As a senior in highschool, I thought I knew everything. I was tough, I was invincible, I was.. a teenager.
We used to lie to our parents about staying at each other's houses and then drive out to the country to go "Ling Drinking" under a bridge off the Yellowstone River.
Of course, in order to go Ling Drinking, one needs alcoholic libations. So we'd scrape what we had together and buy a case of Keystone Light and head out.
Now, before I continue with this story, I should mention I'm female. I should also mention that I went with this group because my best friend was dating one of them and I had a desperate crush on that guys brother. I should also mention that in the years we had been doing this, we had never caught anything other than catfish and other assorted bottom feeders.
I didn't even realize that a Ling was a fish (a nasty, eel-like fish.. in case you were wondering). I thought Ling Drinking was slang, like cow tipping and snipe hunting. I thought it was just something to do while drinking. Sit around a fire with your poles in the water waiting for the bell on the end to go off so you can rebait the hook. And drink.
I was wrong.
I was minding my own business chatting with my friend when the bell on my pole went off. I hopped up and began reeling it in, not paying it much attention. Not expecting the Hell that was about to break loose.
There was a fair amount of fight on the end of the line, but anyone that's been fishing knows that doesn't always mean you have a big one.. so I didn't give it a thought. Until I heaved it up on shore.
At that point I saw what was on my line. Let me describe for you from a 17 year-old girl's point of view.
A nine foot long anocanda coming straight for me. I've never screamed so loud in my life.. until two seconds later when this anaconda WRAPPED ITSELF AROUND MY LEG!! At that point I can honestly say they could hear me screaming across the ocean.
So, there I was, in shorts with an anaconda wrapped around my leg.. my BARE leg. And what do you think those guys I was out fishing with were doing? They were laughing there heads off. Turned out they all knew exactly what a Ling was and weren't phased for a moment. I, however, was scarred for life.. well, maybe not for life.
I have to admit now that I'm thirty it's an amusing incident to look back on.
A small, probably terrified, eel-like fish clinging to me for dear life as I hopped around madly on one leg, screaming at the top of my lungs.
Ah, to be a kid again.