Linda Treiber

Linda Treiber
April 04
a.k.a. Linnnn
You are cordially invited to close your eyes and throw a dart at any one of the titles listed in "My Links" below. Those stories are all bits and pieces of me. Let me know what you think...


Linda Treiber's Links

1 Act Play - 4 Generations of Women
The Beach Divas
Random, Because I Can
I Fought the Law and...
Ghosties and Paranormal Musings
Kids, Dogs, Cats, Family and Such
My Links
The Baby Tree. A ghostly 1 act play
My Blog Bog Elsewhere
Soccer Moms Are Fabulous
It WAS a Tumor! Tale of the Tumor
Serial Killers, Catholics, 9/11 Etc.
The Adventures of Dr. Dad
Plays Made Entirely by Emails
JUNE 14, 2010 7:22AM

Dad Builds Character

Rate: 40 Flag

dad frog gigiin 

Already told to go pound sand by mom, dad enlisted his first born, me, as the perfect accomplice for a project he was planning for sundown. 

“It’ll take us five minutes, just five minutes, swear.”

Common family knowledge was that if dad estimated five minutes on a job starting at sundown that meant we might make it back by dawn, and usually in need of stitches, a splint or antihistamines. 

It all started when dad had a rocking chair chat with a couple of the local guys down at Rheinman’s store.  Since that confab, he had been obsessed with fulfilling this mysterious rustic Jeremiah Johnson live off the land dream. 

And without saying exactly what it was, he was hard selling the experience as a wilderness epiphany; an ultimate homage to the local food chain and a pioneer-style boon to family togetherness.  

Mom’s eyes never stopped rolling. 

And grandma, who was raised on an Illinois farm, had been there, done it and preferred store-bought lunch at the club.

On the front porch of the cabin we had rented at Lake Toxaway in North Carolina for summer vacation, I found dad gazing wistfully at the sun sinking low over Hogback Mountain while sharpening a small three-pronged fork-like tool with a whetstone.  He had inserted the end of a long dowel into the hollow circular bottom of the pointy sharp thing creating a fork on a stick.  It was a trident like those wielded by that seaweed-bearded, flipper-footed bad ass, Neptune, in cartoons.

jon frog gigginIn front of him on the porch bench were a couple of flashlights, a big burlap bag and (aw, hells bells) my little brother.  He was all duded up in jeans, a sturdy plaid shirt, hiking boots and enough “Off” bug repellent to give him hallucinations.

He was giving me the extra hostile stink eye. 

He had already been told to stand down from this mission by mom and grandma and he was pissed that I, a girl, was getting to fulfill my dominance by birth order.  He could come along but only to watch.  Mom had indicated that she would kick dad’s tall ass if my little brother got so much as a chigger bite.

“I just need you to hold the flashlight for me steady tonight, got it?”

“Sure dad.  On what?”

Mom hollered from the kitchenette, now exasperated because she had not successfully shut this thing down.

“Damn it, John Louis, you’re on your own. I am not going to clean them, or cook them and sure as hell not going to eat them!”

“C’mon, let’s go.  She doesn’t know what she’s talking about.  You’re going to love this…”

We gathered up the equipment and scurried down the steps out into the night.  I figured dad was up for some kind of nocturnal spear fishing and since we’d been fishing together before, I was liking this. 

We wound our way down the horse path through the apple orchard smelling the sweet late summer rot of fallen heirloom fruit and the comforting tang of horse poop being careful not to slip.  The golf course lay ahead of us with its obsessively groomed fairways, buzz cut putting greens and shiny rippling water hazards teeming with stocked fish.  Bream, bass, trout – all fun to catch, good eating and I was getting excited.   

The golf course ponds positively thundered this particular night with the cacophonous grunts and squeaks of horny mating bullfrogs bubbling out their chins with aural gusts of seductive sound.  Frog mating calls so loud they echoed across the rills and hills surrounding them.  The whole place pulsed and vibrated with bullfrog song…

HuhRUMPH! Bree-deet! Aerk-aerk-aerk!

My father certainly was enthralled.  Not in a pastoral poetic way though.

