By Mitch Howard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Last week I worked over 80 hours at two jobs, the wife’s car was broken into, and the air conditioning went out at home. The temperature inside the house topped 100 degrees Monday and that’s where I wrote stories after standing in the sun all day ball games. I took three cold showers and wrote the stories in my skivvies.
A 12-year-old doesn’t understand what it’s like to be so tired you can’t eat or sleep. They want excitement and they want it now. Excitement to me would be an air conditioner and a sofa.
“Daddy I’m bored.”
“We’ll do something later. Just let me chill out a second.”
“But I’m bored now.”
“You’ll survive. I promise.”
“But I’m bored.”
“What do you want to do?”
“I want to go frog gigging.”
“O.K. get ready.”
I thought this would buy me a half hour or more. It was less than five minutes when she came back with the only change that she now had on a Harley Davidson hat.
My next theory would be that by the time we bought a frog gig she could be convinced to wait to use it. Wrong again.
“I already put frog gigging as my Facebook status and I am not a liar.”
I did not want her to be a liar.
I have not gigged a frog since the Carter administration and could not think of a place that wouldn’t be a long drive. I would have let her gig a frog in front of the courthouse if it would get me home quick. We tried a pond in town, but the weeds were so high I didn’t want to take a chance. We did see a three-foot long snake skin.
We stopped at the pond next to the public library and heard the familiar frog sounds my kids call a broken banjo string. But the sign said no fishing and I guess that goes for gigging as well. We drove to Crooked Creek and tried to find a place to park without alerting the neighborhood. It’s hard to be subtle with a spotlight and a spear.
“Do you think they might call the police?”
“There is a chance,” I said. “But I would get in trouble not you.”
“That’s O.K. I don’t think they will let me into college with a criminal record.”
We tried another pond near our house, but again would have been walking through someone’s yard. She wasn’t happy when we pulled into the driveway with no frogs. She still said she felt like a lair. And she was bored. I didn’t worry about it much because I was asleep within 30 minutes.
The next morning as I left for work, she was still sleeping. I kissed her on the cheek. A big smile spread across her face as she whispered.
“Daddy, I’m bored.”