.

Anyway, the moral of the story: if you're ever invited over to a South Cackalackian's house for dinner and they're serving fish, be sure to check and see if there are any ponds in the landscape architecture. You might be eating one of the neighbors.

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