To Fish or not to Fish

There are many great dilemmas in life. Obstacles to overcome; decisions to make. Any well educated person can debate quantum physics, the theory of relativity, or cold fusion. But for the working man, the horde of us who have to shoulder the task of supporting the rest of the world, we cannot waste our time on such frivolous notions; we have bigger fish to fry. We must contemplate the most complex of man's problems. Should I get married, should I have another beer - should I fish?

Ever since man put the welcome mat in front of the cave, it has been our duty to feed the family. From the time we first dangled a willow over a quiet pool to  resent an offering to the finned ones in the water, it has been the mans job to go to the creek and bring home dinner. Those were the good ole days. We had not yet been told we had to be sensitive and understand our female companions. He meaning of “Keeping up with the neighbors” was translated into running faster than them to keep from becoming the saber tooth tiger’s next meal. A good loin cloth and a sharp spear was all that was needed to face the day. But, of course, those were easier times.

In today’s world on a daily basis, we must march off to the factory. For without us, who would tighten the bolt, sweep the floor and make the next widget? If we were not there to flip the switch, to man the station, the whole fabric of our world might collapse. This is a big responsibility to bear. Yet, if left to our own, we would go fishing. But who would cut the lawn, trim the bushes and keep up with the Joneses? The calluses on the hand and soreness in the muscles mean that we are the backbone, the heart and soul, of the engine we call economics. We cannot take a day off; the nation is depending on us to stand our post.

Civilization has tried to take away our fishing mentality. It is still there, but we must keep it in the back corner of the garage. Maybe it is time to rethink our position in this grand picture. So let’s ponder the act of fishing and how it interacts with the rest of the world. What is fishing? Fishing is the act of obtaining the gear you will need in pursuit of our quarry - the ever weary, highly elusive, and mythical – fish. First, we need a glittering speckled, bigger than you will ever need, high horse power fishing boat. This floating fish catching machine will have to be equipped with the latest and best offerings in fish finders, depth finder and GPS. Of course, we will need hooks, line, bobbers, reels, tackle boxes, sinkers, pliers, net, and let’s not forget the beer cooler. Rods, oh yes, Rods. Depending on spring or fall, bluegill or mighty catfish, walleye or bass, if it has gills and swims; it is our station in life to pursue it. We are obligated to have in your mandatory list of equipment rod and reel combinations for crappie, a tackle box for lake fishing, big river tackle, and all the best Bass Pro and Cabelas can offer to bring Mr. Bass to the boat.

I have not even mentioned lures. A person could spend four years in higher education to completely understand the full complexity of what it takes to entice a cold blooded, finned, simple brained animal to try and swallow your lure. Not just any lure, but a brightly colored, striped, spotted, bait resembling, noise making lure. We will be obliged to drag along several tackle boxes to carry the full assortment of specific fish enticing lures, requiring several trips to the boat just for your lures. The colors and designs of these lures have been thoroughly investigated and scientifically tested to catch the interest of even the most wary quarry, and they have demonstrated their ability to do the job – they caught us, didn’t they? Not that we will ever admit to your wife how much you have spent for all this equipment, it all has attached value – a sticker price. I had a friend tell me that his biggest fear was that his wife would sell all his fishing equipment after he died for what he told her he bought it for.

The almighty dollar is at the center of the capitalist system. Money is the fuel that drives the U.S. economy, and the money spent on fishing equipment is essential to the wellbeing of the whole system. It could be conjured that without our purchases of indispensable fishing equipment, the whole house of cards might collapse.

It is our duty. Our country needs us. So, break the cookie jar and head to the local sports shop and lay down that green back – who needs a new washing machine? Buy all that is needed to bring that fish to the net. As for myself, for the common good, as an American, and patriot – I will fish.

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