preface to an addiction

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preface to an addiction

Postby frank-the-weinerdog » Tue Jan 07, 2003 8:53 am

Fishing.

I’ve often wondered what it is I love so much about it.
A very valid question to ask, especially after being divorced, fired, and arrested as a direct result of my addiction to the adrenaline produced by what some have often foolishly referred to as a pastime.

As most anglers would do, I rely on my childhood memories to paint the picture of how fishing was introduced to me. Like a drug dealer on the street corner, my grandfather is the influence I now credit for this unbreakable habit.

I have to force my self to recall my first experiences on the water, the complete and utter desire to be somewhere else still dominates my memory as I turn the pages of time back to the freedoms of adolescence, the pressures and pleasures of puberty, the abundance of far more important things I could have been doing on these hot summer days, and frigid winter mornings, I recall my misfortune like it was yesterday.

Stuck on a tiny boat, with an unfamiliar contraption known as a spinning rod, which I was not allowed to let go of, or take my focus from for the entire time I was on the water, had bored me into a coma, and left me completely assured that fishing was not what I wanted to do when I grew up.

I hated being there. I witnessed no beauty, no serenity, and this exciting lesson in manhood failed to fertilize a single “hair on my chest” as I was told it would do. I checked after every boring trip, and found not even a sprout. So the disappointment of fishing continued all the way to the bathroom mirror after every eternal excursion.

Hindsight is always 20/20 pound test.
I had assumed that this fishing punishment which was dolled out to me consistently for weeks and weeks was yet another sign of why I didn’t want to grow up, and why all adults were crazy, insensitive, and didn’t come close to understanding a child’s point of view.
These people were never children! If they were, could they not understand how miserably tortured I was? Did it make no sense to them that I had more important things to do? Did it not occur to them that I was missing some very crucial and vital adolescent television?

Oh the injustice

And then my rod moved. No, it didn’t just move, it seized! Like a surge of a thousand volts were passing through it to my hands, it shook, it trembled, thus did I.

In an instant I had forgotten every girl I fancied, every baseball field I wished I were at, every television show I was missing… The adrenaline surge had taken over my mind, my body and my sprit like nothing ever could, not even the lingerie section of the sears catalog affected me with such force!

I was hooked. Hooked as well as any cat-fish with a treble full of night crawlers in its gullet would be.

During the days and hours that seemed to pass as I reeled to no avail, my imagination wandered to well beyond Dorothy’s Oz! This fish would most certainly be the biggest fish my grandfather had ever seen, and I made every effort to keep him form noticing I had one hooked. This fish was the “wizard” that would make me a man!
As my imagination had wandered into oblivion,
I had effectively spent (or planned to spend) ten years of allowances on fishing gear and disposable cameras. I pictured myself in a yellow “Gortons fisherman” rain-suit, on a huge cabin cruiser there on that 20-acre pond, living life on the water.

As I expected, my grandfather noticed that my spinning rod was arched towards the water, and the reel had been making funny noises.
Then came the full-on assault of advice, instruction, and direction. A crash course in the physics of fish Vs man. A guaranty that if I did not do exactly what he said, which seemed to include paying close attention the body language and contortions his face made when the rod would move, I would lose the fish. And be forever deemed a failure with a fishing pole.

His hands would reach towards the pole each time it changed direction, or bent closer to the water. I was confused as to whether to hand it to him, or pull it from his reach.

This fish was mine. This fish had the mark of my brand upon its hide. My induction to the fishing hall of fame would be credited to the capture of this model specimen, and though I had to ask which kind of fish I was combating, it made little difference as I planned to show this trophy to anyone and everyone time would allow.

Well, being a naïve, impressionable young man, I had developed a strange idea that a fish died in the process of being caught, and with the rod suddenly lifeless, my fish was ready for the boat.
How extremely disappointing to find this was not true.

My fishing nightmare had turned full circle, and I was again doomed to sit quietly holding a rod until every muscle in my body ached to stand up, stretch out, and then lay down to sleep of the boredom.

I went home without a lecture on what I had done wrong, and though I hadn’t considered a mistake had been made on my part, I felt as though I had done something almost criminal. Regardless of the fact that my grandfather had not only been skunked, his feet were wet, and his knuckles were bleeding from unintentionally punching the outboard motor as he pulled to get it started. I detected a bit of disappointment, but was not interested enough to inquire. I was just glad to be going home to check the mirror for a gratuitous sprout of manhood upon my chest for at least hooking a trophy fish.


...to be continued
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frank-the-weinerdog
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Postby TerraFrost » Tue Jan 07, 2003 6:02 pm

is that a true story?

anyways, i thought it was pretty cool when you said that you were the one that had been caught by the fish - and the transition you made from someone who hated fishing to someone who couldn't get enough of it was really well done!

i look foward to seeing part 2 :)
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