Exasperating Daryl

Glenn A. Hascall


Daryl and John are spending an afternoon fishing together, but their goals seem to be different. Daryl feels superior to John who is older and seems to have less "things". In the end Daryl isn't quite as sure that he's as rich as he thought.


DARYL: A 30-something professional. Works hard and plays hard.
JOHN: a 50-65 average Joe. Easy going.


(SETTING: JOHN and DARYL are in a small rowboat).
JOHN: (Looks around and smiles) Sure is a nice day.
DARYL: (Disgruntled) I can't believe I actually had to row.
JOHN: Aww, it does a body good, Daryl.
DARYL: I don't know why you didn't let me put my bass boat in the water. It's got a trolling motor and...
JOHN: (Looks up) Would you look at that?
DARYL: (Looks up) What?
JOHN: That sky is just about as blue as I've ever seen it.
DARYL: (Pause - still looking) Yeah, I guess it is. You know, John, it might have been helpful if I had brought my fish finder, we're kind'a fishing in the dark. We don't know what's down there.
JOHN: Yep.
DARYL: And you like fishing this way?
JOHN: Never saw fishing as a seek and destroy mission.
DARYL: But I could have brought my gear and shown you some pretty spectacular advances in the technology of fishing.
JOHN: (Chuckles) Technology of fishing? Sounds like I would be playing a computer game. (Pause) I came out here to fish.
DARYL: But, John, you'd still be fishing.
JOHN: You think fishing is about catching fish?
DARYL: What other use is there for being out on a lake than to catch fish.
JOHN: There's two things I've learned, Daryl. One, fishing is never just about fishing, and two; fish generally bite best when they think you're not interested.
DARYL: O come on John, I've spent more on fishing equipment than you make in a year.
JOHN: Doesn't surprise me.
DARYL: What's that supposed to mean?
JOHN: Well, it seems that you and I are quite different.
DARYL: Ya' think!?
JOHN: Tell me about some of the 'things' you have.
DARYL: (Gets excited) Well, I've got that new fiberglass bass boat and trailer. A new 4x4 SUV, my house sits on 4 of the prettiest acres in the area, and...
JOHN: There you go. Differences. I've got a 15 year-old pickup, a hand me down row boat, a little two bedroom house in the old part of town with a nice little garden out back.
DARYL: I'm sorry; I must have sounded like I was bragging.
JOHN: Bragging? I didn't think that for a minute. Things have got to be tough for you.
DARYL: That's got to be one of the strangest comments I have ever heard. Didn't you hear me talk about all my stuff?
JOHN: The way I figure it, none of those things are cheap.
DARY: You got that right.
JOHN: How many hours do you work, Daryl?
DARYL: No more than 60 (John gives him a disbelieving look) Ok, 70 (John maintains the same look) All right 75 hours a week - if things aren't real busy.
JOHN: And how much time is left for recreation.
DARYL: (Defensive) I spend time with my family.
JOHN: I didn't ask about your family, John.
DARYL: (Embarrassed) You didn't?
JOHN: Nope, was just wondering how much time you spent having fun.
DARYL: Well, I don't have a lot of time left.
JOHN: So instead of slowing down, you bought a 4x4 that you don't need for any other reason, and a bass boat that you can't afford and a fish finder that defeats the purpose of fishing so that you can "maximize" what little time you have.
DARYL: (Thinks briefly about what is said) Uh, yeah, I guess that's right.
JOHN: That's why I don't want to use your boat.
DARYL: What are you talking about?
JOHN: If I were to use your stuff, we'd probably catch fish because we would get there fast and use equipment that would tell us where the fish were and what size we were bringing to the surface. Then we'd race back to the plush 4x4 and head home.
DARYL: Yeah!
JOHN: But instead we get to hear birds sing while we wait for a tug on the line. We get to talk about life, since my boat isn't worth talking about and we might even slow down enough to breathe once in a while.
DARYL: (Pause, then a lopsided grin) It actually sounds pretty good the way you say it.
JOHN: Umm.
(Both men watch their poles and look around them at the scenery for a few seconds)
DARYL: So you actually like your life? (Embarrassed) Uh, no offense.
JOHN: (Smiles) None taken. I work 40 hours a week, I take my vacations and I'm not in debt.
DARYL: So why don't you buy a nice boat?
JOHN: Because this one works just fine - besides, I would rather spend my time and resources on things that mean something to me than to spend them on "things" that will one day be in worse shape than my little boat.
DARYL: I never thought about it that way.
JOHN: (Brightens) So, how's your week look?
DARYL: (Contemplative) I was pretty certain that I knew a couple of minutes ago. (Pause) It'd be nice to talk again - as long as we can use your boat. Are you free Tuesday evening?
JOHN: (Smiles) I'll have to check my schedule?
(Both men chuckle)
(Fade to black)
Copyright 2003 by Glenn A. Hascall
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