The Perfect Crime?


One summer several seasons ago, my husband and I were engaged in a “discussion” where He was talking and I wasn’t listening.  Capital intended.  Somewhere in the exchange He made a remark which catapulted me into a two year crimespree.  I blame Him.

It all began with a silly, simple thing like me wanting to go fishing.  It is what I love to do.  To do it properly one needs a boat, some gear, a dog who is your co-pilot, and an overcast June afternoon with a cold pop in a cup holder and some bug spray on board.  I had everything but the boat.    That’s when the discussing turned into cussing and a non-typical threat; a gauntlet thrown down by Him:

He said, “You may NEVER have a boat because we don’t have room for it.”

Really? Do we not live on a farm?

I’ve excelled at getting what I want throughout our 30 year marriage…capitalizing on the tricks we wives perfect over the years.  Most of the time John finds it amusing and challenging, so it all works out in the end.   This was a man who has always given me everything in this life I’ve ever really wanted and I guess he just underestimated how badly I wanted to fish and how far I would go to land one.  To me, His words were like nails on a chalkboard or a wedgie on my dreams.  In desperation and on vacation, I turned to a life of crime.  I couldn’t stop myself.  I am a weakling.

In hindsight, the guilt almost outweighed my visions of reeling

in a splashing four pound smallie.  (almost)

A land-lover, He was back home making the bacon and I was in da U.P. camping on the shores of the Michigamme Reservoir with my parents, my brother and his grown children.  We had all been sharing my dad’s Bass Tracker and admittedly, it was crowded.  Being the fun girl that I think I am, I buzzed into town just to see if anyone was giving any old boats away on the side of the road.

I could justify something on the cheap side –but I knew I could never bring it home.

Just then I spotted an older aluminum boat with an Evinrude 115  resting on top of a  trailer whose durability was suspect.  The whole thing jumped off the side of the road and screamed, “Pick me!”   After kicking some tires and talking turkey, she was all mine.  I tried to stop myself; I really did.  Then I named her Mabel.  Trusty ‘Ol Mabel.  I stopped in town and found some letters at the hardware store, so her name could be properly displayed.  She and I had a rip roaring time for two summers in a row out on that lake.  We filled her live well and I dove off the bow into the cool water a couple of times.  When winter came, I stashed her at a storage facility.  A little thrill ran up my leg as the time went by and He was none the wiser.

Everyone in my family was sworn to secrecy.  No pictures of Mabel.  No mention of her blue gunwales or how she was strong enough to pull skiiers.  They said they couldn’t lie, but wouldn’t inform (knowing this is how I operate).  My husband, John, was on a need to know basis and he didn’t need to know.

We were in Chicago at my parent’s house during the spring that my father died.  The house felt empty and the backyard didn’t look right.  That’s when John looked in the yard and asked my brother, “Where is Gramp’s boat?”  Without thinking, my brother replied, “It is up north in storage with Kelly’s.”

John’s eyes literally bugged out of his head as he grew

a big Grinch smile–he had me. 

I was a goner.

Oh, I’ve paid for my crime since then and the story of Trusty ‘Ol Mabel is told and retold so much that I’ve become a legend in my own mind.  This story had a happy ending (hehehe) because John was a good sport; the surprises in life keep marriage aglow and if I wasn’t naughty, he wouldn’t stay interested.  All has been forgiven and eventually Mabel was less trusty than crusty and she went on the auction block.   Guilt.  Yepper… this was over the top but I would do it again.

 The End. 







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