I’m not sure how, but the other day I forgot that my truck would be glazed by the overnight air and thus failed to allot a few extra minutes for that segment of my morning.
I started the engine, turned up the defroster, retrieved my morning newspaper from the frosty gravel driveway, re-entered the truck and waited.
The defiant little crystals stared at me.
Being somewhat impatient I began rummaging around the cab for the scraper I was pretty sure I didn’t have. I did, though, have a lot of what would not work as a replacement.
I found garbage. There was the Starbucks cup half-filled with pistachio shells, a receipt for the stuffed bear I bought my nephew for Christmas and one for gas in Dunsmuir.
I found survival stuff: a first aid kit, emergency blanket, emergency flip flops, emergency shoes and emergency rope. I used to have an emergency collared shirt incase the place I wanted to golf required one, but it got used in Palm Springs one summer and never put back. I also finally accepted that my game more properly suits links without standards.
The Clif Bar in the emergency tackle box was left over from Alaska 2009, I think, and should probably be replaced but it could wait. I needed a scraper.
I found Benjamin Franklin’s autobiography, the Bible and The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson. John Gierach was also there in both hardcover and paperback. I bet Gierach would have loved to know one of his books assisted a fellow fly-fisherman in the scraping of ice from a windshield, but only if that angler was en route to a river to actually fish.
Since I was headed to work, I figured it would be in poor taste to potentially ruin Fools Paradise. It probably wouldn’t have worked anyway.
I continued searching.
There was a broken No. 5 Blue Fox spinner, four steelhead jigs in assorted pinks and reds, two mangled No. 12 bead-headed prince nymphs and one No. 4 Snoqualmie sunrise that I’ve never shown to fish.
There was even a thermos with coffee left over from a November trip to the Middle Fork of the Stanislaus River.
There was a headlamp, Q-tips, bottle of hand-sanitizer and a “Klawock Chieftains” coffee mug. I found two dollar bills, four stamps and some Canadian coins left over from my last drive through British Columbia in the summer of 2010.
One might be tempted to nominate me for a spot in the vehicular version of “Hoarders”, but my truck isn’t messy, it’s just well prepared.
“Man,” I thought. I’m ready for anything.”…except a frozen windshield.
Thankfully there was also some basketball stuff. Under the seat was a broken clipboard from a second half gone awry a few years back. I hadn’t been looking for it, I didn’t miss it, but I was glad it was there among the detritus of a fisherman’s truck.
Naturally by this point the ice was almost gone.
Outdoor Writers Association of California
Phil Ford Humor Award