The Cambrian

Lady Tie Di: A chance to have a long talk on a short pier

It was one of those days. “But there’s nothing to DOOOOO around here.” After a heated discussion with the teenager about not supplying BP with all the more reason to keep extracting black gold by running down to SLO to see his girlfriend everyday, I was on the verge of blowing. I did what every smart mom should do—went for a walk with my girlfriend. Up hill. Both ways.

When I got back home, we were both in a better mindset. “Should we go for a hike?” “Yeah.”

Then, spying my new, pink Barbie fishing pole sitting there on the dining room table (hey, it was a birthday present — it’s suppose to just make ’em flock to ya), we changed our minds and decided to head up to the San Simeon Pier since we don’t need a license there.

I was rather impressed with the effort he was making. We first had to move my 500-pound work table from the middle of the garage to make way for the attic ladder to drop down. He found my headlamp and I skillfully crawled up there, shoving aside boxes of baby clothes, kids’ books and old K-otter play lists, until I bumped into the tackle boxes and fishing rods we’d given the boys a good 10 years ago. And that was the last time they’d seen daylight.

The boy carefully fitted together the pole, found the reel in the tackle box (amazing it still existed), and then we pawed through the rest of the materials in there. “Hmmmmm, guess the last time we went out was in that lake but, heh, we’ll just use what’s here and see what happens.” “Yep,” not one to mince words.

It was a lovely, foggy afternoon as we made our way up the coast, past the gawking tourists toward the Cove. “I see the zebra are down.” “Yep. You know, I guess I just don’t realize how nice this is, having lived here all my life.” Click.

It was a weekday, so the crowd was thin. However, we did spot fellow anglers at the end of the pier. “Oh, rats!” he said. Not wanting to appear the least bit self-conscious about my own lack of skills, I replied, “That’s OK! Maybe we can spy on them for some tips.”

I whispered, “Oh, yeah, no bobbers here!” I jury-rigged what I guessed to be a good-sized weight up from the hook, an “Arbogastsputterbuzz” or something like that, we’d managed to tie on. I stated confidently, “Don’t want it too close to the hook; you’ll scare the fish away.” How any fish could not be afraid of flashing metal tags and neon orange putty was beyond me in the first place. No accounting for taste in the animal kingdom.

“Let’s see, ya wanna try the hotdog or this old fluorescent poop?” I scraped a little of the orange stuff out (smelled as bad as it did 10 years ago). Then came the fun part. We chose our footing on the pier and let ’er rip. Within three minutes my line had drifted into the young man’s to my right. “Sorry.” Well, that was not the first time.

Most surprising was that, despite the newby efforts of the young angler I’d brought, it uncharacteristically wasn’t sounding like the first fleet had arrived in port. Nope, he just kept chucking it out. He brought up a dandy piece of kelp. I think my best catch was the hood of my sweatshirt. Until…

Packing it in, another fisherman donated his squid (Ooo, real bait!) to our cause. After the rest of them also departed, we squished the critter onto our hooks and gave it our best shot. Tick, tick, tick, tick…. “I’m really kinda cold. “OK, lemme give it one last try.” With a mighty cast any girl should be proud of — I landed the underside of the pier but good. “Well, we didn’t need that hook anyway.” (You thought it was going to be juicier than that, huh? Join the crowd!).

“Hey, I didn’t even mention to you that you should bring your sweatshirt. Pretty good on my part, eh?” “Well, yeah.” Not a bad afternoon for not having anything to do.

E-mail Lady Tie Di, aka Dianne Brooke, a member of the Coast Unified School District Board of Trustees, at tiedi@att . net, or visit her Web site at