Yesterday, a friend of mine who is relatively new to the outdoors phoned me and asked if I might provide sound advice about waders. This was wise of him, since I possess a high level of expertise regarding the characteristics that make a bad pair of waders, plus I also know the sounds a person makes shortly after discovering they are wearing a bad pair.
It is usually, “@#$!” Followed by “*#@!$!”
Not to brag, but some anglers consider me one of the world’s leading experts in the field of buying bad waders.
Many folks are also familiar with Galea’s formula expressing how to tell if you are wearing bad waders – it being WI (water inside) is greater than WO (water outside). If that is the case, you are probably wearing a faulty pair of waders.
Like all great scientific discoveries, mine has an interesting story. I was testing a new pair of waders in my bathtub lab, as learned men are wont to do. That’s when I realized something was different. You see, while there was a lot of water on the outside of my waders, there was none on the inside of my waders.This was an almost forgotten sensation for me, since I hadn’t worn a leak-free set of waders in years.
Suddenly I experienced what we scientific types call a Eureka moment. And that’s why I yelled that word aloud.
That awkward, lonely scream, coming from so near the toilet, caused my wife to run into the washroom – something she is normally loathe to do after I have been in it – and ask, “Are you OK?”
In response, I struck a noble pose, which is no small feat when you are standing in a bathtub, surrounded by rubber ducks, wearing nothing but a pair of chest waders.
Then, sensing the gravity of the moment, I looked her in the eyes and told her that I merely yelled ‘Eureka!’ because I had made a great discovery and that’s the only time you can use the word correctly. I also advised her to use her phone to take a photo of this historic occasion.
“Oh, don’t worry. I’ll take a photo, all right,” she replied, and then, left giggling and muttering, “Wait ’til my friends see this.”
I won’t lie, it was touching to know she wanted to brag to her friends about my work.
A normal scientist would have rested on his laurels. But, as you might have by now surmised, I am definitely not normal.
I knew I needed more data. For, although I had made great strides in confirming that the main characteristic of a good set of waders was dryness on the inside, I had not explained why sometimes waders which had no punctures in them could still get wet on the inside. I was at a loss to explain this until that fateful day when I was walked toward the river and ran into that huge bear. After breaking land-speed records on the way back to the car, I discovered that my waders were now dry on the outside and decidedly less so on the inside.
This was not particularly useful information, or even much of a mystery, but it did allow me the opportunity to, once again, yell “Eureka!”
And that’s all a scientist can ask for.