We each set the hook on a few more bass before my cellphone buzzed in my pocket. It was my wife, Jane, who, strangely, asked to speak to Greg. In the stillness of the twilight, I could hear every word. The guests had been waiting at the house for an hour. Had he forgotten? "Not at all," he said evenly. "Everything's fine." Greg ended the call and handed the phone back. Great. Jane didn't know that relying on Greg to leave off fishing and get me to my own surprise party on time was like asking Michael Jackson to stop hanging out with kids and meet you at a policeman's ball. Even if we paddled back immediately and I broke the speed limit the whole way, I wouldn't be home for another hour. Greg calmly rerigged his worm and tossed it out. "Let's make a few more casts," he said. We did, and by the time I got home, the 30 or so guests still there had switched over to water. The cake was brought out, the song was sung, and they left. Greg, showing a good instinct for self-preservation as well as his usual antisocial tendencies, told me he would see me at the party and went home for the night.