The truth of the matter

The secret to a happy, long, and lasting marriage is mutual respect, devotion, and truthfulness, right?

Well maybe the truthfulness part should only be attempted as a last resort. The Pearl of the Orient and I kept the knot tied for 51 ½ years and we kept the divorce lawyers at bay most of the time.

Also regarding the Pearl’s little truth tidbits, I simply did not want to know. One surprise visit with the undertaker when she tried to prearrange my funeral a couple of decades back was enough. And a question after arriving in from work at the hospital just after midnight asking, “Jack, what does that little red light on the dash that says oil mean?”

So I will not use this forum for “digging up bones.” After all true love has to have a good dollop of excitement and mystery.

However, a few years back the Rainy River Walleye Tournament revealed some real truths amongst the contestants, for the entire world to see. Take Cathy and Ziggy for example.

Ziggy, a long time competitor in the RRWT was happy with his fishing partner. It was male bonding at its best. Friendly banter, spirited competition, and no strings attached.

Then it happened. The unthinkable. Cathy put her name on the waiting list and was drawn. But she didn’t have a partner. Who would she select? Ziggy was in a real pickle. He finally offered to partner, and when the initial spousal interest was cool, he finally insisted.

Morning of the Tournament Cathy showed up with her survival kit. A roll of duct tape to silence Ziggy. A revolver to keep him in line and coerce him back to the dock for potty breaks.

Two bottles of medicinal potion to ward off malaria, snake bite, west nile, and the plague. A sign directing him to shut up and fish. A set of handcuffs to keep him from going AWOL. And lastly, a big tub to put the fish in.

So why did Ziggy insist on fishing with his wife?

Was it a sense of chivalry? Ziggy? C’mon!

Was it loyalty? They have dogs for that?

Loneliness? Maybe a bit.

Mid life crisis? Ziggy’s way past that!

Mating season? “Not on your life!” says Cathy.

No, it was none of these reasons. The truth is, it was cold, white-knuckled fear!

Fear that his manhood would suffer unrecoverable damage.

Fear, his male ego would be squashed like the migrating frogs crossing #11 after the fall rains

Fear, smashed like his prop hitting a boulder.


Fear, that Cathy with another partner, would scoop poor old Ziggy at the RRWT.

The bare, raw, truth is not to be taken lightly.