The Livin’ is Easy: A Tragic Drama in One Act

Character Notes

ANGLER: finds himself in foreign territory in search of unfamiliar prey. Though neither blind to the natural splendor surrounding him, nor unappreciative of the opportunity before him, he is after years of anticipation and preparation, perhaps a bit over-eager to consummate his experience.

GUIDE: is a practiced hand, comfortable with the tools of his craft, including the cushioning of egos.


The curtain rises on a white,17-foot, Maverick Master Angler anchored against a stiff tidal current in shallow turquoise water. A blood orange sun is low in the western sky. Two men, ANGLER and CHORUS, stand on the deck holding rods. A third man, GUIDE,stands between them, eyes on the water, hands busy with some unseen task.

Act 1, Scene 1

ANGLER:(retrieving his line) Damn! What did I do wrong? That was totally an eat.


ANGLER: What do you mean?

GUIDE: He totally ate it.

ANGLER: Right. That wasn’t my question. How did I miss the set? Too slow? Too fast? I didn’t try and trout set him did I?

GUIDE: Oh… Who’s to say?  You been livin’ right?

ANGLER: Right enough I guess. But seriously though… I’ve heard that one before.  You’re not going to hurt my feelings with some feedback.

GUIDE: (pointing aft) Nervous water.


GUIDE: Still here. Be ready.

ANGLER: OK. But ready…

A six foot long, silver and green, scaly torpedo porpoises from the water in the vicinity of ANGLER’s last cast.

ANGLER: Oh man!…

Reflected light flash’s just below the surface as ANGLER’s line unfurls above the sea.


ANGLER: I see him, I see him!

A fish erupts from the water, 9 feet behind ANGLER’s floating line, launching all of it’s 6-foot length into the air before a splashy reentry.

ALL: Ohhhhhhhh!

ANGLER Strips like a man possessed. His line is slack. Silence

ANGLER: What happened?

GUIDE: He missed it. Leave it tight in the current. He missed.

ANGLER: Missed?

GUIDE: Missed it. Must have bad eyes.

3 minutes of silence while ANGLER, GUIDE and CHORUS stare aft at lifeless water.

ANGLER: How big do you think that tarpon was. I don’t know tarpon from Adam, but he looked real big to me.

GUIDE: That was a 150 pound tarpon at least. Maybe bigger. He was a hog. Big, big tarpon.


ANGLER: And this 150 pound apex predator, who’s made a very nice living catching and eating perfectly healthy wild critters – all while evading hammerheads and the like – is occasionally unable to accurately line-up a fake fish on a string?

GUIDE: Hey man, this is the tropics. The livin’ is easy.


2 Comments on “The Livin’ is Easy: A Tragic Drama in One Act

  1. You gotta wonder how many fish are never hooked simply due to the tension created by the guide/client relationship…

  2. Untold masses I’m sure. Alas there’s little wonder as to how this one got away though … Angler error (and bad eyes I tell myself when I need to sleep at night).
    Thanks for reading Bruce.

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