As the play says, “there’s something fishy in Denmark”.
Perhaps only metaphorically, of course.
Probably as long as humans have been catching fish, their slippery nature has been emblematic of the elusive. We have always had stories of the one that got away, and tall tales of the ones that caught but for various reasons never shown to a reliable witness.
The I almost caught fish was huge, no matter how you measured it. And huge fish are old fish, and old fish are clever fish. At least clever as fish go.
But even an old clever monster of a fish can get played.
Playing this one took the right lure, of course. None of those fancy store-bought expensive things, either. Just an old spoon tied to the line so that it wiggled in the current, with a cork to keep it from sinking too fast. Dipped the cork into some dark rum too, but that may have been an accident. It was the second bottle of rum last night, and my memory is a little fuzzy.
So there I was, hung over the transom, and hung over too. Hung over the transom trying to untangle my line from the tiller after being hung over from the rum that I might have mentioned earlier. While delicately balanced, that is when the old bugger struck the spoon.
Yanked the line right out of my hands.
Or would have done, if my hands weren’t somehow both through loops collected while trying to untangle the tiller.
Next thing I know, I’m in the water with the monster, and we’re heading for the falls where he knows he can dive deeply enough to try to lose me.
Strong swimmer, dragging me and the boat against the current.
And there I was, tied to the boat like a sycophant to a politician, and both of us hitched to the tail of the monster fish, having the ride of our lives.
I would have caught the monster too, if it weren’t for the other wrecks in that Sargasso sea of a fishing boat graveyard he drug me through. It cut me up some, then cut the line setting me and the boat free.
With the tension off, it only took another few minutes to get free of the tiller.
Never saw my favorite spoon again. Someday some lucky stiff is going to catch that monster and find my lucky spoon.
Maybe that will be me tomorrow!