April 4th, 2005

My Life Is a Mess
By James Castwell


Well, it is. I know it and can't seem to do much to change it. Here's where I'm at. I eat, sleep and work with things about fly fishing. From six am or so until after midnight that's all I am involved with. If I had the time to get away from here it would be to... go fishing. All my phone calls are about fly fishing. I don't know anyone who doesn't fly fish. Talk about a rut.

And then two magazines came in the mail. They were sent in desperation to an old address I once had and forwarded here, in fact, I have received the second copy of each already.

"Lo and behold, there is a 'nother world out there!"

Hunting!

Now I used to do a lot of that, in Michigan and in Montana. Rifle, shotgun, handgun and bow. Once I tried (in a story for a magazine) to start up a whole new sport, spear-chucking for deer. It was not well received but I wrote about it any how. About how we would all dress alike (spear-chucker suits), develop neat organizations, nifty logo's, secret handshakes; the potential seemed good, but it was not to be.

(The idea was to hide in the branches of trees and leap out with a spear and stab deer. Hunting from a tree in Michigan was not legal at the time and was probably one of the things that held me back from the brink of fame.)

Anyway, "back at the ranch," er, I mean... back to these magazines. I have become so tunnel visioned that I'm sure I would have fallen for nearly any sport or pseudo-recreation which might have presented itself. But, "just in the nick of time" these hunting slicks have "plucked me from the jaws of disaster."

Tales of guys getting bit by bears, caught by cougars, stomped by stallions, tusked by tuskers, and run ragged by rabid rabbits. "Chilling tales of daring-do," gets the old blood pumping like back in the day's of my youth. But in truth, it was nice to break away from the fly fishing mold for a while and sniff the other breezes of the great outdoors. I need to become more well rounded again.

Oh, this is a complete mystery to me though. I think we all read our monthly (quarterly?) Fly-fishing slicks about the same way. Smile at the pretty lady with the nice teeth and big fish on the cover, skim the list of contents, flip to a couple of same... flop-flop our way to the funny thing on the last page, read half and make a note to go back to page 85 the next time we pick it up. In the process we may see an ad or two for things we have, don't have, need, don't need, or have no idea what to do with if we had one. These ad's are for fishing stuff, mostly fly-fishing stuff. Not so in these 'Other' magazines. These guys have a problem, but it may not be a very big one at that. It seems that as these fellows who hunt and kill things, more trophy oriented perhaps, get older they develop a short-coming of their own.

There is a preponderance of ad's for Viagra and every sibling-sister of the scientists sizzling test-tube. Right there alongside ad's like "No Kill- No Pay!" there would be nestled a coy little notice of how 'she' thinks "bigger is better!" Page after page of smiling chickies peeping out from the normal classifieds is un-nerving to say the least. Pictures of charging Rhino trampling natives, Jack O' Conner smiling from the top of a trophy kill, but not these! These are just wrong! Wrong, I tell you, Just plain WRONG!

Just when it seemed I had found something to fill out my reading world, something to take me away from thinking about fly-fishing all the time, when I had made the leap to 'greener pastures,' I find the slick-rags have become adulterated, 'gone over to the dark side,' lost faith with the multitudes. If I start to read these things will I catch the 'old-timers disease' which seems to have inflicted all those who carry a weapon?

Why is it that the covers of the shooting mags have really ugly guys with very dead things and the fly-fishing slicks have dainty lovelies with straight teeth and crooked grins? And why do they sell so much Viagra to guys who kill things and the fly-fishing guys don't need it? ~ JC

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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