I'd literally just moved into the neighbourhood. I couldn't have been there for more than ten minutes before a man knocked on my door.
"Welcome." he said, "It's a pleasure to meet you", which was strange because we hadn't met yet. The door was still closed. Maybe he was practicing.
When I opened the door I saw a man, maybe seven feet tall, dressed in some kind of faux military uniform and carrying two fishing rods.
"I'm Randy. Let's go fishing."
"Hi, Randy. I'm Anthony. I can't really go fishing right now, I'm still unpacking."
"Nonsense. These boxes will still be here when we get back" he said, kicking the box nearest the door. "Let's go."
I wasn't sure what to do. For a moment I just stood there, hoping he'd go away. When he didn't I got a little worried, so half an hour later I was sitting in Randy's little fishing boat in the middle of a lake.
"My dad used to bring me here every year." he said.
"It's nice. How long will we be staying?"
"As long as it takes."
An hour passed and we'd yet to catch a single fish. I was about ready to demand to be allowed to go home when something began to pull at my rod.
"I think I've got something." I said.
"Give it to me." Randy yelled, taking hold of my rod and pushing me to the side. Ten seconds later I could see the fish dangling on the line. Randy pulled it in and gripped it with two hands. He stared at it deeply for a moment, then he began to shake it.
"Where is it? Tell me where it is!" he screamed. After a minute of the same question over and over again Randy gave up and threw the fish back in the water.
Over the next two hours we caught eight fish, all were met with the exact same question and violent shaking. All were thrown back. Just after Randy placed the ninth fish back in the water he said "Come on then. Let's go home."
We travelled back to town in Randy's pickup truck in silence. What was with this man? Was he about to become my best friend? My crazy best friend who lives in my street and doesn't leave me alone.
We pulled up outside my new house. I thanked Randy for the ride and started to walk up my driveway. Curiosity was beginning to get the better of me, so I turned back. "Hey, Randy. What were you looking for?"
"What do you mean?" he said.
"You kept asking the fish about something."
"Oh, no, I'm not looking for anything."
"Then why do you ask them the same question?"
"That's just the way my father taught me to fish."
I had nothing left to say.
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