Friday, May 28, 2010

Carp Season

So I'm riding my bike home last night at 4:45 and what do I see but a guy on the Barstow Ave. bridge spearing carp with an 8 foot spear tied to a rope. When I passed, he had just speared about a 7 pounder that was flopping from the end of his home-crafted spear. He and his buddy and his girlfriend were hooting it up over their luck.

Now, I didn't know how to react to this.

As a fisherman who knows the joy of the catch I felt I should applaud him. Also, as a fisherman who has great disdain for the carp species, a roughfish that destroys habitat for all the good fish, I again wanted to applaud him. The only knock I had on the guy was his high profile. In other words here he is in the middle of downtown, ON A BRIDGE, chucking a spear at carp. There's just something wrong with that.

It might be the passing kids in a stroller wondering why that freakish man is killing fish WITH A TRIDENT. (I think of anchorman where Steve Carrell says "I killed a guy with a trident")

Or the struggling businessman trying to attract a decent clientelle. "Hey what's with the yahoo and the spear?"

There's certainly more wrong with it than, right. And yet, I commend him. "What a beautiful, ugly fish you've speared, fine sir. May I have it for my garden?"

When I was at the University of Minnesota, I was questioned by someone who was studying Carp as a food source for some international studies class or something. I had to tell him the story of us fishing for carp in the Mississippi when I was a kid. After we caught them, my brother would put a cherry bomb in their gills and light it and release the fish. They'd swim a few yards thinking they'd been set free, then...Kaboom! (Editorial Note: It was ILLEGAL to release carp back into any MN waters, because they are rough fish (See 1st paragraph).

So there is just a touch of redneck in my background as well. I draw the line at Trident Chucking From Bridge though. I have my pride. (It doesn't mean he wasn't a hero).

It really is hard to top a story like that. So I gotta run.

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