Proving my IQ

John got an electric prawn trap puller. I get to use it. ‘Dem prawns bedda look out!’

Pulling prawn traps by hand is not so hard. The traps seem to weigh a lot when they are down deep, though, and the rope is hard on soft, flabby hands (like mine) but the reward is usually well worth the effort. IF there is a reward.

And therein lies the real obstacle to prawning: coming up empty. It is so discouraging to strain one’s poor little hands and back and not get some reward (spoiled brat that I am). Disney taught me that if I try real hard, I should get some prawns. Ya know? Like the Little Fisherman Who Thought He Could? Sadly, that is not always the case.

Sometimes the prawns are down there ROTFLTAO.

But all that is over. Now I can drop and lift prawn traps on a whim. Oooohhhh…….this is exciting! Worst case scenario: disappointment but without sore muscles. Of course, it does get better than that but saving my back is a close second.

There is no denying the primal satisfaction that one gets from bringing home the bacon unless, of course, one is not allowed to eat bacon anymore. Prawns are the new bacon. Real satisfaction hinges not so much on bringing it home but in being allowed to eat it and not having hurt yourself in the process. It’s why people write about picking blackberries more than they actually pick ém.

Same goes for writing about hunting, gardening, homesteading, log-home building and, well, you get the idea……..

Fact of aging: old people get almost as much pleasure thinking about stuff they used to do or are planning to do someday in the future than they actually ever do. I figure it’s nature’s way of keeping older people safe (until natural culling comes by way of cars, doctors, meds and spouses, of course).

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind a bit of a hike, a few scrapes and a prick or two from the blackberry thorns. That’s OK. That’s where my ‘macho’ comes in. But, when you hike and hike and sweat and fall down and get dirty and then you get bitten by mosquitoes and it’s hot and everything…….and you forgot your water bottle….and then there are no berries……….well, that’s when my macho runs dry. And my tears run wet. Aging also plays havoc with your macho levels.

And so it is with most of this foraging, gathering, hunting thing. The fruits of my labours don’t have to be as easily gotten as store-bought and delivered but they shouldn’t be so hard-to-get that blood, sweat or tears are required in any way whatsoever. Ya know? Who wants to cry over spilled blackberries at our age, eh?

We spoiled old brats (more commonly referred to as SOBs) are just seeking a balance of sorts. Fair play. It’s a tangent off the law of diminishing returns. Like fishing. One ounce of effort should get two ounces of blackberries or the equivalent in prawns. Like scotch! It’s only fair!

Fishing is the ultimate example of a pastime in need of some fair play. If you get your gear, launch your boat and head off all within a reasonable period of time – say one hour or maybe two if you have a lot of time to kill – and you drop your line and return home with a couple of fish within say, an hour or maybe two (if you have a few beers to kill) then fishing is OK. Not great. But definitely fair. You can choose to play or not based on that kind of risk/time/cost-to-reward ratio.

For it to be really great, the salmon would have to jump in the boat and clean itself but they are not that cooperative (not yet, anyway. Monsanto is developing a Frankenfish that leaps into your boat wrapped in cellophane but it’s a few years off the shelves just yet.)

But if you have to go to town to get your license and the motor doesn’t start and, after several weeks spent bored out of your gourd and considerable skin loss due to peeling sunburn and you don’t have one damn fish to show anyone (been there)………….well, the whole thing is just stupid, isn’t it?

And one thing should be clear by now: I ain’t stupid. Right?

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