The Circling Fools

To be honest, I might be kind of bad at telling it. You know, I tried telling this story to some of my friends before and I could just tell they weren’t that invested. It helps when all our friends are screaming over everyone to try to tell it, I think.

Okay, so it was a classic day in summer. And uh, we all went to Morris. And we only get to all go together there once, maybe twice, per summer. And I think Mr. Czech and Mrs. Czech were both there because we always tried to invite the parents and… anyway, sorry.

So there was four of us in the canoe- maybe Gianna, Jessie, maybe Lauren, I don’t know…and  I think it was you, me, Katie, and Nicole in the paddleboat. Obviously, canoes are a lot faster and so uh, our journey together was not really together and they went ahead of us.

So there’s a fork in the lake, and I think the canoe went to the right. And as we were paddling, we see this guy, and he is the exact replica of the uh character on Duck Dynasty…you know the whole long beard, and kinda greasy, camo pants… and he had two boys with him. They looked like high-school age but a little older than us.

And they went past us. And the first time, we all just did the classic boater wave. And the second time, we were like, oh it’s a coincidence. The third time, we were thinking it was kinda weird. And then the fourth time, we ask them “Did you see a canoe?” and they told us to go left and we did and kept paddling onwards but the current was really strong or I don’t know why, but then we see them a fifth time.

And they asked if we want help and we were like “No, we’re fine,” and then they just start circling the paddle boat on their pontoon boat. And we’re all screaming. And it’s just complete chaos going down. And this is a no-wake lake remember, and they definitely had one – and I remember that was out of the ordinary.

And then one son jumps off the boat and he’s underwater…no idea where he is. The younger boy is sort of twirling some of of lasso in the air. And that other guy is still underwater and he gets on our boat, I think on my side and goes (in deep southern accent), “Y’all ever been tipped before?”

So I peed my pants and you laugh hysterically. Katie is just swearing at the top of her lungs and Colie was screaming. I don’t know my reaction besides peeing.

One of the circling fools realized how uncomfortable it was and they motored away.

And then, uh, the mud balls, we had mud balls to throw at the canoe and that was the whole point in the first place but they came back to us and came to our rescue and we finally made it back.

Oh and we found out from my uncle literally two years later, ‘cus I told my uncle this story, and he goes, “You don’t mess with him.” And it turns out that they, the circling fools, they are literally criminals. Everybody on the lake hates them. They make money just by suing other people.

Interviewer: When did we start telling this story?

Literally the instant we got back to home base. Katie was screaming about it and my dad told her to settle down.

Interviewer: Why do you think we tell and retell it?

Just because. I think just because we were all together and it was such a weird, random, funny thing to happen to us. And it’s just so fun to yell over each other, plus now we know he’s a legit criminal. This had a big impact on our lives.

Interviewer: Do you think it has changed at all?

Um, so over time, yeah it definitely has changed.  Now we always end with the fact that he’s a criminal cuz, uh, that’s the new part. Whenever we tell the story, I never bring up the fact that I peed myself, usually someone else does that for me…I’m not proud of that.

Oh, and Katie usually does the “Y’all ever been tipped” part because she’s good at that and you know, accents and stuff.

I specifically remember, one time we all told it, to Bryan and Cullen at Jessie’s bonfire.  That was a nice night, the bonfire…yeah, that was a nice time.

Context of the performance:

Typically this tale, as the informant, Brittany, mentioned is told and retold by members of the same friend group, and typically told loudly over one another.  She mentions Katie, for example, who usually is very involved in its retelling, who I also asked to be an informant for this tale. Both felt it should be preserved in the archives, but in this particular retelling they told it separately one on one.

My Thoughts on the Piece:

I have heard this story dozens of times and it never fails to amuse me. At the beginning she mentions that her new friends do not have the same reaction as those who know the people involved, which makes sense. This story means a lot more to those “inside the group”. One final thought, I wrote it how she told it, so the “you” she refers to, is me, the collector.