At a recent Scunthorpe Branch Socialist Appeal meeting, yes all three of us, we were discussing how we might begin to oppose the public spending cuts and turn Scunthorpe into a Marxist heaven when it suddenly dawned upon us that we might need a little help. Thoughts turned to the possibility of a broad left alliance with the local SWP Branch, yes both members, so we decided it might be a good idea to take in a bit of refreshment at the pub down the road and have a think.
So off we Trotskied down to the Priory where we were entertained by numerous renditions of Journey's Don't Stop Believing which must be on a constant loop on the jukebox. Surely nobody bought this crap it could only have been part of a cleverly disguised Malthusian plot to persuade us all to commit suicide.
I'd like to send them on a journey and it wouldn't be up and down the boulevard!
Anyway whilst trying to divert my attention away from this bothersome noise I was drawn towards a conversation between a group of twentysomethings sitting at an adjacent table. They were discussing the possibility of arranging a fishing expedition and my thoughts drifted backwards in time to my formative years when a group of us would rise early on dark depressing Saturday mornings during winter.
Off we would cycle the six miles to a dreary canal and sit opposite a disused power station hoping that the big local lad would not come and beat us up for being in his spot or that the farmer would not evict us for daring to step upon his empty field.
I would sit there all day watching a painted stick bobble up and down in the water, quickly reel it in if a barge came sailing by and watching my finger ends slowly turn blue.
You've probably guessed that I'm not an angler it's not that I don't like fish I do, in fact I love it especially when it's surrounded by mountains of chips enticingly arranged on a plate with two slices of buttered bread by my side. Even better when I sit with my partner eating this working class luxury whilst watching the cast of Eastenders playing happy families on a Friday night.
The fact is I just don't see the point of skewering a live maggot with a hook, immersing it into freezing cold water in the hope that I might persuade an adult Perch to swallow my bait. Even if I was successful with my deftly concealed trap what would I do with it?
Imprison it in a two foot wide net for a few hours before allowing it to swim free?
OK I know because I have been told many times that angling is the most popular pastime in Britain and millions partake in this futile activity, but then again millions vote Tory and it doesn't make it right.
My fishing career ended one cold Saturday afternoon in February 1975. Upon hearing that Scunthorpe United had lost again I began to pack my gear away and get ready for the ride home after denying a couple of fine aquatic creatures their freedom for a few hours before setting them loose to find a meal that didn't end up with them being wrenched from their natural environment, when I realised that my time might be better spent having an exploratory fumble on the settee of name ommitted's front room. In fact this activity might even help rid me of acne.
(Just in case you're reading this you know what I'm talking about and I wish you well but I still think Bay City Rollers' first album is far superior to the second but not a patch on Physical Graffiti.)
So there you have it my thoughts on fishing a pointless, mind numbing activity that can only lead to an introverted personality with a lack of interpersonal skills.
PS If any anglers get worried about how they can humanely kill what they catch try stabbing your prey to death with your hook apparently that implement doesn't cause pain to fish!
PPS If my one follower disagrees with my opinion of angling he will be deleted.
Is that slightly Stalinist?