Observations on the world today.

Monday, August 16, 2004

The One That Didn't Get Away 

Last night, my wife, and my six year old daughter and I went fishing in the Ohio River. All summer my wife has wanted to catch a gar. Well, we caught a few sunfish, and a sheep-head, and then my wife got what we thought for a moment was a snag. But soon she realized that she had a fish. When she finally landed it (which was just a matter of pulling the line in) she had one of these hanging on the end of her pole:

That’s a gar. It looks like a barracuda. It has an eel-like shape and a beak full of sharp teeth. But what is really impressive is how she caught it. She was using my daughter's old fishing pole. It’s one of those teensy poles people buy for kids. Her uncle found it for her in somebody’s garbage. She was baiting with a worm and using a split-shot sinker, nothing fancy, just a minimum. The gar bit on the worm, and the hook looped his beak. He was not actually caught at all. Once he opened his mouth, he fell right off. He was just too stubborn to let go.

Which brings me to the point of my story. Iraq is kind of like that gar. Bush got it in his head that he was going to catch us a big ugly one, but when he actually got it on the hook, he found that it was much easier to get than he had originally thought. Once we had our gar, my daughter became frightened of it and wanted me to just cut it off the line, but we didn’t. My wife had a trophy, so we took it to her sister's house to show it off. The poor thing nearly died, and it kept fighting the whole way there. We even wound up with some of its blood on the side of the car. Finally, we returned it to the river where it belongs. It made us feel like big brave hunter-types, but in the long run it sure didn’t do the fish any good.


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