7:18 a.m.: I'm taking the boys fishing this morning. There's a serviceable little fishing peer about an hour from my doorstep so that's where we're heading. The plan is to just hang out with Boy A and Boy B for a bit, but also there's a secret plan: I've loaded my phone with a SUPER DUPER MR. HOOPER tough playlist that I want to listen to with the boys while we fish and talk and just exist as father and sons. Best case scenario: We get to experience at least one profound moment (hopefully it happens during the bridge of Jimi Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary"). Worst case scenario: I come back home with only one of them because I tossed the other into the ocean in a fit of rage. Fingers crossed.
8:30: Hhmhm. We've been here for two minutes and things are already weird. The lady next to us, an older Black woman, somehow hooked a crow (I didn't even know crows liked the ocean). Like, she just managed to hit it as she was casting and it got tangled in her line. She reeled him while he tried desperately to fly away. Once she got him onto the pier, she started a conversation with him. ("Now hold still, bird. I'm trying to get you off. I don't want you and I know you don't want me. Let me ge--HOLD STILL, BIRD.") Is there some sort of government program that gives homeless people fishing poles. Thanks a lot, Obama.
8:30:15: Boy B wandered over and asked her why she caught a bird. Her response: "I caught a bird because I caught a bird." I can't tell if that's especially profound or if she's just being a chode.
8:41: Alright, after several infuriating minutes of prep, the Spiderman fishing poles are officially on deck, bro. True player shit.
8:49: HOLY CHRIST BOY B CAUGHT A FISH. LIKE, HE CAUGHT THAT SHIT BY HIMSELF. HE'S REELING IT IN NOW. THIS IS MONUMENTAL.
8:50: Haha. This fool was reeling it in like he'd hooked Jaws ("IT'S TRYING TO PULL ME IN THE WATER, DADDY!"). I'm looking out onto the water waiting for the blue barrels to pop up and shit. This fish is the size of a baby's fist. And he hooked it through its belly. Adorable.
9:11: Phone is playing music. It's cycled on to LL Cool J's "I'm Bad." It's the first single from Bigger and Deffer, his second album. I'm not certain he was ever able to balance being aggressive with being marketable more covertly. The track is, to be sure, a magnanimous flashpoint in his career. Boy A's summation: "I like this song, Daddy." Fuckin' right, you do.
9:34: Jesus Christ. So for the last 40 minutes now, Boy B's been strutting around the pier like he's the goddamn king of the seas and oceans. "Daddy, but why am I so good at fishing?" Chill out, hoe. He was three inches long. And you hooked him through his stomach. // We were sparring a couple weeks ago and he caught me with a proper left cross that split my lip open. He reminds me every single day. He'll probably talk about this fucking fish for six months.
9:47: EXCELLENT. A Chopped Not Slopped version of The Weeknd's "House Of Balloons."
9:47:05: "Chopped Not Slopped" refers to the DJ style Texas icon OG Ron C perfected wherein he takes albums, slows them down a bit, the mixes them. It's not unlike DJ Screw's Chopped and Screwed, save for Ron's versions are a step or two quicker so they maintain most of the original melody. It's positively gorgeous.
9:47:30: "Daddy, what's wrong with this song?" -Boy B
I'm not sure this kid is even my son anymore.
9:54: SON OF A BITCH. Boy A just caught a fish. "DADDY, LOOK! I GOT A FISH. HE TRIED TO TAKE THE FOOD AND I CAUGHT HIM!" How the fuck am I losing a fishing contest to a kid that thinks the Quad City DJs are the greatest rappers of all and a kid that refers to bait as "food"???
9:54:15: BTW, the boys have an old iPod now and the Quad City DJs' "Space Jam" is one of the four songs on there. THEY LISTEN TO THAT SHIT 1,000 TIMES A DAY. I've never hated Bugs Bunny more.