Dear Crabby, You Want To Go Fishing?

Dear Crabby, 

My buddies like to go fishing, but it seems we never catch anything. How can I get out of going without offending them?

Sincerely, Fred Fishless 

Dear Mr. Fishless,

I know that story all too well, I’m afraid. When I was a much younger lad, I had some friends who really loved to fish; they would eat, sleep, and dream about fishing. One time I was caught up in all of their enthusiasm, so I asked if I could go with them.  They said yes and told me to meet them at the dock around a quarter to five the next day. I eagerly told them I’d be there and we parted ways. Well, wanting to impress them with my promptness, I showed up a full 15 minutes early at 4:30 p.m. I waited and waited and waited, and just about the time I was getting frustrated with how late they all were, I saw their boat off in the distance coming back to shore.  They were quick to explain that a quarter to five in fishermen’s terms meant a quarter to five in the morning.  I had no idea that 4:45 came around twice in a day!  They assured me they would be going out again the next week, same day and time, so wanting to save face, I agreed once again to meet them at the dock. Well, before I knew it, fishing day had come again and I headed out to meet my friends – this time at 4:45 a.m.  I could not understand why anyone in the world would need to be out on a boat that early in the morning! It was dark and we could barely see each other, let alone anything else. As we started motoring out, I asked what we were going to eat for breakfast. My buddy motioned for me to be quiet and then whispered, “You’re going to scare the fish if you keep talking!” So I sat there thinking to myself, “Here we are at what I would still consider the middle of the night, driving a motorboat into some unknown waters, and they are afraid that my talking will scare away fish?”  Anyways, I remained quiet until they finally stopped in some area that they thought would be the hot spot that day.  As the sun started to rise and it became light, I saw another reason these guys leave when it’s still dark. Man, have you seen what these fishermen wear? Goofy hats with lures all over them, vests that have more pockets then even the most mischievous boy could fill, and shirts that I am pretty sure I donated to goodwill several years earlier. Well, we sat there for a good hour before anything even happened. I finally had my bobber go under, so I yanked on the pole like they told me to. I fought and reeled and yanked some more until I saw his beady little eyes looking at me.  I was the proud captor of a prize-winning blue gill.  The guys all laughed at me and pulled it off my hook and right before my very eyes they tossed it back into the lake! They had the nerve to say that that wasn’t what we were there to catch!  Another hour slipped by and one of my friends snagged a fish on his line.  As he pulled it in, they all cheered and verified that it was a trout. I thought, “Well, at least we will have something to show for ourselves after all this.”  And as I went to congratulate my friend, he tossed it back into the lake as well! Then he looked back at me and said, “It was an inch too short.” I about lost my marbles after that one!  Anyway, after about four of the longest hours of my life, they finally decided to cut their trip short and headed back in to shore to call it a day. They asked if I wanted to go out for breakfast since it was only 9:00 a.m. I politely declined and promptly went home to go back to sleep. So needless to say, I did not catch the same fever they did for this whole fishing thing.  I would suggest you try it once or twice for yourself. If you don’t like it, just be square with your friends and offer to meet them for breakfast instead – you won’t miss out on much. In fact, you’ll not only get good food with some great friends, you’ll also get a much better night’s rest! 

Sincerely, Dear Crabby

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