I had a friend who

Sep 28 2001 Kelly Norton
I had a friend who used to spend every weekend with his father fishing the river below the dam. One Saturday, having little luck with the fish, he laid his pole down in the bottom of the boat and reclined onto the bow. He was staring out over the ripples on the water at an old Cyprus tree that guarded with its knees the entrance to a shallow slough, when he dared to inquire: "Would it not be some shit if that Cyprus tree were only an object conjured up by my imagination." The father, not alarmed at his cursing, continued to stare at the upper half of his floating cork. After the son no longer expected a response, the father adjusted the angle of his cork and replied with indifference, "yeah, and wouldn't it been some more shit if he were thinking the same thing about you." My friends have crazy fathers. Another friend's father would always run over the same cinder block in their yard when he came home drunk. Whenever he was sober, he would always park just inches to the right of it. That sort of consistency is rare in a man.

Actually, I can't be sure that both stories are true. One should always doubt a story that involves fish…and whales. Cinder blocks are usually much more reliable.