Every day about 4 pm, I become the undead – the Zombie Formerly Named TC who staggers around the house trying to the eat the brains of the living – the result of a potent cocktail of advanced sleep deprivation and lingering jet lag.

Still, it’s true the Undead stagger carefully around the Trout Underground/Man Cave/Soiled Diaper World Headquarters these days, what with the Still Uncompleted Construction Project turning every hallway into a deadly obstacle course (if it’s one thing zombies don’t do well, it’s hurdle).

In fact, I’m designating today Day 40 of the Trout Underground/Man Cave House Hostage Crisis – an acknowledgement that extremist contractor splinter groups have apparently seized control of our house, demanding bags of money or they’ll start killing rooms, and they’ve done just enough damage to convince us they’re very serious about it.

Still, these aren’t your average Working-Class Extremists – they apparently prefer to terrorize lazily from a distance. At least that’s the conclusion you’d have to draw since we haven’t actually seen a cell member all week long.

(Yes, the tears I’m wiping from my eyes are tears of mirth. Those zany extremist contractors really slay me.)

The L&T is reacting to all this with the kind of grace you’d expect from an Ivy League educated brainiac new mom type, which is to say she’s threatening to go all Chuck Norris on the contractors for not finishing the project when they first promised (weeks before we left for Ethiopia).

In fact, when talking to the lead contractor on the phone, she casually mentioned that “Nothing says ‘Welcome to your new home’ to a baby like the severed heads of several contractors mounted on stakes by the front door.”

(Moral of Story: Don’t Mess with a New Mommie)

So to summarize:

  • Me = The Undead
  • House = Hostage Site/Nuclear Blast Zone
  • L&T = Chuck Norris Would Be Proud
  • Little M = Burbling happily away in the corner
  • Spare Time = Almost None

So what’s the good news for the Undergrounders?

You don’t live here right now.

Still, there are some bright spots on the horizon. With a Little M trip to the Pumpkin Patch on the schedule, I may actually find myself at loose ends for two hours, though given the unfortunate late-morning timing, it’s likely I’ll run to the shooting range for one last hurrah before a snowstorm closes the thing.

That’s because the fly fishing is only now picking up steam around here, though with a new kid and the clock running out on a big, big Web project, I’m reduced to peering ahead at the week through slitted eyes.

When can I try to stumble across the rumoured midday BWO hatch? When is an October Caddis hatch on the menu?

With things settling down around here (everything expect the drywall dust), I expect to catch a few glimpses of the river soon.

Assuming, of course, the Undead are allowed to drive without a special license. And I’m not disposing of headless contractors.

See you (other zombies) on the River, Tom Chandler.

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Orvis Fishing Reports