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Saturday, April 6, 2013

You Weren’t the Only One Listening to the Radio, Dawn

In the truck the other day, on our way to Northport, the radio was playing an old Jimmy Buffet song, one I’d never listened to closely and wasn’t listening to closely that morning, either. My attention was directed beyond the windshield, my eyes scanning for deer and turkeys. We’ve been seeing a lot of both, the deer dark and lithe this time of year, the male turkeys all strutting and fanning their tails. So, as I say, I wasn’t listening closely, but the refrain kept repeating (as refrains will do) until it penetrated my consciousness. Huh? What was he singing?

What to the left, and what to the right?” I asked David.

“Fins,” he answered – but I heard the answer as “Finns,” and that seemed strange, coming from Buffet.

“Is it a U.P. song?” I asked.

David cracked up. “Fins! ‘You’re the only bait in town!’" he added as clarification.

“There’s plenty of fishing in the U.P.,” I protested, defending my interpretation. “Remember the bait machine outside our motel in Manistique?”

“It’s about sharks,” David insisted – and of course he was right.

But if you know the U.P., can’t you see that small town bar, all the local Finns lined up with draft beers after a day of ice fishing, and then a lone woman walks in?

David shook his head. “Finns,” he reminded me, "wouldn’t even speak to her. It isn’t the same thing at all.”

I wonder. After all, with logic, everything depends on your premises. Of course, my premises depended on only hearing the refrain and not the verses. The rest of the song tells the story clearly. Oh, well!


BB-Idaho said...

Some friends who were grads of Mich
Tech refer to the locals as 'Suomi'. Never understood if that was complimentary or derogatory. In the 60s, I was part of a chemistry research team which
consisted of a guy of Finnish descent, a guy of French descent and me, of Norsk heritage. The
Finn was quiet and phlegmatic, the
French fellow wore a diamond stick
pin in his tie (and would leap into an impressive entrechat when
the spectrograph worked right).
While we three enjoyed the odd
combination of competitive ping pong concurrent with competitive drinking, the Finnish guy and I
made several canoe/camp trips.
He was quiet, would muster a grin now and then. ..until the day I
demonstrated how to flycast for
river smallmouth bass...and caught a clam. He laughed the rest of the day! We have exchanged Christmas messages every year for
the last 55 seasons.

P. J. Grath said...

Suomi means Finnish. I like your story, BB. My husband has been to Finland and has stories of his own from time there.

Dawn said...

Cute story! PJ! Having lived up there especially cute!

P. J. Grath said...

I thought you would like it, Dawn.