Category Archives: humor

Seduced by the menu Photo

menuburgerEating the damn things has never adequately explained our zest for rising before dawn and spending the day waist deep in icy water.

I’ve always assumed that as our ability to hunt and gather is trodden upon by the more Urbane branch of Homo Metrosexualis,  whose tiny dog barks menacingly from their apartment window, whose owner is indifferent to Nature as the call of handheld electronics is twice as compelling, forces us Outdoorsmen to funnel our aggression into stomping life out of things smaller than us.

An inconvenient truth, given how we’ve attempted to make our sport politically correct with the, “we don’t eat them anymore” mantra.

A decade of reality shows celebrating People Behaving Badly and more recently, Presidential debates that are anything but, suggest Man may have reached a tipping point, his intellect on the wane and his base nature rules the day.

The research into how fish interpret and integrate sensory information, led by School of Biomedical Sciences ARC Future Fellow Dr Ethan Scott, could improve understanding of how humans combine senses like sight, touch and sound to create a complete experience.

With science now examining fish and their senses to understand Man’s interaction with his surroundings, it offers anglers a unique insight into behavior they see from our quarry yet mirrored in society at large.

Like “schooling” on freeways, “bottom feeding”  the Internet for amusement, and “rising” at anything feminine at the bar; first at the unusually well formed insects, and as the hours and drinks pass, the classic “smutting rise” for spin-sters, cripples, and anything else described as,  “… a ten at two.”

Those of us not capable of stalking and killing our own food return from the field to hunt in restaurants.  It should be no surprise that both fish and humans prefer fast food, as a mayfly spun through a riffle is as elusive as the menu picture of a savory meal – both promise much and are elusive to capture …

Turgid tomatoes, lush green lettuce, crisp onion slices, melting cheeses, and bubbling meats buttressed by soft breads; things that exist at the peak of ripeness, rich in color, damp with moisture, and  lure us like a majestically tied artificial. Proportions perfect, torso chiseled and regal, dancing on the water prior to leaping skyward,  wings taut, upright,  and drying rapidly. …

FattyAP

… and like our pellet fed surrogate, we fall for the SOB just just as hard.

Tasty awesomeness rolls over the lip to vanish in a dose of reality, as sodden paper bag borne of plastic tray delivers the congealing  lumpy turd through the driver side window.

Red tomatoes now mushy and pale, lettuce trending into the yellow-olive and drooping into the greasy unmentionable leakage from the patty of meat-like substance.

Our senses are fine, and while we recognize the lumpy thread whip finish or gleaming gold bead isn’t part of a mayfly, like the fish we’ll consume the gelatinous mass anyway. … hoping some hidden spice mixture alters “Powerbait” into a feast fit for royalty.

The rich reds, and damp greens of the menu vanish in favor of the the “well chewed” imitation – which arrives sandwiched between Clinch and Split Shot .. (or the canned peas and imitation Ice Milk.)

Assuming that pollution in streams is a rough approximation of  tomatoes grown for toughness rather than flavor, and vegetables picked green and ripened under the reefer’s fluorescent glare, there’s something fair in all this.

Learning of our willingness to suffer and explaining another’s plight in similar terms may shed light on the way we think, but the visuals aren’t so much the issue. Our willingness to settle may neatly explain both the well chewed fly and how anything made from Dog hair and Owl feathers rivals blister packed cheddar … or the attractiveness of an offshore-tied Parachute Adams.

A Man in Search of a Verb

The only crime in fishing worse than being caught with live earthworms in your vest by your pals, is telling a fishing story poorly.

The formula is fairly simple. There must be some hardship introduced by the environment, there must be some inadequacy of your tackle overcome, and the fish must be large enough to predate unwary children or small pets, and only your unflinching heroics saves the day.

Which is why I’m in such a quandary, as I lack a proper verb.

fish_stories

Sunrise was just illuminating the lake when the hound and I stopped at an area known for morning bait activity.  The precipitous angle of the bank and depth of water made fly fishing uncertain, so I pitched a drop shot rig into the deep water and was rewarded with the unmistakable thump of a bass.

