Take Your Boat and Go!

I’ve been running this competition for thirty-seven years, and we’ve NEVER had to kick out a competitor. Never thought it would happen before I retired, either. Fishing is a sport of tranquillity, free from all of those foolish displays of rage so endemic to other sports. I was proud that we were a bastion in a sea of silly disputes and adults losing their tempers.

Well, never mind that. I should just retire; it’s been a good run. Once you have an irate gentleman losing his head and talking about how his fishing rod holders are superior to everyone else’s, then you’ve really seen it all. Honestly, him besmirching the good name of fishing rod holders gave me some mild palpitations. Then he started talking about bait boards and I had to clamp my hands over my ears, while the rest of the spectators simply watched, their mouths agape.

This is not a sport of excitement! People did not come there on that day to feel intense emotions! It is a place of PEACEFUL FUN. I felt more rage on that day than any one of the thirty-seven competitions combined. And this fellow was parading around with a plate-alloy boat as well, something that should be reserved for people who actually understand the sport of fishing. Real fishermen never lose their temper, for they allow themselves to be soothed by the lapping waves, the undulation of the water, the tranquil wait for a bite that may never actually arrive, so you have to assume that it’s not coming at all.

That fellow is never coming back. He can take his aluminium plate boat and leave for good, or perhaps give that boat to someone worthy. And I can spend the next year wondering if my heart can take another competition where we have to tell a competitor to leave, because we’ve had almost four decades of peace and THAT one nearly finished me off.

-Clarence J.