Open Space Restoration combines nature with fiction, so to get the most out of each writing here is a brief trackline for this story:
The Lobster Tank Vending Machine at the Royal Palm Beach Ale House is absolutely true, wrestling with the John Deere and scraping skull is true, John Prine is a great singer and song writer, give him a listen. Frogging when the water is up is true. The rest is fiction Wyatt Style.
The following transpired as described by Wyatt Fulton. Flesh hung from the fender of the John Deere Tractor as Wyatt scraped his forehead during a fight with a hydraulic hose. A mixture of blood, sweat, and hydraulic fluid beads on the grass by the tires. Later that night Wyatt took his frustrations out at the local watering hole and ordered Jim Beam on the rocks and a double plate of onion rings.
Off to his right mired in a abyss of boxed video games, pinball games and a bubble dome hockey game was a lobster tank. Not your every day grocery store lobster tank but a vending machine lobster tank. Claw on claw, a two dollar try for boiled high cholesterol drowned in butter. Wyatt tells the barkeep to keep the Beam coming as he watches the locals dump paper pictures of dead presidents into the claw machine.
Wyatt had enough of no one clawing a lobster, kneeling down by the tank, Wyatt gets eye level and begins to sing “Old Man River” putting the lobsters in a peaceful lull making for easy claw plucking. Wyatt was tagged hero as an unemployed hedge fund analyst pulled up his first and then second lobster.
As Wyatt got up he glanced through the tank and saw pure beauty, he figured it must be the distortion of the water fused with air bubbles.
Wyatt bent his head around the tank and she was a beautiful sight. Nothing exotic about her, just a big boned all American woman as Wyatt puts it. She smiles and Wyatt walks over and introduces himself. She says to Wyatt that he has a way with crustaceans and could he pluck her a few.
Wyatt looks at her and says, “No ma’am, that’s not hunting, that’s not fishing, that’s not for eating, that’s pure unadulterated tacky nonsense. There is no sport in catching a lobster with rubber bands on his claws. Tie my hands and dump my head in there and it may be even.”
Wyatt looks at her and says, “Hand me that menu,” and tosses the menu to the barkeep, “your coming home with me,” he says to her, “and I’ll cook you up some venison, apple pie and John Prine on the radio.”
Wyatt did not tell me the rest, but they are going frogging as soon as the water in the swamp gets up.