It was small bass to be sure – no more than nine or ten inches, but  it rocketed from twenty feet deep to the surface in a single frantic burst of energy. As I reeled to take up the slack, I thought it odd that a fish known for fighting the angler for every inch was suddenly a foot and a half in the air, and appeared to want to stay that way …

… re-entering the water, the bass skittered toward me and then vanished in a bathtub sized swirl.  Having had the same once-in-a-lifetime experience in saltwater, I flipped the bail open and started the methodical … One Mississippi, Two Mississippi …

…anyone that’s fished for Stripers knows that bait with spiny fins or sharp gill plates are typically swallowed head first, and the squeal of the drag is them taking the bait and mashing it into submission, before swapping ends and swallowing the result.

… so I continued to count as I watched the line move deeper into the lake.

Reaching sixty-five, I re-engaged the bail and hoped for the best. The rod doubled over and the line started making those wonderful harp chords that greet a peel with the drag set properly. I assumed the fish was larger than the 10lb mono my spool was crammed with – but with ample light tackle experience and luck, and patience, I had a slim chance to bring this cannibalistic leviathan to hand.

Six minutes later I had the fish turned and I wasn’t losing any more line, but we’d only fought to an uneasy draw. The fish showed no signs of tiring as it attempted to wrap me around anything nearby, alternating with simply sounding and sulking.

My heroics were short lived, as the line suddenly went limp and I assumed I’d been heavy handed at an inopportune moment and It had broken me off. Instead, I reeled in a 10 inch bass much the worse off for the fun had at its expense.

… and so lies my conundrum. I never put steel to the fish so I can’t claim to have hooked a 10 lb bass, played sounds weak and will beg the follow on question, fought is technically correct but is akin to starting a story in the middle – rather than the beginning, and dallied with sounds vaguely feminine and has little place in such a outdoorsy epic …

A great tale without an active verb is merely a whimper. I’ll think on it more before attempting to enthrall coworkers with the retelling  …

TOP GUN, The Best of the Best

IdontalwaysbuyOn rare occasion I actually reread my past work, and am reminded what sounded so good in concept often ends in some rant at anyone with the audacity to change fishing in the slightest.

It’s the nature of Oldness to insist the sport is perfect, and the nature of Boldness to point fingers and call us antiquated old pricks …

Neither side is in the right humor to realize both thoughts have merit, as age and youth are the “Crips” and “Bloods” of the sporting fraternity – destined to war over the choice “corners” of our beloved pastime forever.

As I always assumed infirmity and Alzheimer’s mercifully kept us old guys in the minority, making my occasional outburst on the injustice of the Thousand Dollar Fly Rod, the rise of the Metrosexual, nymph fishing versus “high-sticking”, and the dominance of the military-industrial complex of fly tying jobbers … just the blathering’s of a doddering oldster…

… but I was wrong, instead – I find myself in rarified company, Top Gun –  the Best of the Best, the Fedayeen of Anglingthe four-percent of anglers who bought a fishing license in each of the last ten years.

Out of the pool of roughly 33 million people who fish each year, only four percent of the licensed anglers purchase a fishing license every year (10 out of 10 years). The largest proportion of anglers — 49 percent — purchases a license only one out of 10 years. Almost as many — 47 percent —purchase a license in more than one year but lapse in between purchases.

It seems the statistics and pollsters of Madison Avenue have been turned on their head. Southwind Associates released a report on angling and hunting, that claims half of us don’t buy a fishing license and those that do are “fair weather fishermen” buying them for a single trip, and the reason our numbers are constant from year to year is the “churn” rate, the “other half” buys them when we don’t …

Annual churn rates are lowest, about 39 percent, among the 55-64 age group and are highest, about 55 percent, among anglers 18-24 years of age.

… which gives me some nose-thumbing privileges over the bearded shock troops of Youth …

Younger anglers face a number of factors that compete for their time including family life, school, work, and other recreational pursuits. Older anglers who might have more free time as work obligations lessen can face health issues that limit their ability to fish.

