Brute’s Bleat: March 12, 2014


It looks like weather is headed in the right direction for Maple Lake’s St. Patrick’s Day Festival, March 15.  Promises of weather in the near 40-degree mark won’t set any heat records for the festival, but that would make it more comfortable for the spectators and participants in the parade.  One of the Irish Washer Women I visited with at the waffle breakfast Sunday figured they would be able to use water in their buckets and mops as well as in the bubble machine without worrying about it freezing while on the parade route.  So things are looking up after one of the colder winters on record and I’m sure the festival will attract thousands of people who will be primed for a good time Saturday at the various events after being cooped up since New Year’s.  I’ve always appreciated one-liner Irish jokes that some of Maple Lake’s Irish citizens were good at telling. The late Bob Hannon could reel them off rapidly with a bit of Irish brogue thrown in. This is a sampling of what I’m referring to. They’re not Hannon’s, but still good for a laugh. 
The Doctor was puzzled, ‘I’m very sorry, Mr. O’Flaherty, but I can’t diagnose your trouble. I think it must be drink. Don’t worry about it, Dr. Cullen, I’ll come back when you’re sober.
The Irish attempt at scaling Mount Everest was a valiant effort, but it failed: They ran out of scaffolding.
‘Where were you going when I saw you coming back?
‘What’s wrong with Murphy?’ asked Father Green. ‘I don’t know, Father. Yesterday he swallowed a spoon and he hasn’t stirred since,’ said Mrs. Murphy.
‘How far is it to the next village?’ asked the American tourist. ‘It’s about seven miles,’ guessed the farmer. ‘But it’s only five if you run!’
‘I’m the unluckiest person in the whole world,’ moaned Betty McGrath. ‘I bought a non-stick pan and can’t get the label off.’
‘I’d like some nails,’ Mick requested of the travelling tinker. ‘How long would you like them?’ asked the man. ‘Forever, if that’s all right with you,’ said Mick.
‘I was going to give him a nasty look but he already had one!’
‘The walls in my flat,’ says Murphy, ‘are so thin, that every time I ask my wife a question, I get three different answers’…
  One of Maple Lake’s handymen, Charlie Jencks, left the marks of his many talents in Maple Lake in gardens, backyard brickwork, landscaping, etc. during his lifetime. He walked to most of his jobs and I’m not sure if he had a car or was even Irish, but he had a ready wit. When asked if he wanted a ride when he was walking along the old road to Buffalo, he responded, “No, I’m in a hurry!”
So get out your Irish green and plan to have a great day in Maple Lake Saturday.
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A couple of trips to Lake Constance during the past week didn’t put any fish in the frying pan, but it wasn’t all bad. George Palmer and I tried some morning fishing there the middle of the week, but we had a rough time getting a bite.  There were several other anglers who weren’t doing any better and we called it a day and retreated to Madigan’s for a sandwich.  There were quite a few trails plowed on the lake which made moving around easy, but it didn’t seem to matter where we punched a couple of holes.  There were fish on the Vexilar screen, but they weren’t in the feeding mood. I went back out there Saturday and tried different depths and found 20 feet the most productive. Even then it was slow going and I hung it up with one nice crappie and four keeper sunfish which I pawned off on another angler.  Either myself and about 20 other anglers weren’t in a productive area or none of us knew much about winter angling! For me, it could well have been the latter.  There’s been a lot of talk about Pelican Lake freezing out and what’s in the future for that lake. It’s a lake that has been popular with many anglers in recent years because it produced limits of crappies, sunfish and northerns more or less at random.  The DNR has plans to return it to its duck pond status, which is what it was when I moved to Maple Lake back in the mid-sixties. Whether right or wrong, the DNR isn’t going to please everyone.  Pelican isn’t the only lake that is on the DNR’s liberalized fishing list and I figure that Mother Nature has a reason why it happens to shallow lakes in Minnesota.