The Back 40

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The Back 40

Wag The Tail By John A. Hallock

Posted on June 13, 2015 at 5:10 PM

   Of all the great Wisconsin campfire tales one of the best is about the young woman wearing red nail polish who dangled her toes in the water at the end of the dock. Of course, the story goes, the red polish attracted a fish. A big fish. It was a musky with long, sharp teeth and a bad attitude about the color red. Sort of like a bull. I myself have caught many a northern pike, large and toothy. I have never caught a musky. And such was the case of a guy I know in a bar.

  “That story is hog wash,” he’d tell anyone who ever brought it up. “I ain’t ever caught a musky either. If I thought for a minute all I had to do to get one is paint my toe nails red I’d be painting them.”

  Now, when he said this, we were in a place called the Lone Pine Bar, Grill, and Organic Garden Supple Center out on Coon Dog Road. They have a catchy slogan too. Cold Beer, Juicy Burgers, and Hoes.

  Anyway, you could see the light bulbs going on over the heads of several fishermen in the crowd.

  Well Sir the next day several of those same guys decided they could afford to sacrifice a couple of toes for a big musky and were seen down at the lake sitting at the end of the docks painting their toe nails red.

  Well Sir, again, none of them caught a fish which prompted the local game warden to smile and observe, “I’m sure glad those boys never heard the old campfire tale about the skinny dipping pike fisherman they called, ‘Squeaky. ‘”

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