While health issues might prevent us from fishing, as we sun ourselves on the park bench we’ll redouble our decibel levels claiming  everything you’ve done to the sport is morally wrong.

… while we make sport of your limp wrist and tailing loop.

Defining the Fishless Fishing Trip, making poppa proud

Can Man survive if there are no fish?Proof positive that I’m in my dotage, as I begged off a fishing trip; something never before considered, something I’ve always dreaded, and something my Poppa would point to as proof of maturity.

In my (likely OUR) youth, I went fishing so long as there was water, enough gas money to return to our originating zip code, and there was rumor of fish or fishing present.

My dad would see the frantic late night preparation, restringing rods, wadding bologna sandwiches into the same pocket as the bait, and would shake his head solemnly.

Another damn fishless fishing trip … When are you ever gonna learn?

Naturally I would protest mightily of our combined angling prowess, how this trip was completely different than any prior outing, and furthermore … (meekly) … would he be so kind as to drive us there?

It was always a mystery how Pop could spot the fishless fishing trips from the productive outings, but I figured it related to the company I kept – how the neighborhood was slim on Mensa candidates and damn few knew a Nail Knot from a Poke in the Eye with a Sharp stick.

But hell, half the fun was the Out of Doors, and while the fishing might have been on a pier, beach, or piney wood,  it still beat watching Star Trek reruns or doing chores.

Ten thousand fishing trips later – I’ve learned many things. Firstly, I can drive my own self, so the Meekness got kicked to the curb along with Humble. It is a known truism among us Professional Timewasters that only supreme confidence in the fly – and by that extension, confidence in our skills, and the quality of the rumor we’re acting on separating Real fishing trips from the pretenders.

Many thousands of trips have taught us that fishing is like Poker and if our comrades and their behavior are examined, often yield “tells” that mean the difference between a bluff and the pat hand.

If the pal organizing the trip (for the last couple of weeks) calls to confirm the night before, and after your bed time, chances are you’re looking at a fishless fishing trip.

If the nature of that call has so little detail about where to meet, what to bring, and when to show – that your spouse will be unable to direct the police to your corpse, chances are you’re embarking on a fishless fishing trip .

If the fellow owning the boat calls the deckhand, “Gilligan” or “Little Buddy”, you might be considering a fishless fishing trip.

If the tackle you’re directed to bring is “everything”, you are participating in a fishless fishing trip. “Everything” being equivalent to the “Doctor AllCome” blaring out of hospital speakers, and your erstwhile pals are going to let you figure out what the fish are eating, then borrow everything resembling that from you.

If the fellow that learned of this little known secret place insists he hasn’t told anyone and speaks in whispers, you’re headed for a fishless fishing trip. What it really means is the spot belongs to another pal who swore him to secrecy, and you’re about to become an accessory to murder.

If there are more “friends of friends” between the person owning the property and your pal (who swears he has permission), than the number of Degrees of Separation between you and Kevin Bacon, you’re on a fishless fishing trip. Six Degrees of Separation is the limit for knowing Kevin Bacon, and any relationship more distant is purest fantasy.

If the boat you’re using hasn’t been started since last Winter, you’re on a fishless fishing trip.

If the “hot fly” that guarantees the day’s festivities was revealed by some codger at a local gas station, you’re on a fishless fishing trip. Any dumbshit knows that a fly that lethal requires the benefactor to preserve one for posterity. Instead, they’re giving you that “Aw, Shucks” look as they finger your Ginger neck, claiming it was, “ …like this, only more Brown.”

If the number of large ticket items borrowed from you outnumber the fellows going, you are on a fishless fishing trip.

If you have to ask your pals if they have a fishing license, you’re on a fishless trip. Anyone not buying their license on January 2nd of the calendar year is a poser of the highest calling …

If coolers of beer are part of the gear carried to the water’s edge, you’re part of a Band of Brothers engaged in an exciting outdoor adventure that may include serving girls from the local tavern, but there is neither spouse nor fish in your future.

