Below is an excerpt from a book I’m writing called Adventures in Fishing (for Men). The book is a satirical allegory about Christian attempts at evangelism. He who has ears to hear…
As I continue my quest to become the world’s greatest fisherman, I have discovered that success is not measured in how many fish you actually catch, but in how well you present yourself as a fisherman. This was a great relief to me, because the more I learn about fishing, the less I like it. Some days, I am pretty sure I hate fish. They stink, they are slimy, and those bugged-out eyes kind of freak me out.
Thankfully, you don’t have to catch fish to be a world famous fisherman. All you have to do is project the image of being a successful fisherman and be able to teach others how to fish. There are two kinds of fisherman: those who fish, and those who teach others to fish. I am one of the latter.
But before people will listen to you about how to fish, you have to convince them that you are a great fisherman. How is this possible if, like me, you have never actually caught fish? There are numerous ways.
The first thing I did was buy a fishing necklace with a hook on it. I made sure the hook on my necklace was plastic, of course. I didn’t want to risk any more trips to the hospital. I made sure the hook was fluorescent pink, and I wore it on the outside of my shirt so that everybody could see it as I walked around.
I felt pretty good about making such a public statement that I was a fisherman, but one day I saw a guy wearing a golden fishing hook. It looked very expensive, and when I asked him about it, he said it was real gold! Clearly he was a better fisherman than I was because he was wearing a golden hook and mine was cheap plastic. I immediately went out and bought myself the biggest, brightest, and most expensive golden fishing hook I could find. Now, everywhere I go, people look with admiration at my fishing hook necklace. The amazement is obvious on their faces about what a great fisherman I am.
Another great way to show people that I am a fisherman is by wearing fisherman t-shirts. I have one t-shirt that says, “If you were to die tonight, do you know where you would fish for eternity?” Another that I wear a lot says, “Fish with Jesus on streams of living water… or try your luck at the lake of fire.” The choice is obvious. I find that wearing shirts like this really help me feel like a true fisherman.
Fishing Bumper Stickers
Also, bumper stickers are nice. My favorite bumper sticker, which I placed on both my cars and on the back of my fishing boat, reads, “Love the fish; hate fish guts.” I have often thought that fish would be much better if they didn’t have any guts. I have watched some videos about cleaning fish, and while I have never actually done it myself, it looks disgusting. I think that fish guts are actually what keeps me from catching any fish. I would not want to deal with their guts.
Another favorite bumper sticker of mine says “My Boss is a Jewish Fisherman.” That’s a reference to Jesus, in case you didn’t know. He was quite the fisherman. Of course, he had an advantage over the rest of us, being God and all. Nevertheless, he gave some good fishing advice, and I try to follow everything he said when I go catch fish. Or at least, I will follow all his advice when I go catch fish. Right now, I am just spending lots of time reading and studying what he says so that I can be well-prepared to catch fish when I actually get out there and do it.
Along with the fishing necklace, t-shirts, and bumper stickers, it is also wise to buy lots of fishing magazines and fishing books. But don’t worry; you don’t have to actually read them. You just need to make sure that these books are visible so that people think you are reading them. If you line your shelves with these books and magazines, and put a few on your coffee table when guests come over, you will impress them with how much you know about fishing.
Also, make sure that you are always carrying at least one fishing book or magazine around with you wherever you go. You can flip through it while on the subway, or while waiting for the oil in your car to get changed. This will make you look like a real fisherman because everyone else around you will be wasting their time reading newspapers or one of those celebrity gossip magazines.
You should also put a few of these books and magazines on your desk at work. This way, when coworkers come by, they will see these books and magazines on your desk and will know you are a great fisherman. And who knows? Maybe someday one of them will ask you about fishing. I like to imagine that someday, a coworker will come by my desk, see a big fishing book sitting there, and will say, “Oh, you’re a fisherman?” and I can proudly say, “Yep, I sure am. One of the greatest in the world.”