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“Welcome to Pristine Pelican Fishing Camp and today our job is to go fishing! We’re going to go out to Biscayne Bay and see if we can catch anything for today. Let’s see if we get lucky and catch a whopper. Anybody who has not done this dangerous job before, better watch out. Try to be careful with the hooks. Last year a boy got his eye impaled and

it took the doctors a full 1 hour to get it out. No! I’m just kidding, but please do

be careful. So let’s start.”

            The pier is pristine for Pristine Pelican Camp, the sun shining high in the morning sky with a small quiet beach besides it. It is a perfect day in South Florida. Shoals of fish pass by and outlines of bigger fish patrol the deeper water. But the very quiet day is pierced by Mr. John’s yells. “No Rick. Don’t put the line in the water without the bait. Linda, seriously, why in the world are you trying to eat the bait, that’s for the fish! Ok guys. Remember, the first step of fishing is put your bait on. Did you all do that yet?” As everybody casts their line out, John the instructor sighs in frustration as Rick’s rod falls out of his hand. “Goddammit Rick, haven’t I told you to always have a firm grip on you rod.” Rick replies “Sorry Mr. John, but I thought that if a shark came I would have to let go of my rod so it doesn’t pull me in. “Yeah, good thinking.” Mr. John says sarcastically.

            Suddenly a boy named Eric calls out. “Sir, I got one, and I think that it’s

pretty big.” John says, “Good job Eric!” It turns out to be a small puffer fish, but due

to Eric’s petit size it could have been a giant Marlin. “Well this is the first catch of the day kids, let’s give Eric here a clap. “It’s so tiny, says Rick, “I bet that we all could catch something much bigger than that puny puffer” “Oh yeah, I bet all you would catch is a dirty old rag.” Eric states. “Guys, guys Mr. John intervenes, this is supposed to be a fun trip, not some competition where somebody who catches the biggest fish wins. Now just chill out and cast your lines out again.” says Mr. John. The puffer then starts to inflate rapidly so Mr. John chucks it back in the water, where it deflates and zooms away, pretty fast for a fatty, now talking about fatties I have to see what Rick is doing. Mr. John thinks to himself.

            Eric and Rick keep on giving each other dirty looks until another boy calls out, “I caught one Mr. John!” Its slightly bigger than the puffer fish, it’s a small Cravelle jack, with yellow fins gleaming in the sunlight and the lower half of his body shining iridescent purple. “Step 2 everybody, when you catch the fish you must take the hook out in such a way that it won’t damage the mouth too much, in the background some kids sniggered “Mr. John, if we catch the fish with a hook, wont the mouth already be damaged.” Mr. John rolls his eyes. After an hour or so, Rick complains that he is rod-less since his fell in the water.  “Fine John relents, I’ll see if we can get it somehow” John starts to lower himself in the water only to see the rod at least 1 meter away in 3 feet deep of water. “Rick if I get cut and bleed to death I’m going to…”, “What, Rick says, stammer?” John shouts, “Remember step 3, never lose your footing! If you fall you can cut yourself on the clams or worse, bash your skull on the rocks. So stay away from the edge.” Finally after what seemed like hours John is able to get the rod and climb back up.

Then Rick pipes up, “Mr. John, where is the reel.” And then in the water they see

a small glint of metal under a crag in the rocks.


            “You gotta be kidding me, Mr. John groans, this trip is turning out to be a

nightmare.” Plus The kids are starting to lose interest in fishing, some of them are even starting to sword fight with the rods. One look at the reels position was obvious that it would be difficult to get due to all the sharp rocks jutting out. This location was supposed to be common for Bull Sharks, but well, the entire Florida is. These sharks can be vicious, well, John thinks to himself, my day can’t get any worse. “Mr. John, Linda wails,  Rick poked me with his metal stick.” “ It’s rod not metal stick. And Rick, stop bothering everyone or else I’ll call your mom.” John says in frustration. “Now just throw your line in the water and be quiet and stay quiet. Anyone who says any smart alec comment is going to be bait! Suddenly it seemed like early morning, where the only noise was the steady ebb and flow of the waves.     

            Now Mr. John is finding a way to reach that reel, it is much farther than where the

rod fell and is a perfect depth for the sharks to patrol. Maybe if he threw one of the annoying

kids in the shark would get him and he could get his 150$ reel back. Or he could just call Ricks

mom and make her pay for it. “Well, frick it, he mutters” He lowers himself into the water once again and wades toward the reel.

            As he is almost to it he hears a splash and a boy yelling, ‘Mr. John, Rick pushed, Eric into the water, because he called him a fat frog.” As John wades towards Eric he sees a cut on his forehead and a huge scratch on his knee, which is bleeding persistently. “Seriously Rick, you arr never coming to fishing camp again, this is the last straw! First you decide to drop a 300$ rod into the water and then you push you fellow companion in! This is supposed to be a fishing trip, not steps of how to ruin someone’s day!” And then Mr. John thinks to himself, blood. Sharks can probably smell this from miles away. He struggles to get Eric back on the shore and is exhausted when he does. “Step four guys, always try to listen to your instructor if this is your first time fishing, it could lead to potentially hazardous issues.” He manages to breath.

            By the time the first fins start to show up the kids are safely in the bus on the way back to

their houses, Rick sits grumpily in a corner after receiving a good yelling from Mr. John. Eric

sits in the corner with a quite smug look on his face and band-aids applied to his head and knee.


Then Mr. John facepalms, “the flippin reel!” He roars. And as the sun starts to set, the reel loses its shiny glint in the water. 

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