A bit over half a mile and an unknown depth

I suppose a few would describe themselves as “lunker hunters” … thrill seekers who curl their lip at everyday fishing, whose passion is hunting fish that ignore the cholesterol content of Chironomids and groan as they break the surface for a dry fly.

fatkidbass640

Not my cup of tea precisely, but as my shortcomings are legion, I shan’t sully their sport.

Paying eight hundred dollars for the location of a world record fish, is another thing entirely …

On the one hand, it’s well documented that anglers are incapable of estimating length and girth, and no matter how many times they cross themselves and insist on “being struck dead,” five pounders are two pounders, and nothing “South of the Mason-Dixon” is anywhere near twelve inches…

… and while we admire the entrepreneurial spirit of the advertisement, we are forced to rely on the owner’s questionable judgment, failing eyesight, and sobriety level when he saw his Moby Dick.

Then we’d have to assume that if we drained a large lake of water, we wouldn’t find anything bigger than the current record, making this fish truly “one in a million” Awesomeness.

Smart fish can get big without any contact with humans. They can live a long life, die, and once their bloated remains sink to the bottom, vanish entirely.

Any beast of size in the ocean is either ate by us or a pack of something smaller. I’d suspect every truly large lake has one or more fish at world record weight, most are fileted by the propeller of some drunken water-skier and never make our radar.

On rare occasion they swallow a toddler in the shallows or wash up dead on some beach and give the locals bragging rights.

Then there’s the “catching” part.

Any fisherman worth his salt will likely admit to catching more than most, but none of us have much experience in catching a specific fish.

“The most recent studies tend to indicate higher rates of dispersal and homing behavior.  At Lake Rideau, Canada (1996-1998), fish were displaced from 1 to 10 miles.  After 2 weeks, average dispersal distance of bass was only 440 yards.  However, 37% of fish eventually returned to their original capture site (all were displaced less than 5 miles).  A study at Chesapeake Bay, Maryland (2000) indicated that 64% of largemouth bass had moved at least 0.3 miles within a week.  The average final dispersal distance of bass was 6 miles from release sites and 95% were at least 0.3 miles away.  Even though fish were displaced 9 to 13 miles from capture areas, 30 to 40% of bass returned to initial capture areas.  At Lake Martin, Alabama (2005), bass moved an average of 5 miles from the release site after 10 weeks.  After 2 months, no fish were in close proximity to the release site, and all fish tracked over 3 months returned to within the same general area of capture.”

Todd Driscoll, Texas Fisheries and Wildlife

Assuming that bass move as described, and we “should’ve been there last week,”  we’re searching a radius of 0.6 miles of lake for some couch-bound fat kid that wakes around noon …

I’m thinking I’d troll a trot line and hope for snaggage .. and hide the hole that 6/0 treble made with mascara …

Balance versus Purism, the war continues

purism_suxDry fly purists always insist they practice the One True Calling – and characterize whatever the rest of us do as being coarse and inferior.

Us “normal” fishermen think them perfumed ninnies – whose real ambition is to keep the sport free of common folk and ensure membership is limited to hedge fund managers, bankers, and the monied elite.

Only on matters of conservation can the two factions ever agree on anything, and despite an uneasy alliance, the combined meager vote counts solved little beyond a token attempt at unification and cooperation.

Now Science has vindicated both Dry Fly Purists (DFP) and our Nymph Fishing Insurgency (NFI), as they’ve determined that fish close to the surface are the smartest fish with the biggest brains, and as the water deepens – fish become dumb as fence posts.

Fishes that live very deep are known to have much slower metabolisms than species that live in relatively shallow water and one of the costs of that appears to be a reduction in brain size,” said Dr Iglesias.”

Purists can now achieve the Moral High Ground and insist that dry fly fishing is both akin to godliness AND their fish are smarter …

… and us meat-minded bullies amuse ourselves by tossing cone heads at retards.

