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…
Since no one would go with me to the river, I decided to go by myself.
But when I got down to the river, things didn’t go quite as planned. First of all, the bank was steep and I fell a few times on my way down to the water. But once I got down there, I discovered that the river was more dangerous than I ever imagined. The water was moving! I had heard rumors that people actually got into the river to fish, but I knew by looking at the water rushing by that nobody would be that foolish. Even if they survived, how would they ever get home?
Just as I was thinking these thoughts, I looked up the river and saw a boat floating down the river toward me, and inside were some fishermen! At first I thought these men were fearless, but as they floated closer, I realized that they were just foolish.
They were unwashed, sweaty men, with facial hair! Such burly, scruffy men should not be allowed to be fishermen. They give fishermen a bad name.
And the language they used was even worse. It sounded like they were trying to kill the fish with foul mouths. I immediately concluded that these were not true fishermen, but were frauds. They were false fishermen who only gave the appearance of fishing. Fishermen were like me. We have dignity, style, and can craft a flowery tale about the fish we’ve caught. Resorting to such coarse language as they did is only proof of a weak mind. They clearly hadn’t read all the books that I had about proper fisherman etiquette.
Then one of them took a big swig from a can of beer! I shook my head in disbelief. No wonder these fakers were out here. They weren’t even fishing. They probably told their wives they were going fishing, but actually just came out here to get drunk and tell coarse jokes. As they floated off down the river, I was glad to see them go, and hoped that the river swept such false fishermen out to sea.
Walking further down the shore, I met some young boys who were also fishing. They were fishing from shore, throwing their lines into the water and then reeling them back in. I laughed to myself. It is always humorous to watch little boys play. They clearly didn’t know what they were doing since they couldn’t cast their line right the first time. They kept casting it out, and reeling it in. Casting it out, and reeling it in. It looked like a lot of work, and for what? With all that work, the fish were sure to be scared away.
I tried to explain to them that fishing should be relaxing. That all you have to do is put your line in the water, then let it sit there. While you wait for the fish to come to you, you can sit back in your boat, relax, and read a good book. These young boys don’t even have a boat.
“I don’t like to read, Mister,” said the boy closest to me. “And when I do, I don’t understand much of what I read.”
“There’s your first problem,” I told him. “To be a good fisherman, you should read some books about fishing, and subscribe to some fishing magazines. The more you read and know about fishing, the better fisherman you will be.”
They seemed to understand what I was saying, and asked if I had caught anything yet.
“No,” I said. “I’m just surveying the river today, looking for a good place to fish.” As I started to walk on by, it looked like one of them got his hook caught on the bottom of the river. His pole bent over, and the reel started making a whizzing noise.
“I got one! I got a fish!” the kid yelled.
Poor kid. He gets his line stuck on a log, and thinks it’s a fish. But he started to try to reel in the log anyway, and it turned out to be a fish after all!
I think I got more excited than the kid. I had never seen a real, live fish caught in the wild before. I was jumping around and hollering and just about fell into the river. I asked if I could hold the fish.
“Sure,” said the kid. And he handed the fish to me. But as soon as I touched it, it wriggled and slipped out of my hands, landed back in the river, and swam quickly away.
The boy was upset, and I felt a little bad as I walked away. But he was too young to know what to do with a live fish anyway. I mean, if I didn’t know what to do with it, how could he?
My hands reeked of fish for hours afterwards, and I realized that if I was going to be a fisherman, I needed to figure out how to do it without touching any fish.
Chapters from Adventures in Fishing (for Men)Here is a list of posts from the book Adventures in Fishing (for Men):
- The Key to Fishing
- My First Day on the Water
- Stocking up on Fish
- Fishing Science
- How to Attract Fish
- The Fishin' Mission
- My Trip to the River
- Hooked on Fishing
- Letting Others Know You Fish
- Fishing Rites
- Meeting Fish Needs
- The Fishing Channel
- Attending the Fishing Club
- Learning the Fishing Lingo
- The Fishing Training Conference
- The Fishing Prayer
- Strategic Help In Training People to Love Angling Now
- Fishing in Africa
- World Fishing Training Center
- The Fishing Covenant
- Becoming a Published Fisherman