Brotherly Love

Forgive and Forget, or Fight Forever?

Marcus Buren January 26, 2015

I fish. It is what I do every chance I get. Actually, it is what my dad taught my brother and I to do since we were old enough to walk. Barely two years apart, we grew up fishing together and have spent countless days on the water elbow to elbow. However when we both reached our mid 30s, a rivalry began. We blame our wives for sparking the friction between us. In any event, rather than the best buddies we used to be, we are now fierce competitors.

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Photo: reysart.com

My brother Charlie lives on the other side of town and owns an older 25-foot Dusky. I’ve always said it’s barely more than a bathtub with a pair of smoky two-strokes strapped to the back. Truth is, dad taught us well and Charlie does okay. I refuse to give him any more credit than that.

…I devised an ingenious plan and waited patiently for the perfect opportunity to spring into action.

On the other hand, I own a real boat…a late model Mako with a pair of efficient four-strokes. We both fish as often as we can, but never with each other. We also compete against one another in local tournaments throughout the year. Maybe one day we’ll get past this family feud and do some serious damage together. For the time being though, I do whatever I can to ensure he never comes out on top. Really, this back and forth vendetta was all fun and games up until last season, when both Charlie and I stooped to an entirely new level of lowness.

Things really started to get ugly when I took the new Mako out on her maiden voyage. I had just taken delivery a week prior and was anxious to get some blood on the deck. I invited a couple guys from work and off we went in search of a hot dolphin bite. Radio chatter indicated fish were everywhere with nearby boats finding plenty of schoolies along with the occasional gaffer. While we were trolling in the heart of the action, we couldn’t buy a bite. We never even had a single knockdown!

Refusing to believe my new boat was cursed, it was only when I arrived back home and was cleaning up that I realized the problem. It seems the night before my brother snuck over to the house with a bushel of bananas. Under the cloak of darkness, he hid the forbidden fruit in every compartment on the boat, sealing our fishing fate before we even wet a line. Of course, left with no choice but to retaliate, I thought long and hard about what the best course of action would be. Ultimately, I devised an ingenious plan and waited patiently for the perfect opportunity to spring into action.

Nearly three months had passed before I heard Charlie was planning a weekend trip to the islands over the coming holiday break. My chance had finally come to make certain his big adventure would never get off the ground. I waited for Charlie to leave for work and drove to his house with prop wrench in hand. With the Dusky alongside the garage, it only took me minutes to remove both propellers and swap them from one engine to the other.

With opposing propellers on counter rotating outboard engines the result is massive vibration and lack of propulsion. While the trip was cancelled moments after leaving the dock, that was just the beginning of the pain. I heard it took a full month before the mechanic even realized the root of the problem!

In hindsight, I admit that I may have crossed the line. Maybe that explains why Charlie refuses to answer my calls or emails and hasn’t said a single word to me since.

Sorry Charlie, but you should know how much I hate bananas!

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