I believe I’ve mentioned the Tulsa Boat, Sport, and Travel Show before. It’s at one of the convention centers and showcases boats, sport, and travel. Surprise!

“Sport” in this case means fishing. Travel means going somewhere else to fish. There are many fishing guides there ready to sign you up and take you on an expedition to catch the big ones; they even have some big ones on ice in special transparent coolers. Then there are the bait dealers. To think that one could make a living selling rubber worms is beyond belief but not only do some people do it, there are evidently a great many who do. My favorite: they guys who were selling jugs of something called “wormtastic” with a sign that said “Never dig again!” Apparently, worms will just jump out of the ground into a bucket with this stuff.

At one point, I thought we had “a tactical situation”, as the policemen say. One of the booths was taped off with yellow caution tape and I began looking around for detectives, thinking that perhaps there had been a shooting. Nope, the sign said:

No one under 18 is permitted beyond this point

What could these guys be selling that warranted this sort of precaution? Skoal smokeless tobacco products. They were giving away samples. Sort of disappointing after all that buildup.

I am once again impressed at the fact that:

  1. such huge 65′ yachts exist,
  2. that anyone has enough disposable income to buy one
  3. that such people would buy one at a show like this

But all of the above are true. Perhaps some people go to shows like this with the intent of purchasing something that large, but if it were me, I’d call the manufacturer and have them send someone to me for a purchase of that magnitude.

We toured an 82′ houseboat with more square footage than my house, 4 bedrooms, two hot tubs, 3 TVs, and radar. Top speed: 10 mph. This doesn’t seem like much but my brother-in-law noted that if you’re cruising your home around on the water, 10 mph is probably plenty. You wouldn’t want to run into anything when you’re driving something so big that it has its own zip code. We’re talking aircraft carrier here.

We had to take our shoes off. Talk about your double standards! When I imagine the dirt and filth that will be tracked into that vehicle in the years to come from people coming aboard from the shore of a lake, the dust on my shoes will be a drop in the bucket. Further, this and other boats are decorated like those houses on the HGTV channel. The tables have cloths and wine glasses set out next to the silverware. If this boat is sold to an Okie, my guess is that the table is far more likely to see boxes of Cheerios, bags of potato chips, plastic sporks, paper plates, and cans of Bud with the occasional pizza box thrown in for variety.

At the other end of the spectrum are the fast boats. They had quite a few of those too. Such as the long pointy one that had the rear compartment open to show off the quad turbo V8 engines. That’s right – four V8 engines each about 350 cubic inches. They don’t use those ‘communist’ metric units in the fast boat world you know. That’s a lot of engine to have to maintain. Once again, I can’t imagine spending that much money on something that does nothing more than go faster than the other boats. But I’ve seen them on trailers before; in Fort Worth, I saw a guy with one on his way to the lake. It was the ultimate guy machine with a color scheme that matched his truck. It was festooned with curly striping that had custom calligraphy on the transom in elaborate script:

“No Fat Chicks!”

What a guy!

I’ve actually been to this event before; my brother in law loves it. The number of fish bait salemen has increased this year. My favorite bait name: the Hogbelly Stinkbait.

Each year, a crowd favorite is the Bass Tub. This is a huge aquarium on wheels full of the sort of fish you might want to catch. Some well-known fisherman (host of one of the many fishing shows you see in Oklahoma on cable on the weekends) will climb up to the top and stand on a bass-boat-shaped stage and proceed to fish from up there, all the while keeping up an amusing commentary. He’s actually selling lures, reels, and such but he’s a pretty good entertainer. He casts his lure expertly which the fish below proceed to ignore completely. They probably should rotate those fish out of there periodically since the veterans obviously tell the others the secret to long life is to ignore that thing with the hooks on it.

It was interesting. I can’t wait to attend the gun show.