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SLIGHTLY OFF THE MARK

            I hear it’s been a bad year for ice fishing. I thought every year was a bad year for ice fishing.

            I mean, it involves standing out on a frozen lake in the middle of winter, for crying out loud. That’s not a hobby – it’s something the Taliban would use to torture people into confessions.

            A bad year means it’s been too warm to get good ice – “good” ice, by the way, is what you put in your drink – and so you either can’t go out, or it’s dangerous to go out. In other words, a bad year for fishermen would be a good year for me. Too warm to freeze? Yay!

            I’m a supporter of global warming, and so I breathe out carbon dioxide as fast as I can. I’ve heard the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition is good for increased breathing.          


Still, some people are fans of ice fishing, just as others are fans of basketball, the world’s most annoying sport. He runs back! He runs forth! He runs back again! He sweats! Gah. There’s a connection there, in that basketball playoffs in Indiana are traditionally accompanied by ice storms. Perhaps Mother Nature feels, as I do, that the only good thing about basketball is the cheerleaders. If they had cheerleaders in baseball and took away the spitting, it would be the perfect sport. Except they need to make it full contact.

            Ice fishing is pretty much like regular fishing, only instead of hoping for good weather you hope for bad. Once the lake freezes solidly enough you go out on it, drill a hole in the ice, drop your line in, and wait for a fish that’s sick and tired of being cold to just give up and grab the hook.

            “I’m freezing down here! To heck with it, at least the frying pan will be warm.”

            By the way, can you ice fish on a frozen ocean? I think I just figured out how Santa Claus feeds his elves. So much for my retired reindeer theory.

            Some ice fishermen do exactly what I’d do if I had that special brand of lunacy: They bring a house with them. A little shed is slid onto the ice, and a really smart fisherman supplies it with a portable heater (or stay home by the fireplace). I suppose you could expand it a little and have a portable toilet and cooler, and maybe bring out a battery to hook up lights, a TV, maybe some fishing show DVD’s …

            Of course, if you could do all that, why not just stay home? Put a couple of fish in a bucket, throw on your parka, and you’re in business in the comfort of your own living room. If you really want to make it realistic, fill your bathtub with cold water, jump in, and start screaming that you fell through the ice.

            Be warned, your spouse is likely to let you drown.

            It’s March now, but don’t despair, ice fisher people – this is Northern Indiana. We could easily have another couple of months of blizzards and freezing temperature, which explains why I’m cheering on that global warming thing.

            Hm … are there female ice fisher people? Surely there are. Over the decades, with women’s rights and all, more and more women are gaining the right and willingness to do really stupid things, just like men do.

            Not that walking out on a few inches of ice on a frozen lake in temperatures that could kill a person in minutes is necessarily stupid. Sometimes it’s just crazy. Lots of smart people are crazy, and some of them like to drop a hook through a hole in the ice when there’s perfectly good fish in your grocer’s freezer. I mean, it’s freezing there too, right?

            Many sports had their start with matters of survival. I’m sure Eskimos who had to chop through the ice and catch fish to survive the winter would be endlessly amused at the idea of someone doing it for fun. “You can just order it at a restaurant … and you don’t?”

            I’m not sure what basketball had to do with survival. Maybe our ancestors had to heave big rocks into bird’s nests to get dinner.

            In any case, it’s hypocritical to make fun of another person’s hobbies. I’m sure many fishermen would be horrified at the idea that I love reading for hours at a time, even though I can read on the couch and have never, while reading, been hit on the head with a basketball. Well, there was the one time, but that’s another story.

            So I’ll let it go at that, but I’ll tell you one thing: It’ll be a cold day before you ever catch me ice fishing.

            I guess it would have to be.


Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
petzipellepingo
Mar. 10th, 2012 12:11 pm (UTC)
Ha! For decades the local Sheriff's Department and the Coast Guard have been pulling idiots off Lake St. Clair every Winter and Petzi Sis and I have said to each other that instead of pulling them off the ice - they should push them into the Lake. What a waste of my tax dollars when the fools should know better than to go out on weak ice.
ozma914
Mar. 11th, 2012 08:40 am (UTC)
If every time an idiot screwed up we just left them to their own devices, I wouldn't have any work to do in dispatch!
teragramm
Mar. 10th, 2012 01:43 pm (UTC)
In other words, a bad year for fishermen would be a good year for me. Too warm to freeze? Yay!
I second that!! I have been very happy about the too few very cold day and the shortage of snow.

My husband enjoys fishing he tries to goes out cod fishing once a year. Cod fishing is done in the very cold weather and the fishing trip is from 12:00 AM to 6:00 AM. You couldn't pay me to go on one of those all night, freeze your ass off trips, but hubby loves them. Cod fishing and ice fishing prove people are sometimes a little nuts. ~_^
ozma914
Mar. 11th, 2012 08:41 am (UTC)
I'll just fish cod out of my deep freeze, thankyouverymuch!
cornerofmadness
Mar. 10th, 2012 03:06 pm (UTC)
I rather enjoy ice fishing. But you have to be smart enough to know the ice and if it's safe. I miss not being able to do that, oh how I wish the job in WI had been more permanent
ozma914
Mar. 11th, 2012 08:42 am (UTC)
There are lots of smart and careful fishermen out there -- but I can't write a humor column about them! Luckily, there are also lots of crazy people to keep me on deadline.
cornerofmadness
Mar. 11th, 2012 04:48 pm (UTC)
hahahaha so very true. It's always the dumb ones that make columns like yours fun. And there is NO short supply of them. You could write forever
ozma914
Mar. 12th, 2012 04:57 am (UTC)
Writing forever is my goal!
kazzy_cee
Mar. 11th, 2012 11:51 am (UTC)
Fishing on the ice seems to be rather too much risk for me...!!
ozma914
Mar. 12th, 2012 04:50 am (UTC)
The ice can get awfully thick up here ... but they get in trouble if they don't pay attention, especially if they try to jump the gun too early in the winter or go out too late in the spring. In any case, if it's cold enough for ice, it's cold enough for me to stay indoors!
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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