There is some solace in our catching twice as many fish as the perfumed dandies, and NFI’ers could care less about which fish is smarter. We know that by the third retelling, our fish are likely to have invented cold fusion – and only our prowess at seduction  saved the entire human race from extinction.

Assuming fish populations are a rough mirror of human diversity, and any morning commute proves there are more ‘tards then Mensa members, suggest there’s little doubt as to why bead headed flies dominate a fly shop’s inventory.

A celebration of our myopic and irrational

I’ve always been fascinated how physics, logic, and religion alternately hold sway with anglers, and how quickly we drop one to seek a convenient explanation from the others.

Given the fervor of our practitioners, fishing may also hold a goodly number of lay theologians; those whose use of deities are limited to epithets, and those who couldn’t endure the restrictions of religious study, and opted for a sociology major instead.

Only historians, theologians,  and anglers discuss derivations of ancient events and derive modern theories that explain the unexplainable – and like religion and history, most attempts at learned angling discussion flare white-hot, as our ranks are home to   half wits, zealots, and the unyielding.

never-argue-with-stupid-people

Bass anglers and fly fishermen are the worst of the lot and the least cognizant of their behavior. Add together a bit of religion, arrogance, science, and stubborn, suspend disbelief and ignore physics, and you’ve got something that describes their angling theory and behavior.

… and as I listened to a pair of bass fanatics agree on the only three colors of rubber worm needed to catch bass, I was reminded of our version, the “Adam’s Guy”, and how ardent he was that “ …the Adam’s is the only fly worth fishing , and I catch all my fish using it.”

With an ear cocked to the debate on rubber worms, (which had turned from discussion to a more congratulatory tone) I noted that while the obligatory “fist-bump” was in order, both had confessed to owning a garage full of the unloved color spectrum. Most being blamed on destination purchases – based on bait shop banter, and the balance from YouTube videos (and magazine articles) featuring snuff-dipping felons manning tinny microphones apologizing for winning everything while flinging, “… drop shot, with a Dirty Plum Senko chaser.”

Naturally us long rod fanciers pick on the Bass crowd with great glee, but they’re a mirror of current fly fishing theory. Both groups are equally insufferable in their misapplication of knowledge, both assume the outrageous cost of their tackle makes up for their lack of study or practice, and most lack real knowledge of their surroundings or their quarry, and are content to quote whatever dog-eared rag they’ve stacked by the crapper.

I suppose the fly fishing crowd can claim a moral victory in that they don’t despoil lakes with fossil fuels, but the reality is our leader packages, discarded indicators, and candy bar wrappers are a close second.

Bass fishermen giggle at us because of the nosebleed costs of fly rods, but don’t consider they are uncomfortable without a half dozen rods pre-strung, and how the combined cost of all those reels and terminal gear equal or exceed the cost of our rod.

As both groups represent a relaxing hobby gone terribly wrong, its interesting neither dwells on the actual cost of their catch, as both insist on releasing everything before they’re weighed. This is a convenient mechanism, given any serious study on the subject will be waved in their face by their Better Half, and used to stifle any sarcasm regarding drapery treatments and domestic expense.

All this imprecision results in shaky estimates and gross exaggeration of catch rates, which we gleefully relay to our confederates with clipped syllables that brook little discussion.

“Mr. Adam’s” is equally unwilling to discuss his myopia, and while it may not serve him well hiring a guide to fish a strange river, as he’ll scorn any patterns presented by his handler, it won’t lessen his ardor at force feeding every nearby dimple with his notion of perfection.

Mr. Adams being right … as even a single suicide fish will buttress his theory beyond credibility. He’s conveniently ignored the notion that the Only Fly theorem can be explained by the Commutative Law of Mathematics – which describes why the angler who uses only a single fly for their fishing will catch all their fish on that fly.

commutative_law

This is known in scientific circles as a “truism” … a fact that cannot be argued regardless of the amount of alcohol consumed.