We picked out one of the ponds, the biggest, and dad sat the two of us down on a tee box for the briefing.

“Boy, you will sit here and watch.  Girl, you go hunt out the frogs on the bank of the pond, put the flashlight on ’em from behind me, and I’ll gig ‘em real quick like this... “

He demonstrated his technique by sneaking up on an imaginary frog, all Elmer Fudd –like.  He raised the trident up, took aim, and smote the ground with a moist thud.

DAD!   You’re going to stab frogs?  NOOOOOO!”

“Calm down and don’t be a baby.  They don’t feel it because you gig them in the head, if you’re doing it right.  And they’re just amphibians. OK?

"Oh my GOD, dad.  Eew." 

 "Hey, it's 'oh my gosh.' You know your mom hates that.  Now, after I have them stuck on the gig, I’ll hold them up so you can get a good grab to pull them off the prongs and put them in the burlap sack…”

“Uh uh NO! Dad, I can’t do thatWhy are you doing this?”

“Frog legs! They taste just like chicken.  You’ll love them. C’mon now...No guts no glory. ”

I got up on my feet. “No.  I’m not gonna. That’s just gross!”  And I locked my knees.

From out of the tense darkness, a small, grubby, poopy-headed voice piped in.

“I’ll do it!”

 Up stepped my little brother with all the cheeky bravado of one who finally saw his best shot materialize to join the testosterone club in the family.  He was going to earn his eggs right there, right then.

For a second, I think my dad calculated whether mom’s ass kicking would be worth it, determined it was well worth it and some, and made a command decision.

“Well, ok then.  Looks like your brother has more guts than you do.  Go on, son, tie that gunny sack to your waist, grab a flashlight and let’s go.”

Now, I don’t know if it was blood beating through my mortified head or the sound of the proverbial gauntlet smashing down to the ground. One or the other goaded me to snatch that flashlight and bag out of my brother’s grasp, and stomp not only down onto the bank of that pond, but directly into it.  I waded up to my waist in the dark, muddy and, as we came to find out later, moccasin-infested water.

I would NOT be called a coward by my father. 

The burlap bag floated next to me and I turned around to face the bank of the pond.  I could see my father’s silhouette, my little brother a small blob of shadow beside him.

 The frogs went silent.  Thousands of shining amphibian eyes glowed back at me.  

I whispered, “I’m sorry.”

 “OK, dad.  I got one in the spotlight. Let’s GO." 

Next morning, grandma, a half-smile on her lips and her grey hairpiece neatly pinned to her head, was drifting around the little kitchenette in the cabin when I woke up.  I smelled day-old sale donuts in the oven that she had cut in half, buttered, and broiled to a caramelized golden brown crunch.   The table was set and she was scrambling bright yellow eggs in an improvised double boiler.  Next to the eggs, the cast iron skillet huffed and hissed with aluminum foil on top covering the contents for cooking. 

Mom got her coffee and plunked down in a chair. “Hey, what’s in the pan? Bacon?”

Grandma went to show her, but was upstaged by several loud tapping sounds. The tin foil on the fry pan dimpled up with each tap like dings in a cheap car door.  Then it flew off,  just levitated, and fell to the ground as though of its own accord, revealing last night’s quarry, breaded, frying up, and twitching reflexively in hot bacon grease.

“Ha!” said grandma, “I forgot they still like to be a-kickin’ while they’re a-cookin.’”

me  frog giggin

There’s more where that came from! Click on the titles below for more family Stories:

Dad Creates A Stir

Dad’s Sunday Lesson or Jesus in My Tummy and the F-Word

Dad Builds Character

Dad’s Mandatory Family Dinners

Of Mice and Dad

Of Mice and Dad: The Tail of the Tale

Georgia Justice Hostage Show: Aunt Polly’s Ordeal in Cordele

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Nicely atmospheric. Is this the birth of a vegetarian?
Oh My "gosh" this was hysterical. "I forgot they still like to be a-kickin’ while they’re a-cookin.”
Is this true? Your dad was a hoot. You tell the story SO well, alive and so well descripted. Love it.
Gigabiting -Thank you! Thanks for coming bby.
trilogy - All true. Grandma ultimately had the huevos to process those edibles.
Linnnn, I love that you are doing these Dad posts as a series. I think you've found your voice. My own dad used to fry up things like frogs legs on occasion, and once in a while my former pets (if they were things like ducks or rabbits) ended up in a frying pan. We should all have been confirmed vegans with dads like that. It was a different generation. Thanks for this.
Well Gigabiting.. it would be my call to be a veggie..
Still breakfast for me..:)
Rated with hugs and smiles
Best damn...oops...darn frog-gigging story I've ever read, and I've read few.
I've been frog gigging and it's just like you describe. This was great writing. We cooked ours, they taste like chicken!
this reminds me of a story my friend tells. she was in a cafe in a small southern town, deciding what to order, and asked a crusty older waitress how the frog legs were prepared. the woman said, "well, ya gotta cook 'em, honey."

great writing, linnn, and a great story.
I love frog legs! This was a riot! Thank you for the memories!
Great Post. I now feel like I have to keep an eye on my pets. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story.
A good story well told but eeww. And I thought chickens with their heads cut off were creepy. At least they're done moving by the time you cook them.
This had me and then held me and tickled me throughout...loved all o f it.
You sure know how to TELL a wonderful story, Linn. The description is immaculate. Witty and beautiful. R
All those poor frogs in wheelchairs . . . :~)
great story! i can just see the little frog legs kicking at the foil as they cook...
Thanks for sharing this story... I could envision all that you describe here. Well done.
This was such fun! You must miss him so! Lots of kicks in this piece! Thanks so very! ;) r
Linnnn, What a treat - the story not the breakfast. My father and brother went "giggin" when I was growing up. I didn't know that the process didn't kill the frogs. The next morning when we were sitting on the porch of the lake cabin, there were two frogs dragging their butts on the ground. It was awful. Thanks for the story.
Oh, my God, I mean gosh. This story was ghastly and hilarious. Almost spit up my drink on "poopy-headed voice."
Thoroughly enjoyable and so well told. I missed the first two. I'll go and read soon. Thank you for the links. ~R
My dad and grandpa took my sister and I to a CB cookout one time. They raced these frogs THEN, THEN they cut their legs off and ate them. WE were mortified. Yes they do still jump as we watched them in horror cook them on a grill.
Great story, really great story!
Great story! But, ewww...
This was a fun story. You have a great family! And obviously terrific memories. Good job and thank you so much for sharing this. I'm grinning from ear to ear.
Bree-deet! Aerk-aerk-aerk! (means I loved it)
I rated the other day, then got sucked into a meeting. Came back this morning to read. Had I known this was going to be all about the murder of innocent froggies, I'd...I'd...

Well, I'd have read it, anyway. I may be a vegetarian. But a funny frog-gigging story is just fine with me.
Much much love, and thanks - this was mad.

This is exactly what I love to read here.
More than a little bit of the Gregory Peck's about him, too, I noticed.
Great story. This was my favorite part:

And without saying exactly what it was, he was hard selling the experience as a wilderness epiphany; an ultimate homage to the local food chain and a pioneer-style boon to family togetherness.

Mom’s eyes never stopped rolling.
This was great, funny and well written. I feel like I know your family after readin this...very relatable.
Nice Linnnnnn
#reading..... (that's what I get for reading at work)
very well told but the frog legs are something else for a vegetarian. lol @ owl's frogs in wheelchairs.
You heard the one about the scientist and the frog? Sci cuts off one leg, says, "Jump, frog," and frog jumps. Cuts off another leg, says, "Jump, frog," and frog jumps, kinda. Cuts off one little front leg, says, "Jump, frog," and frog kinda/sorta tries to jump. Cuts off last leg, says, "Jump, frog," and frog just sits there. Sci writes in his journal: Frog with no legs can't hear.

Loved this, Lin with 4-n's. But I was afraid he was taking you snipe hunting..........mama would have really been pissed with that, I guess! But perhaps they wouldn't have been trying to escape the frying pan! Glad CC gave you an award for this and pointed me here. I wouldn't have seen it otherwise. Rated. D