A fish won’t do anything but swim in a brook He can’t write his name or read a book – “Swingin’ On A Star”

Now that the lazy, hazy, crazy days of Summer are upon us, it’s time to grab the old fishin’ pole, the tackle box and maybe some refreshments and head on out to the river, lake or stream of your choice. Some people have their own fishing boats too – these people are known in psychiatric circles as “masochists” – but you really don’t need much more than a bamboo pole, some fishing line, a few hooks and most importantly a stringer. Make sure you take a few bobbers too as this is the ideal signalling mechanism for telling you when some slow witted denizen of the deep has taken an interest in one of your menu items.

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If you happen to know some fishermen and study their habits, one thing eventually becomes clear: “Fishing” is a colorful term guys use when they’re actually engaged in doing something else entirely. And that something else is drinking beer. Wait, I may be making a hasty generalization there; a few drink wine coolers, others will have Bloody Marys or even mojitos. But the six pack was practically designed with the fisherman in mind. He pries out his first can and attaches the remaining five beers to the stringer and lowers it overboard. The beer stays cold down there and no one’s the wiser.

But what does he do with the fish he catches, you ask? I knew someone would ask that. The goal here is to not catch any fish. That way you don’t have to mess with them. OK, one more question and then that’s it.

But what if he catches one anyway? It’s true this can be a problem, but it is easily solved through the application of this official outdoorsman-type concept: “Catch and release.” Yes, if you happen to put “bait” on your hook or some such screwup and end up landing one, simply get hold of him with your free hand, being careful not to spill anything, carefully remove the hook from wherever you hooked him, and free little Willy over the non-stringer side of the dock. Back he’ll swim to tell his buddies downstream, “You’re not going to believe what just happened to me!” And they’ll be all, “Yeah, yeah, you got chased by a muskellunge and you lost him in the driftwood, blah-blah-blah” “No, no, it’s way way weirder than that. I’m swimming along minding my own business, right, when suddenly this fabulous looking worm appears. I figure, why not? and I give it a nibble. Next thing you know I’m going straight up like one of them wacky trout over there, and I entered a whole new world populated by large hairy creatures who make belching sounds. Luckily, they’re not very bright and I was able to escape. But before I did, I found out something very profound that I never knew before: We’re wet!”

Don’t fish know they’re wet? I said there would be no more questions.

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com

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