Thursday, July 10, 2014

Shad, Bands and Peanut Cokes

A few random pics, totally unrelated, because I'm too lazy to write anything today...

I saw something busting spawning shad along the dam and tossed out a white fluke, which was immediately inhaled. As I was taking the hook out I noticed something moving down there at the back of her throat. I briefly thought about trying to pull the shad out, but figured the bass had caught it fair and square and it wasn't my place to screw her out of a real meal, seeing as how I'd already just screwed her out a fake one. So I put her back in the water. Sorry, shad. Such is life for a baitfish.

I don't care much about collecting bands, or "jewelry" as the waterfowl warriors like to call them. I wouldn't mind getting one (I never have, despite killing a respectable number of ducks in the past thirty years or so), but as a measure of a hunter's worth I think it's not much of a yardstick. But damn it, I really want a quail band, and for the past two years I've tried hard to get one. Of course I've failed miserably, need you bother asking? But every season I hear of some lucky jerk who comes up here from Tulsa or OKC and kills a banded quail. Maybe this fall...

On the last day of quail season the wind was howling so hard that it was impossible to hunt. But I tried. Damn but I tried. I leaned into the wind and swore. I raised my hands to the sky and swore. I wiped the stinging dust from my eyes and swore. And then I said to hell with it and gave up. I drove into a nearby town and bought an ice-cold Mexican Coke and a bag of peanuts. I drove to the lake and sat in the truck pouring the peanuts into my Coke as the dogs and I watched whitecaps curling across the water. I'd rather have had a banded quail, but real Coke (sugar, no corn syrup) and peanuts is a pretty good consolation. Does anyone still remember this, or still do it, or is old-fashioned, glass-bottle, ice-cold Coke and peanuts strictly a weird regional oddity from a bygone era?


  1. First, glad you didn't rob that poor bass. She worked hard for that shad.

    Second... bands. I've hunted ducks in four states, including CA where a BUNCH of local birds are banded every year, and I have yet to get one. I have no envy for the guy who wears a dozen on his lanyard, but I would like to have one or two. Sort of like a message in a bottle, it just seems like a cool thing to find.

    Finally, I haven't done peanuts in my Coke in ages. I can't drink regular anymore (too sweet for me), but it still works with a Diet Coke... and now I'm craving.

  2. Talk about bands. I once completely unloaded my gun on a drake mallard, all misses. My partner stands up and dumps the bird as it passes him. As he gets out to the bird, he turns and calls over his shoulder, I guess you don't like jewelry. The damn thing was double banded. It would have been my first after many years duck hunting (and better shooting). Talk about sticking the knife in and twisting it.

  3. I not only recall peanuts in cokes, but also the old greenish 6.5 oz refillable bottles with the city of origin embossed on the bottom. Back in the early '60's, the neighborhood nursery (plants) had an ancient Coke machine with the short cokes for a nickel. It was always a contest to see whose Coke bottle was made furthest away. In other words, the bottles were "banded". The Coke crates were wooden in those days.

  4. "Does anyone still remember this, or still do it, or is old-fashioned, glass-bottle, ice-cold Coke and peanuts strictly a weird regional oddity from a bygone era?" - Just you and Barbara Mandrell ;-)

  5. Here in Phoenix, Mexican Coca-Cola is always available. It tastes exactly like childhood. I haven't heard of sticking food in it though. I'd be glad to send you a case if you like, just for being a great writer, and for being a pal of the great Phillip Loughlin who I see commenting here every time I visit.

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