Ice Fishing

Walter was back from his week-long trip up north. His coworkers were pleased to have him back and happy to welcome him with a very full inbox. It kept him quite busy catching up. He didn’t leave his desk until lunch.

Kevin sat by him in the break room. “Hey Walter,” he said. “How was your trip? Where did you go?”

Walter smiled and put down his sandwich. “Oh there’s this lovely lake I visit every year. I get a cabin right on the shore. It’s not at all expensive this time of year. It’s so pretty. The sky is blue, and the air is crisp. It’s all so quiet.” He picked up his sandwich again.

“Hmmm,” Kevin said. “It does sound nice. What do you do? Snow shoeing? Cross-country skiing? Writing a novel?” He bit into an apple.

Walter finished chewing. “Oh, I do read a bit. I like to roast marshmallows in the fireplace too. Mostly, I go ice fishing.”

“Ice fishing, wow,” Kevin said. “I’ve never been. It sounds pretty neat though.   Rather cold, I imagine.”

“Well, it is ice,” Walter said.

“Yeah,” Kevin said. “I don’t like to get cold.   I don’t think it’s for me. That just means more for you, I guess.”

“I guess so,” Walter said. Both men ate their lunches in silence for a few minutes.

“I do like to read though,” Kevin said. “What do you like to read?”

“Oh, you know, the classics. The dictionary, the phone book…”

Kevin looked up from his lunch. “What?”

Walter laughed.   “Just kidding. I’ve heard that once you’ve read the dictionary, everything else is just a remix. But, I haven’t read it. I was reading one of those World War Two spy novels.”

Kevin laughed.   “You got me. I believed you for a moment there. That was a good one.” He laughed again. “I like spy novels too, but I prefer the cold war era. You know, the James Bond type. Not the ones that are romance novels in disguise, of course.”

“Of course.   I wouldn’t mind the more modern spy novels as much if the language wasn’t so bad,” Walter said. He pointed at Kevin with his sandwich. “Are you one of those that never even notices?”

Kevin shook his head. “No, I think it’s a bit over the top, too. Tell you what. Sometime I’ll go through my favorite one with a black pen and scribble out the bad words. Then I’ll lend it to you.”

“If you did that, I’d read it,” Walter said. He smiled and held out a hand. “It’s a deal.” Kevin laughed and they shook hands.

“So are you going to lend me your favorite spy novel in return?” Kevin asked. He started to put his lunch things away.

“Of course I will,” Walter said. “It’s only fair. I look forward to hearing what you think.” He tossed his paper towel in the trash and pulled two homemade cookies out of his lunch bag. “Want one?”

“Of course I do,” Kevin said. “What kind are they?”

“Oatmeal raisin,” Walter said. “I love oatmeal raisin.”

“Me, too,” Kevin said. He bit into the cookie.   “Mmmm. These are good.” He ate another bite. “So, ice fishing, huh?”

“Yeah, I’ll have to show you pictures,” Walter said. “I’ve got a few on my desk.”

“I’ll follow you out,” Kevin said, picking up his lunch bag.

Walter packed up the last of his things. “Sounds great. Just give me a second.”

“So, what was the biggest fish you caught?” Kevin asked.

“Fish? I hate fish,” Walter said. “Why would I catch fish?”

“Huh?” Kevin paused and looked back. “What do you mean? I thought you were ice fishing.”

“Yeah, of course I was,” Walter said. “So I caught ice. Lots and lots of ice.   It’s all catch and release of course.   It just doesn’t travel well.”

“What? Really?” Kevin asked.

“Just kidding,” Walter said. “I love fish. I caught some really big ones this year. Just wait until you see the pictures.”

Kevin groaned. “I can’t believe you got me again.” Walter laughed.