Billy Joe, Clem and Jim Bob were fishing at the pond. It was a hot summer afternoon. There were more bug bites than fish bites so far. Cicadas hummed a monotonous song, buzzing from the nearby trees. Overall, it wasn't an enjoyable way to spend an afternoon, but the boys were out of work with no significant other.
"Sure wish these mosquitoes would go away," said Billy Joe as he slapped another one from his neck.
"Seems like they come out every time it's hot and humid, Billy Joe," said Clem.
"You have any more insect repellent, Clem?" said Jim Bob.
"No, I already used it up. I do have some road kill gravy from dinner. That might help." Clem passed the container around to the others.
"This smells bad. How old is it?"
"Only a few days. Tasted fine last night."
Jim Bob decided to pass.
"When was the last time we caught a fish?"
"Been a couple days. Maybe the pond's dried out. I did get a catfish here last week. It was small though."
The sound of buzzing bees getting nectar joined the mosquitoes and hum of the cicadas. All in all, it was a cacophony of annoying sounds.
"What about that fish you caught? How'd you cook it?"
"Well, you know, I dipped it in a mixture of egg and bacon grease, then deep fried it."
"It was about nine inches."
"No, how long did you deep fry it?"
"Just until the grease from the fryer started popping out. You have to watch out for hot grease getting on your pants."
"I hear it."
"Anyway, I cut that catfish up into pieces and the cat came over, begging for a piece."
"Is that right?"
"Yes, so I gave him a piece. He burned his tongue on the hot fish and ran outside."
"That's a shame."
"Clem, you had any luck with that dating site?"
"I did have one date on Saturday. Missy Jane from Lakeview."
"Oh, fancy girl."
"Yes. Wore a dress and everything."
"Where did you meet?"
"At the 99. We had ribs and fixings."
The boys were all slapping mosquitoes with one hand while holding their fishing rod with the other. Sweat rolled down their faces and they used their towels to wipe it off. The sound of bugs was unrelenting.
"Did she like that?"
"I thought she would. But she ate the ribs with a knife and fork and had a napkin on to keep the sauce from dripping on her dress. And she didn't even try the corn or beans."
"Shame. You did though, right?"
"Of course, I haven't seen a barbeque dinner yet that I haven't finished. But I was polite. I asked if I could eat hers before I took it."
"A real gentleman."
"So what happened after dinner?"
"I asked her if she wanted to go to a movie."
"She said she had to get up early for work."
"On a Sunday?"
"Yeah. And it was only 5:30pm. She may have been lying."
"So I took her home. She lived in a nice ranch house near the Porterville line."
"Did you kiss her?"
"I tried, but she wasn't going for it. Just repeated that she better get to bed."
"Yeah shame. Win some and lose some, I guess."
"Yup. You got to be in it to get it."
"How's the job in the junkyard? Did you hear back?"
"Boys, you'll be glad to know I am the new night guard for the yard. Eight dollars an hour and my pick from the pile, once a week."
"Hey, I could use a new steering wheel for my pickup."
"I'll make that the first piece I look for."
"Thank you much."
"You're welcome. Friends got to stay together."
"Hey, did you see the news about that foreigner who got beat up?"
"An Indian guy?"
"Yes, that's the one. He was protesting outside the gun store."
"That's not good."
"No, not a good idea."
"Had a sign saying you don't need an assault gun to hunt with."
"Well, I can see why he was beat up. You don't need an assault gun, but it's much better for those fast critters. A shotgun is fine for deer, but you needs something fast for those ground critters."
"Preaching to the choir."
The boys had been at it for a few hours now and were getting restless with the bugs and heat.
"Maybe we should call it a day. Not much fish today."
"No, guess they're asleep today."
"Yeah, and I want to take a shower before the rally."
"Yeah, good idea. Might be some women there."
"Yeah. That Trump is a good-looking guy."
"Sure is. See you there."