I’ve never been one to believe in luck. I always went with the idea that through hard work and attention to detail you cold overcome most obstacles that stood in your way. Heck, I had an old coach when I played for Atlanta that always said “ Luck favors the exceptionally well prepared”. He said this so often and with such conviction, how could I argue? That is why I never really paid much attention to the “bananas are bad luck on the boat “ theory. Recently, I have had to rethink my views on luck and especially where bananas are concerned.
After missing the 2008 Anacortes Salmon Derby, I was really lookin forward to the 2009 derby. I went down to Outdoor Emporium and bought my tickets the first weekend they went on sale. That very next Monday I reserved my slip at the marina and booked a local hotel room. I was ready, all I had to do was change the line on some reels and wait.
This brings us to the day before the derby. I went shopping with my two fishing buddies for some grub for the boat. That’s when my luck started changing. My son Mason decided that he wanted some bananas for the boat. I was saying that bananas are bad luck on the boat when he quickly reminded me of the 22 sturgeon we caught while eating bananas one after the other. I was so excited that the boy’s wanted to eat something without sugar being the first ingredient that I unwisely obliged.
The next thing to do was load the boat onto the trailer. That’s when things started going wrong. After sitting most of the winter, the wench on my trailer bound up on me a little. No problem, as a former NFL lineman I figured a little muscle would power right through the sticking point. Oops! I stripped it! Now what do I do? Fortunately or unfortunately, the good people where I keep my boat and trailer were working late and decided to give me a hand and use the forklift to set my trailer on the hitch for me. No harm no foul, I would deal with the trailer when I got back from a weekend of fishing with my two boy’s.
The next morning we woke up early so we could get up to Anacortes in time to hit the water with all of the other derby participants. With all of the excitement of going fishing and the hassles with the trailer, I had forgotten to gas the truck up. This was going to be tricky since I was towing an oversized load. I thought that I had found the perfect gas station with plenty of room to turn around when I realized the median was blocked. I would have to drive down the road to find some place to turn around. A few blocks down the road was a big empty parking lot that looked perfect in the darkness. As I turned into the parking lot I didn’t think much of the uniqueness of the parking lot entrance until my truck stopped. “What just happened?”, I asked myself as I got out of the truck to see. There it was, my trailer with a 30ft, 13,000 lb load hi-centered at the entrance of this parking lot.
My son Mason, always eager to help his dad went out to the sidewalk and flagged down one of Snohomish counties finest in Sheriff Deputy Jeff Cline. Deputy Cline assured me that I wasn’t an idiot and that things like this happen all of the time. He was lying of course but it made me feel better. I called the tow truck and after a couple of hours the tow truck called another tow truck. Together they were able to set me free. By this time, I was soaked from the rain and a ½ day of fishing was already gone. I decided to head on home and live to fish another day.
As I was driving home thinking of all the things that had gone wrong and ow I could have avoided them my son Madden sheltered his dad from any blame. Always matter of fact, he simply stated “We shouldn’t have bought those bananas”. Thanks you son, I knew it could not have been my fault. Nevermind that I hadn’t checked the trailer before it was time to leave to make sure things were in working order. Nevermind that I didn’t follow my checklist and make sure that I was already fueled up before I hooked up to the trailer. Nevermind that I chose the parking lot with the most uneven and steep entrance when there was a huge park and ride with a nice flat lot. It was those stupid bananas!! Never again will there be fruit of any kind on my boat. It’s not worth the risk.