Since my introduction to the world as an unwieldy tot I have always followed the beat of my own drummer, never really coloring within the lines, or willing to follow rules meant to confine me. So, I might harbor a somewhat unreasonable distaste for authority figures. I have never enjoyed being told what to do and more often what not to do. For some nefarious reason something I am naturally excited to do on my own becomes contemptuous once I am ordered to do it.
I accept that it is completely unacceptable as a grown adult to feel threatened by people holding positions of power. I also accept that no one is perfect, so I am allowed this flaw. And as my father always says, “No one ever likes the police, until they need them.” Well I would like to add that “No one likes the shell fishing warden until he is finally nice to you.”
Clamming is a favorite activity of mine, however it is heavily regulated along the shores of Cape Cod, so I am subject to the shackles of authority each time I embark on a clamming excursion. Each time I show my license to the “warden” so he can ensure I am officially allowed to fish and each time I have to measure each shell to ensure the appropriate length and each time I must subject my bounty to a thorough assessment before I am released. I have a horrible memory seared into my mind about the time he made me put a scallop back since it was far before scallop season and ever since I have resented this stoic elderly fellow.
It wasn’t until he allowed my mother and I to bring our catch without his final check and told his partner that he should “let em go, these ladies are good” that I finally accepted him within my heart. That action and those words solidified our indestructible bond. So until I break another rule and inevitably get scolded, this one’s for you Clamming Warden! Thank you for entrusting me to a world of shellfish!