last 5 wrds:

"fishing "

I generally don't fish.

I've always heard fishing lovingly described as "an excuse to hang out and drink beer."

But that's not really a huge draw for me.

But when a colleague suggested we have a business meeting aboard his fishing boat, I had a hard time arguing.

An excuse to drink beer is one thing.

An excuse to not hang out in an office boardroom is something else entirely.

So I woke up far-too-early and rode my bike to the harbor.

I was actually looking forward to a lazy day of sunshine and cold beers. I envisioned relaxing while watching bobbers drift in the open sea.

But it was much more of an adventure.

We caught 2 fish, 1 seal, and 3 seagulls.

Well, we didn't actually "catch" the seal. It deftly snagged the bait off the hook, then waited by the boat until we threw him another Sea World without the kooky costumes.

But the seagulls we definitely caught. They dove in and snagged the bait. Each one hooking their beaks in the process. It was like freakin' Discovery Channel as we reeled the birds into the boat and held their wings while we worked to remove the hooks.

As twisted as it sounds, the sight of a living "bird kite" at the end of my line was pretty cool.

Each gull was de-hooked, released, and flew away scared but alive.

Although the flailing birds were a pitiful sight, it was the bait that eventually wore down my sympathy gland. Hooked through the face, dragged through the water, slashed at by birds, and IF LUCKY, engulfed by a larger fish (which would be killed soon thereafter) just seemed like a really crappy way to end a lifetime. After a few casts, the bait fish would flop listlessly at the end of my line and break my heart.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not gonna stop eating fish. But it may be a while before I try to catch any more myself. That includes seagulls, too.

September 15, 2000


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