Fly fishermen insist that a massive gold bead on the front of a mayfly imitation actually imitates a mayfly, which might be true if mayflies rode motorcycles and the more numerous Diptera passed a helmet law . This learned scientific notion a derivation based on the original fly being a realistic imitation – and the addition of glitter, opalescent rib and bulbous shiny helmet making the original work even better.

Other realities are never discussed, as they make a mockery of everything us anglers holds dear. How fish only have a split second to eat – before the insect consumes more calories to catch than it’ll contain when eaten … and how even the wildest of bloodlines will eat a cigarette butt should it be presented upstream and at a dead drift …

… downstream presentation making it a vile thing – akin to trash.

The most damning notion is how many male-dominated (male-originated) sports share the same mythology. Like the fable of the Well Chewed Fly; despite a dozen undamaged replicas in the box a damaged fly increases its allure with each fish hooked, regardless of deteriorating appearance.

Crash Davis: I never told him to stay out of your bed.
Annie Savoy: Yes you did.
Crash Davis: I told him that a player on a streak has to respect the streak.
Annie Savoy: Oh fine.
Crash Davis: You know why? Because they don’t  … they don’t happen very often.
Annie Savoy: Right.
Crash Davis: If you believe you’re playing well because you’re getting laid, or because you’re not getting laid, or because you wear women’s underwear, then you *are*! And you should know that!
[long pause]
Crash Davis: Come on, Annie, think of something clever to say, huh? Something full of magic, religion, bullshit. Come on, dazzle me.
Annie Savoy: I want you.

– from Bull Durham

Religion and fishing have numerous literal links. Jesu Christo and his over-limit angling habit being the most obvious. Both avocations share legions of zealots – yet fly fishermen have yet to detonate a vest in a public setting, suggesting their fervor, unlike the religious variant, has practical limits.

My theory is that all truly talented fishermen are guilty of irrational behavior and myopic outlook, as it’s the armor needed to endure icy waters, extreme temperatures, and  the lack of hygiene of our fishing buddies. We’ve always considered these trials as proof of our devotion, as they are so off-putting to our detractors.

Like celibacy among priests, anglers require suffering to endure the unknown, and both the Meaning of Life and Why Fish Eat, are intangibles and destined for debate until climate change or Thermonuclear devastation makes both moot.

It’ll take More than fries and a smile

The title appeared innocent enough, but its import sent a chill down my spine.

Inference and Science are never mixed without trouble, as inference is the opposite of scientific rigor. While I instinctively understood that my “connecting the dots” was a leap of faith, the conclusion was so hellish as to ensure our beloved pastime is threatened …

“ Female bats are fussier than males when it comes choosing where to eat in urban areas …”

Knowing that Mother Nature often shares her constructs across species, and buttressed by my personal experiences that Human Females share the same tendencies as  bats, suggest this behavior is present in  fish as well.

Make_Trout_Want

For most this will be a yawner, but knowing most of the freshwater fish in the world live in environments rich in Estrogen and are steeped in female hormones, and noting Science has indicted the water treatment folks with their callous extermination of gonads of all types, suggests the bulk of our quarry are at minimum transgender … or are already female.

As such they’ll develop the rarified palate and be doubly difficult to catch.

What Science has yet to explain is whether a “sale” tag on the fly will make them eat more often, or whether they’ll simply browse your fly box without touching anything.

For those scoffing at my reach of the available facts, note that like Human males, male bats settle …

Males, on the other hand, seem to be less particular and are just as likely to be found settling for poorer-quality woodland patches next to built-up areas. (Via Physorg)

Both species having low self esteem in common, and don’t pay much attention to the quality of what they stuff in their gob …

In male cuttlefish, mated behaviour was not affected by female receptivity; however, familiarity with the female did affect male mating behaviour. Males exerted a strong preference for unfamiliar females ..  (Via Physorg)

Males settle … and in females, prefer some “Strange” …

I don’t make this stuff up, I infer it, which is way better.

