Buy me a fish; I’ll cook you dinner

Hand me a fishing pole; I’ll stab my fucking finger.

In the spring and fall, we go to a local lake and rent cute little boats. Sometimes, it’s a pedal boat, other times a canoe. No matter the boat, by the end, we’re all usually wet and Shmuppie is crying. It’s good times.

At this lake, several people can be seen dotting the shorelines, fishing for whatever lives in the lake.

When we’ve been to Emerald Isle, the highlight of the trip for Shmuppie, by far, has been our trips to the Bogue Inlet Pier. It’s a huge pier that sticks out a few hundred yards into the ocean. People line up along it and fish for God knows what.

After seeing all this, Shmuppie started pestering us to go fishing. We delayed as long as we could but there was no stopping her. Finally I relented.

But first; a brief history of fishing in my family.

Year: 1979 or so
Place: Lake Tahoe
Occasion: We lived in CA at the time so us and 2 other families went to Tahoe for a long weekend or something. The fathers drank and went to casinos and the mothers watched us kiddies. Or something. I barely remember it.

One afternoon, we all went fishing. I have spotty memories of this. We had 6 adults, 3 or 4 kids and probably another 2 or 3 infants (my brother included in that last bunch). Everyone caught a fish…even the infants had poles propped to their strollers and they caught fish. All but one person, of course. My father caught a garbage can lid. Mind you, this was a pond that was stocked with fish and was more or less there so tourists could toss a line, catch something, hold it up, squeal, and then go back to drinking and gambling. Nope…the old man caught a slab of metal.

Year: Some time later.
Place: Basking Ridge, NJ
Occasion: Said aforementioned younger brother wants to go fishing. I don’t remember the details because I wanted no part of this. Poles may have been bought. Perhaps even little sharp things. In any event, they went to the opening day of fishing season and caught exactly nothing. I think that was the last time the 2 of them went fishing. I don’t think the bonded much more until little brother discovered that there was something to do on Sundays that did not involve playing assorted band instruments (Football).

Year: 1990 or so
Place: Oregon
Occasion: I’m on vacation with my grandmother. We’re on a bus tour of the Canadian Rockies and west coast. We’re in Oregon and there’s an offer of a salmon fishing trip. I’m excited. The Lake Tahoe Experience has been deleted from my mind and I have not fished in at least 10 years. Plus, there’s a guarantee that salmon will be caught. YAY for fishing!

We find another person on the trip to take me fishing. We bundle up at about 4:00AM and head out. It’s cold as hell and damp (Shocking when you consider that it’s Oregon). We set out. At some point, the sun rises. No fish are caught. We troll for hours. It warms up a tad. We troll. As we’re about to head back (I have not had even an inkling of a bite) I catch 2 salmon.

The whole day sucked.

This brings us to the present. On Christmas morning, I presented Shmuppie with a little card with a picture of a fishing pole on it. I told her we’d go out after Christmas and buy her a fishing pole.

There was much rejoicing.

So, right before New Year’s, we bought a fishing pole. In fact, we bought 2. They came together in a cute little package.

There was less rejoicing (by me at least).

Fortunately, it’s been cold since then and the prospects for fishing have been nil. However, warm weather is coming tomorrow. Spotting an opportunity to give JewelrySlut a few mid-afternoon hours to nap, I told Shmuppie we’d try to go fishing tomorrow.

So, I decided to unpack the poles and see what I could see.

Holy shit.

I opened the packaging and out tumbled 4 pole-things and 2 reel-things. I figured that the poles must somehow get connected to each other. That was easy. I even lined them up so they seemed to be straight. I have a keen eye like that.

Then, I dealt with the reel things. I stared at them. They stared back. I had no clue, short of a wad of duct tape, how to connect them to the poles. There seemed to be about a billion pieces missing, or one iota of knowledge into the fishing arts.

But wait! The little foam handle thing seems to move. Maybe if I slide it over the end cap of the reel, it will lock into place! PULL!

I think I almost broke it.

Look, dummy! It’s threaded. It must turn. I start turning the pole. Mind you, it’s over 5 feet long and is not wildly flopping about my office. Success! I have attached the reel thing! The ceiling fan still works, no bulbs were broken and the pole is in one piece. I am truly a salty seaman.

On with the hooks and shit.

They’re in a little plastic thingie that’s been molded into 9 compartments. In the compartments lies an assortment of things. I have no clue what they go or why I’d even need them. Well…that’s not true. I see hooks. I know what they do. The rest baffles me. The packaging is also held shut by 47,000 staples. I go to work on the staples, ever mindful to avoid having anything fly out of the little compartments. I may not know what the things do, but I’m confident that they’re sharp.

I pry off the staples and grab one of the little lure things. It’s cute. It’s got a little rubber worm thing, a mirror thing and SHIT! GOD DAMMIT! Son of a BITCH!

It’s got a hook. Clearly, I am no smarter than the dumbest fish in the pond.

There are little bobber things, feathered devices of death and a length of neatly coiled green nylon rope. I haven’t the slightest clue what it does. It’s not long enough for me to hang myself with, that’s for sure. The whole thing is 9 compartments of potential puncture wound.

So, let’s say we go fishing. Let’s say I can figure out how to string up the reel (or whatever it is that you do). Let’s also say that I can figure out how to get a hook or lure on it. Let’s say I can cast it and not hook my lip or eye in the process.

Let’s then say that we manage to hook something and reel it in.

Seriously. What happens then? Do I have to remove a live fish from a hook? Fish have teeth, don’t they? I have gutted a dead fish and prepped it for cooking. That’s fine. I can handle it because, at that point, it’s food.

That may be the winning moment for us all. I will likely scream and flail about like a little girl. Blood will be shed. Do I need to bring a hammer with me? You know…to bash the little fucker’s brains out (the fish, not Shmuppie)?

Just picture that for a moment. I’ll be screaming and waving a hammer around in the air while the little multi-toothed device of death (again…the fish) flops around wildly. No doubt by this time, Shmuppie will have become bored and will have managed to get trapped under something heavy.

I promise to bring the camera when we go.

One thought on “Buy me a fish; I’ll cook you dinner

  1. Thanks – in a few years, when one of by boys’ friends tells them about all of the fun they had fishing with their dad and they forget all of the time/money/effort/time/money/false enthusiasm/time/money I wasted on them with the shitload of activities THEY HAD TO DO and they ask me why I didn’t take them fishing I’ll send them the link to this article.

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