by Kevin Todd
It was a mighty fine day when I went fishing with a co worker and his daughter. We decided to cruise on down to Charlotte’s Lake Norman; a huge lake with a lot of large rich houses, condo’s, marina’s…etc..you get the idea. We were cruising around the lake, when a particularly sweet looking spot caught our attention. It didn’t take much convincing for everyone to agree to pull into this fairly quiet looking cove..it only had two MANSIONS at either end of it. On one of the decks of the boat house, which was about 300 yards away from us, I saw this huge sign that said “PETA”. I knew that stood for People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals, but didn’t think anything about it. My buddy Ed, didn’t seem to notice the sign at all. While we were getting our lines in the water and making a few casts, I heard a bunch of splashing and yelling coming from the dock where the PETA sign was. I couldn’t hear clearly what they were saying, but they were beating the water with cane poles and screaming at us. Ed quietly looks up and says, “what the hell,..they ain’t going to catch no fish like that.” I nearly fell out of the boat, I was laughing so hard. I had a suspicion as to what those people were saying, but I wasn’t about to be telling.
It wasn’t long before those people got tired of beating the water and yelling. First thing we knew, this fine company on the dock was getting into their boat and were on their way out toward us. That’s when things got real interesting
So there we were in the boat; Ed (we’ll just call him Ed) his daughter and me, just trying to enjoy a day of fishing on lake Norman near Charlotte, and here they came out from their dock in their little boat, paddling like crazy toward us. They were all a hollerin’ and a yelling at us. At this point they were still kinda far away to make out exactly what they were saying, but it was becoming pretty obvious they didn’t want us around.
Now Ed, (still quite bewildered by it all ) shakes his head sadly and say’s,”them fellars are gonna scare all the fish plum to the other side of the lake”. Right then and there I knew I’d better explain to Ed what the huge “PETA” sign meant hanging on the boat house way over there on the other side of the cove, and how these people were all hyped up about animal rights. However, this bit of news just seemed to make his perplexed state of mind even worse. He sighed unhappily. “Well, wouldn’t you just know it; the anti fishin’ movement has invaded my fishing hole.”
That little boat kept getting closer. There really wasn’t much else to do except get started reeling in and get ready to head out. Ed had a difficult time trying to make his daughter understand why we were leaving..”Honey, them wormy lookin ,no meat eatin’ fellars over there don’t want us around so we’ll just be going.” He said this quietly, while all the time she was looking at him with big, wondering eyes.
By this time that PETA group was within fifty yards of us, and we could hear them screaming; “fish feel pain!” Fishing is murder!” I was really beginning to enjoy this. Ed was starting to get riled up. He shouted back at them; “If you boys don’t stop a’ slappin’ the water with them paddles, you might be fealin’ some pain yourselves!”
I couldn’t help myself. I’d started laughing like hell. One of the young fellars began pleading with us. “But what your doing is wrong. Fish feel pain. Can’t you see you’re taking them out of their homes!”
Those were his exact words I swear. I watched this one wormy fellow hollering back at us, and I couldn’t stand it no more. I said to him,.”well pardon us all to hell if I’ve never stopped to consider the emotional well being of a lake trout. Ya know boys, my ancestors didn’t fight and struggle their way to the top of the food chain, just to come home to supper after a hard day’s work to a plate of beets and carrots.” I considered the extent of my brilliance, then continued. “Ya know, if God didn’t want us to eat animals, how come he made’ em outa meat?” Well, I knew that probably wasn’t the most original line, but it got Ed’s daughter laughing pretty hard, which was a relief.
Ed thought my choice of words was quite agreeable, so he threw in a “chew on that, ya bunch a peta heads!” Figuring we were good to go as long as we got in the last word, Ed fired up the bass boat. I guess he couldn’t help but do a quick 360 around that little craft of theirs, leaving them all pitifully alone and shouting their objections at no one in particular. Off we went to several spots where things looked nice and peace and ended up enjoying a day of great scenery, and catching fish.
I’d be done with the story except this little incident inspired a poem, I don’t write very many of these at all. It’s not my thing, I’m an artist not a poet, but after what happened, I just had to put something down. .I’ve only written one poem my whole life, and the woman it was intended for never read it;.but that’s a whole other bucket of worms I’m not gonna get into. To all PETA supporters, I apologize, but you know, a person’s got the right to say what’s on his mind.
You protest the things we like to eat, like cow’s, turkey’s, and pickled pigs feet.
you protect the rights of the protein givers, the lamb, the steer, and the chicken liver’s
And now you protest my right to fish, to fry up and serve this delectable dish?
Instead you’d have us eat vegetable stew, some pea’s, some carrots ,a ‘mater or two.
We just can’t live without our fried flounder, our barbeque sandwich,
our double quarter pounder.
Our pallet’s desire the taste of fresh meat, I’ll have the T – bone
you keep your beets.
And now you better beware of us bassmaster boys,
cruising the lakes in our bass boatin toys,
we take pride in our sport, with us you don’t trifle,
cause some of them boy’s
is toatin’ a rifle.
So go ahead you wormy PETA heads, with all the saving the whales and freeing the minks,
your probably wasting your time, thats what this ol’ boy thinks,
we’ll keep eating our meals with our kids and our wives,
so sit down, shut up,and quit ruining our lives.
yeah just keep it up you ignorant souls,
a beatin’ the water with your bamboo poles,
I know you wish we would quit, well ya better keep wishing,
cause like it or not, we’re a gonna go fishing!