by Allen Rolf
Barco, my neighbor, handed the advertisement across the backyard fence.
"What do you think?" he asked.
"Catch Fish Every Time With Little Miracle Fish Bait," said the ad. I read the fine print.
"Gee, I dunno ... says a guy in North Dakota caught a twelve-foot shark out of a stock tank. Didn't know they had sharks in North Dakota,"
"That's the point," answered Barco. "The stuff is good enough to catch fish where nobody thought there were any. The money-back guarantee even says so!"
"well, I guess," I answered.
A few weeks later, Barco called on the phone. "It came in," he said.
"My order of Little Miracle Fish Bait!"
"When are you going to try it out?" I asked.
"Right now! Come on over!"
Barco ushered me into the bathroom. His tackle box was sitting on the commode. The bathtub was half full of water.
"Oh, come on," I said. "You can't be serious?"
"I am serious," said Barco. "The money-back guarantee says the Little Miracle Fish Bait will catch fish anywhere!"
Barco put a wad of the stuff on his hook and dropped it into the tub. After a few minutes nothing had happened.
"Barco," I said. "I think you need a little more water for a fair test ..... maybe a river or even a small lake."
It was dinnertime at my house and I left Barco sitting on the commode reading the Little Miracle Fish Bait instruction sheet.
"See you later," said Barco as I left. "There's an 800 help line, maybe I'll call and see what I'm doing wrong.
"Sure," I said. Sometimes, Barco is just not entirely all there.
Two hours later the phone rang. Alice answered it.
"It's Liz, Barco's wife, she needs your help," said Alice."Barco's locked himself in the bathroom and won't come out."
"Holy Smoke," I said.
Barco's wife was in a panic.
"He made this telephone call, then went into the bathroom with his rod and reel," she said. "He's beenin there splashing around and says he won't come out until he has his limit."
I knocked on the door.
"Barco! You in there?"
"Yes, but go away ... I'm busy!"
Finally, I gave up and called 911. Two big guys from the fire department came in and busted the door down.
"Never had one lock himself in the bathroom with a bunch of fish," observed one of the medics as they loaded Barco into the amublance.
The bathroom was a mess .... water still all over the place. Liz and I were up until 2 AM cleaning all those darn fish.
"Wonder where he got all these fish?" she asked.
"I dunno," I answered. "Did they say when he would get out?"
"No, they said they wanted to keep him a few days for observation."
"Well, he needed a vaction anyway. Mabe a few days observation will relax him."
I went home to bed. At 6 AM the phone rang. It was Barco.
"Can you sneak my fishing tackle in?" asked Barco. "Boy, they've got a full-sized pool down here at the hospital! I can hardly wait to try the Little Miracle Fish Bait in a full-size Olympic pool!"
"Come on ... back off Barco ... you're in pretty deep already!"
"But the stuff works just like the guarantee says," said Barco. "I called the 800 line and found out what I was doing wrong!"
"Yeah, and what was that?" I asked.
"The bait will only work if you spit on it before you put it in the water!"
© 1998 Allen Rolf