My mistake was assuming angling’s Sacred Cows were deserved of update.
Societal norms seem to be edging away from nobility and leaning toward PBB (People Behaving Badly), given the constant fare of reality shows punctuated only by political fits of pique, including references to genitalia and tweets musing on which candidate’s spouse is “hot or not.”
Those hoary Cornerstones of Angling, those ancient stone tablets upon which are etched angling’s most holy truths; “dollar for the first, dollar for the biggest, dollar for the Most,” and “if you kilt it – you eat it,” – I thought were hopelessly out of date now that fish come from McDonalds and “catch and release” is something you practice at a bar …
This weekend I was fixated on a top water plug watching it burble across the lake’s surface, and my phone chirped, featuring a picture of a smallmouth and the legend, “first fish, Smallie about 2 pounds.” It was from my fishing partner who had rushed ahead to fish a comely looking point and was now out of sight.
As we had agreed at our last accounting, the Hoary Ancient Stone Tablet Rule dictated fish that count towards an angler’s total must be accompanied by a picture or a witness.
But that was then, and this being now …
… I sent him back this obviously … er … lethargic candidate, who was hooked in acceptable fashion, and while the fight was lackluster, was released back into the lake with a flourish. I think the legend of my text went something like, “… 1-1, we’re even.”
As you’d expect my pal was incensed as his version of angling justice was inscribed by Dame Juliana Berners, or at least Bill Dance, and his indignation was apparent, “that fugging fish is dead!”
I could see his point. The eyes being opaque, most of the color being leeched from the torso, and the ample girth stemming not from food – but rather trapped gas, which added fetchingly to the candidate’s visual weight.
… my recently crafted PBB rules of Angling, suggest the hookup was legitimate, the fight being less than desirable, yet the required photo was taken with all possible candor. I replied with similar PBB passion, “ … eat me, fucktard, it still counts …”
I was attempting a PBB witticism, but possess no skill in the subject matter. I can only assume something similar is what’s “bleeped” out of the television narrative.