Monday, April 21, 2008

Delicious Bass

Have you ever had to hear old men talking about fish for 2 hours? We have. It is not an experience I would recommend to a friend. Even the presence of cookies didn’t help.

In an attempt to be social and meet our neighbors, we went to a “friends of the lake” meeting. It’s about as local as politics can get, and people are so opinionated and passionate, you’d think we were taking about starving big-eyed children instead of bass.

It’s unfair of me to assume everyone at the meeting was completely lacking perspective, because I am sure a silent majority thought the outrage over bass-related issues was a bit over the top too.

(Above photo depicts a bass unaware of concern over his wellbeing. Here is a suggestion from the bass: “If you are really that worried about us, stop catching us on hooks and yanking us out of the lake. That is both hurtful and annoying.”)

Before you think I am uncaring about the needs of the bass, I should point out that the bass are fine. There is no real threat to the bass at this time, and they seem to be completely content carrying on their bassy lifestyles in our lake. Maybe because there are no real threats, the meeting focused on potential threats.

The issue that people were most angry about was non-residents fishing on the lake. It’s a very “us” versus “them” feeling that gets expressed. These are the people who run out of their house shouting “git off our lake!” if they spot one of “them” passing by. It’s best to spit on the ground after you say this, or (better yet) cock your shotgun. Both spit and guns are appropriate punctuation marks to show your sincerity in this situation.

The most cringe-worthy moment happened when one of the “friends of the lake” stood up and said “Not that this has anything to do with ethnicity, but…” I won’t even re-type what he said, it was unbelievably stupid. That is just a bad way to start a sentence. “Not to be racist, but…” then STOP TALKING. If you don’t want to be racist, as you claim, then shut your piehole… because the next words to come out of your mouth are most assuredly racist.

Personally, I don’t think the lake needs friends like… but, who am I to tell a body of water that it’s hanging around with the wrong people?

So in an effort to get “them” off our lake, the Friends of the Lake have developed this semi-elaborate system of boat stickers and fishing passes. I am just waiting for when they release a Bass Threat Alert system (ie Code Orange: High threat level . Intelligence reports that specific threats to bass have been made.)

My favorite guy was the last guy to speak at the meeting. His topic was ice shantys. Evidently, people have been up in arms about all the fishermen’s ice shantys on the lake in the winter. It took a few promptings before this guy even realized he was supposed to get up and speak, as he had to be at least 95 years old and was a bit hard of hearing. I was bracing myself for yet another over-the-top alarmist speech on some threat to the bass or to our “lifestyles” …but as soon as he took the podium I knew he was cool. Here is a transcription of his entire speech:

“We like them! They are just part of winter. If you don’t like them, you deal with them. But we like them!”

Ah, the sweet voice of reason. I was ready to give him a one-woman standing ovation.

I don’t know if we will ever go to another one of these meetings again, but if we do I will try to sneak in a video camera so you can see neighborhood politics at it’s finest.

OK, rant over. Thanks for listening.

No comments: