Monday, January 12, 2004


I have come to the conclusion that there are many things in this world that I simply do not understand. When I don't get the why or wherefore of something , it is troubling, because I consider myself to be fairly intelligent. Oh sure, I could ask my boyfriend, but I prefer not to bother him with the mundane. So, I leave it to you, dear readers, to help me out this morning with my Monday conundrum.

It's ice fishing. I do not understand ice fishing, and I think maybe I should because ice fishing is big here in the mitten. But why? Why would you choose to go fishing in sub-zero weather? I get regular fishing (I don't do it, but at least I get it). The thought of spending the day outside with the water gently lapping at the side of a boat? Wonderful. Or enjoying nature on a gorgeous summer day, or a misty spring morning? Yes, I buy into this scenario. In fact, one of my favorite quotes is about boats: "There is nothing - absolutely nothing half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." (Kevin Grahame, Wind in the Willows)

But ice fishing? Let's see. Boats? Nope. Water gently lapping? Nope. Gorgeous summer day or misty spring morning? Nope and nope. You have ice, and lots of it. First you have to wait until the ice is thick enough (so you don't fall through and die), and then you drive your truck onto the ice dragging your hut. Goodbye nature. Goodbye beautiful outdoors. Hello car fumes. Hello, hut. Once you are imprisoned in your hut, you cut a small hole in the ice and you sit and sit and sit and sit and freeze your boys clear off. Is this fun? How much sport can there be knowing that if you do manage to catch a fish, you've arguably caught the stupidest fish in existence? I mean, all these fish have to do is avoid one little hole, and then they have the whole rest of the lake to run and jump and play. Let's face it. Fish definitely have the upper hand, or fin, in this arctic game of hide and seek.

To all you avid ice fisherfolk out there, I know what you're going to say. "It's a bonding experience." To that, I say, "Ha!" You can bond in a bar. You can bond in a car. You can bond in a house and you can bond with a mouse. But sticking my head in the freezer to party down with Mrs. Paul and the Gorton's Fisherman does not sound like my idea of a good time. Since when is a frozen butt and a Pabst Blue Ribbon Slurpee truly necessary for a successful bonding experience?

Maybe it's just me. Maybe there is a reason I don't get it. Maybe common sense clouds my judgment and ovaries obscure the obvious. I don't know. Even the local news this past weekend asked the eternal "why" question about ice fishing. Although I don't pretend to "get" the sport, I am proud to say that I knew the answer to the lead-in question.

"Why ice fishing in the middle of winter?"

Because you can't do it in the middle of summer, Homer

Hey, maybe I'm not so seem as I dumb.

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