All of my Grammatical tendencies exposed

My continuing struggle with apostrophes is second only to my use of labels to paint the opposition… both being growth areas should I ever aspire to write traditional ‘Zine fodder.  While I’ve given up attempting to decide when it is proper to use an apostrophe, my  struggle with epithets has become “throwing the widest loop possible” .. thereby angering everyone.

In this instance it was my incorrect and chronic use of the term “Metrosexual” to describe myself and those as toss flies in anger.

Erroneously, I had assumed clean shaven, sweet smelling, and well coifed, to be a liability in fishing – as both fashion, perfume, and fat free milk, repelled fish akin to human urine.

lumbersexual

Thumbing through my gaily-colored-but-ever-shrinking fishing periodicals showed little resembling the anglers of my California streams. No chapped lips, roman noses, scuffed boots, and missing teeth, and unlike my locals, no one is ever depicted walking, most are escorted by drift boats and liveried guides.

While the balance of the multi-page spread hawked monogrammed Puce self-wicking shirts, rather than the killing tools of my sport, their spokespeople looked out of place and uncomfortable with mosquitoes, water of any kind (except in Bourbon), and fishing of any type.

As I couldn’t imagine these airbrushed dandies advancing up the survival-skill-food-chain, given their inability to wear the same shirt for most of the week, and reluctant to learn how the reapplication of mosquito repellent can overcome pure “Sourdough” that is companion to a watery debauch, I had sought to diminish them with a potentially appropriate – yet hastily chosen epithet.

Further study on the subject suggests anglers (especially the effete fly fishing kind) are not so much a Metrosexual as we are “Lumbersexuals.”

The distinction is significant.

A “metrosexual” is someone aware of the imbedded fashion associated with outdoor activity, and has a suitable closet to match. Function is unrealistic, given there is no reward in being successful, so much as cutting the appropriate figure while hunkering over the après’-fishing craft beer.

Metrosexuals spend more time in front of a mirror than an aging starlet, and have sanitary rituals and niceties that are foreign to most men, and appreciated mightily by females.

If a metrosexual drops his Standard-station bean burrito in the dirt he will consider it unclean. Then he will separate the plastic wrap from the organic elements and look for separate garbage cans for each.

Metrosexuals are sensitive and have high self esteem, which is why they excel at selling fishing tackle and are such poor fishermen.

A “Lumbersexual” is a fellow that retains one or more studied outdoorsy elements to his lifestyle. Carefully manicured chin stubble, plaid shirts, shooting jackets, or owns a hunting dog breed that ignores verbal commands and “points” only Siamese and coffee-ground covered chicken bones.

… and before you get all apoplectic – recognize that Fishing, by any definition, IS that lingering outdoorsy affectation … so we’re all guilty.

Wide, wide, loop.

From around the web: Emblematic of confused state of masculinity today. As a comedian I know puts it, men today have full beards but shaved balls. "Folksy on the face, creepy on the balls."

… and you hunch over to protect all the sensitive bits

While I’m not entirely certain what felled me, the romantic version involves the rushing of air overhead, a flash of yellow, and then the snarl of a bright yellow plane climbing for altitude. It’s the Brownliner’s version of hearing the squeal of skidding tires in an intersection, yet instead of the sickening crunch that follows, we get the oily vapors of some nameless chemical descending from above.

While crop dusters are part of the watershed, the guessing game resulting from being dusted ranges the full gamut. Plane screams by overhead and chemical follow; by midweek either the thinning spot on your head has filled in noticeably – complements of fertilizer, or is thinning further, due to Paraquat.

cropduster432

You’re never sure whether the guy saw you and mashed the nipple to cover you in something he thought hilarious, or it’s your luck that made you emerge from the undergrowth just in time to take a shellacking.

I spent a week scratching most of my nether half, from crown to ankles, so the Math is fairly simple. Half the time it’s fertilizer and the other half is something to kill crop pests, and all the time they’re unwelcome.

Or it was that new concentrated purple-label Tide that smelled to high heaven. It’s even scarier to assume something that’s supposed to clean you up is more caustic than airborne Bug B Gone …