The British press has gotten hold of the quest for 1000, and like anything in the British press, even something as pointless as some suburban California software exec wasting half his life trying to catch obscure fish somehow managed to become controversial. Check out the article at …
The writeup is certainly nice – the Mail is a bit tabloidy, so I’m just thrilled that they didn’t hint at a romantic link with Kelly Osborn or Elton John. (Not sure which would be worse.) This was done in a bit of a hurry, so I wasn’t in love with absolutely all the copy – e.g. calling Marta my wife set off bells (alarm bells) all over the place – although, ahem, NO WEDDING PRESENTS HAVE ARRIVED. I wonder if Hi’s Tackle has a registry. And the “badly injured” part was a bit dramatic, considering the worst injury I’ve had angling was a 3rd-degree bruised ego from Jaime.
But the real fun was in the comments section. Now, not everyone appreciates fishing, and this being a very widely-distributed newspaper (2nd largest in the UK), I expected that there would be some less-than-glowing feedback from the disinterested majority and the environmental activist types. (This can’t ALL be from old girlfriends, disgruntled guides, and hateful relatives, right? RIGHT?) Everyone has an opinion, and the anonymity of the web really brings out what is deep inside people; whether it’s passion, loathing, or gas. My personal favorite –
I actually feel sick with anger reading this! what sort of achievement is that? How many fish has he killed? did any get put back alive? It just makes me so mad! How can anyone be proud of this? it is totally beyond me. He should be had up for cruelty. Those fish were not put on this planet so that idiots like him can catch them purely for sport. – Hedge Witch, Brizzle Uk, 2/9/2010 6:53 Click to rate Rating -139
Hedge Witch, wherever you are, I appreciate your passion, your convictions, and your right to free speech. You managed to get your opinion across without going all ad hominem on me. I’d offer to buy you dinner in London the next time I’m over, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we might not be able to agree on a restaurant. If you’re out there, I’d love to hear from you. I’m not exactly sure what a Hedge Witch is, although I did learn a great British term through all this – “Yogurt Knitter.” This is the functional equivalent of “Tree Hugger,” but as always with the Brits, it manages to be more obscure but funnier.
But some of these other folks got positively medieval. If I was all sensitive and stuff, this might be cause for concern, but heck, I pretty much get yelled at for a living. Eileen from Lancashire brightened up her Thursday with this missive:
What an idiot and he is proud . what goes around comes around maybe a big big fish will get you one day you sad man. – eileen, lancs, 2/9/2010 7:10
Who knew that there were some people out there who hate me more than my co-workers, hockey opponents, and college roommates? (Jeff Rostomily, wherever you are, I truly am sorry for throwing up in your clean laundry.) Usually, people don’t dislike me this much until they’ve met me. But wishing for a fishy death? A pox, maybe. And “idiot?” Sure, she’s right, but that was was just a lucky guess. She then took all morning to think about it, really worked herself into a froth, and posted this –
To Steve – Do your homework you are talking rubbish another dumb a— who has not got a clue about anything. – eileen, lancs, 2/9/2010 13:48
Clueless? Guilty as charged. But do my homework? I fully admit that I may have skipped the occasional homework assignment – like most of them from about 9th grade until mid-freshman year at college, but what on earth could she be referring to? Eileen, it just seems we have nothing in common, except you did call me a dumbass. Can’t we all just get along? Now, “UK Exile” went more to the heart of the matter.
What an utterly and completely pointless thing to do. And, so what does he get at the end of it? A prize? the man needs to get a life.- UKexile06, Canada (ex Devon UK), 2/9/2010 9:33 Click to rate Rating -75
I have always acknowledged that this was a totally pointless pursuit – fishing is the one sport where the other side doesn’t even know it’s playing! But still, this is what passes for my life, and I never claimed it was interesting to anyone except me. For God’s sake, I’m an over-40 suburban guy, well past being able to wear white underwear. This stuff, dull though it may be, keeps me going. And to present a balanced side of this, I should point out that a majority of the comments were actually supportive.
Excellent. I’ve been trying this for 39 years – since I was 5. My total is only 176 different species so this is quite a feat. I am surprised the coalfish was his 1000th fish as these are very common around the UK it should have been in his first 50. – Josiah Soap, Bedford, 2/9/2010 7:05 Click to rate Rating +83
Note to Josiah – 176 is a very nice list, and you’re not on Eileen’s bad side yet, so that’s a plus. I don’t fish the UK as much as I’d like, so the coalie is actually quite an exotic for me. (Any idea where I can catch a bull huss or a blonde ray?) Lazlo of Portugal makes an excellent point, rephrasing Ton Snyder or possibly John Cleese –
If we weren’t meant to eat fish, how come they are made from meat? – Lazlo Woodbine, Portugal, 2/9/2010 15:10 Click to rate Rating +31
Bwahahahahahahaha. But I think Adam of Leeds gets points for being succinct and possibly accurate. His post :
I can only hope this one doesn’t trace back to my mother.
PS – Has this sad man nothing better to do with his life?– Simon Jeffries, Leeds, 2/9/2010 14:06