There used to be symmetry to Wednesday’s breakfast.

There were Opening Ceremonies: our rendition of “Where’s Waldo?” (“Where’s Siegal?”) plus a sprinkle of the week’s news.

Then, the main event, the guts of our meetings—dual entrees: Les complaining of Cleveland sports and Arthur then trumping him, railing about every other aspect of mankind here and across the globe.

Yesterday Jerry was still busy not working, yet it was clear the world was upside down. We opened with a brief update on a bet with Art (one month of breakfasts on the Indians’ 2010 win total—I’ve got the over at 55). And, oh, the men asked about the mini-marathon in Columbus. But the topic soon shifted to an embarrassing low: fishing, soccer, NASCAR, hockey, and, (as I slithered away), Arthur spoke of hiking. Hiking!

The Kraut, alas, is going to Alaska next week. He’ll be staying in a cabin, sans TV and perhaps, heat). Spending his days parked on a boat trying to hook fish. Sitting.

“What do you do if you catch something? we asked.
“Throw it back.”

None of us could quite grasp the concept. Our friend, an educated man…a doctor, no less, pissing away all sums of money, flying to some God-forsaken lake—just to sit in moisture and mosquitoes, hoping to catch something he can then toss away.

We all laughed. And laughed. Bob, Walt, Lester, me.

“Have you ever been on the Chagrin River?”

The table offered better ideas.

I thought we’d meet at Heinen’s. We could walk the seafood aisle, pick up some packages, then place them back on the shelves. Would that not be less time-consuming? Cheaper? (No mosquitoes).

My friend had an even better idea. Les suggested we take fishing rods to the grocery, stand over the tanks, and just wait for creatures to bite. We could then, of course, drop them back—all at no charge.

Clearly none of us understood Art’s passion. Sometimes, he’d admitted, there were no fish to catch. Sometimes there WERE other animals in the area. What were we missing? Did we laugh too hard to hear the good stuff?

As the commercial used to go: This was not our father’s oldsmobile (or breakfast). No talk of Browns, no Cavs, LeBron…not even the customary inquiry of Snyder.

Arthur’s frustration growing, the discourse descended inexorably. Inquiring minds had to know:

“Kraut, do you watch hockey/” (He can’t see the puck).
“NASCAR?” (Never)

The rest of us admitted we MIGHT watch soccer. (But only the World Cup Final and only if the U.S. was in it…and again, ONLY the second half).

“You guys don’t know what you’re missing!” Art exclaimed.

Enjoying the fun, not wanting to leave, I noticed the time. It was 9:30 and the real world awaited. Still, I didn’t want to go. As the check arrived, Art sighed:

“I’ve got to buy some lures for the trip—can’t get them at Dick’s.”

There was a lull in the conversation. Kraut’s comment was my cue—time to go. I didn’t know, nor did I care what a “lure” was.

Our friend clearly had jumped the shark.


  1. bob says:

    Even you with your brilliant prose can not adequetly describe the atmosphere and spirit of the Wedensday breakfast club. It is unlike any other experience. The closest event to it is the Thursday monthly dinners.
    If Seinfeld or Larry David were a part of these events I know it would make for a great sitcom. I look forward to the next Wedensday I can attend.

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