Growing up in South Florida, there’s plenty of oceanfront property to cast off and hope for the best, including Everglades, lakes, reservoirs and the like. I have many happy memories of spending time at the shoreline with family, with friends, and those times when love could do no wrong. However, there’s one time that sticks out in my memory when it comes to fishing.
One early Saturday morning, about 5 or 6 years ago, I was at the Pompano Pier off A1A and Atlantic Boulevard with myself, my gear and a desire to completely waste the day soaking in the Florida sunshine and local view. I set up my spot at the bench at the end of the pier and started to prep my bait and hook for the initial castoff. A pelican flew in and parked himself next to me eying my squid I had just purchased from the pier shop. I looked at him as if to say, “Beat it chump, go steal the other guys’s stuff,” and he looked back at me and flew off into the distance right past me. After my close encounter of the feathered kind, I went about casting my line into the Atlantic Ocean, listening to my Walkman play the music of an era gone by, enjoying a half frozen bottle of water, a submarine sandwich and taking in Mother Nature at her finest hour.
After I had just arrived, I had befriended Denise, a very attractive young woman two benches down trying to un-snag her line, spewing all sorts of various obscenities where parents who had brought their kids that day could hear loud and clear. I went over to her, introduced myself, helped her un-snag her line, and indulged in a long conversation. I thought nothing of the bird interaction until a couple of hours later, when I felt my pocket hunting for my cell phone to take her number and ask her out, and then looked at the bench next to me where I had remembered I had placed my phone on top of my tackle box.
It was gone. So was my tackle box. I said to myself, “There goes 10 years of work contacts, friends, a girlfriend or two’s number. There’s no getting it back. Should’ve left the damn thing in the car like I did every other time….” What I said out loud was, “So much for getting your number. Got a new one for you: Pelican ate my phone.”
I was reaching for my pen and notebook in my back pocket when Denise laughed and pointed down the pier, where the contents of my tackle box was scattered all over the deck. In the thick of it was my cell phone being nudged around by a flock of hungry pelicans.
Morals of the story: Loyalty is key. To whom (or what) you pledge your loyalty is paramount.