Thursday, July 8, 2010

The dirty lies writers tell themselves

We’ve somehow gone from freezing temperatures to scorching ones within a week, so Pythagoras and I are heading into the mountains for a camping trip.

I apologize in advance for not replying to blog comments right away, but I do have another post set to go up Friday, so come back tomorrow.

In preparing for this camping adventure, I’m reminded of the first time Pythagoras and I went fishing.

We both grew up in outdoorsy families, so camping and hiking and fishing were regular occurrences. Though we’d camped together many times, it wasn’t until we’d been together a couple years that we embarked on a fishing trip.

We rented a boat at Diamond Lake and headed out. I had a good book, Pythagoras had a fishing pole, and all was right with the world.

Suddenly, his line began to jerk.

“Quick, grab the net,” he ordered.

I stared, baffled, as he reeled the fish in. The second it came flopping into the boat, I burst into tears.

Pythagoras looked at me. “What’s wrong?”

“The fish,” I sobbed. “I don’t want it to die.”

“I’ll throw it back, no problem.”

“No! I want to eat it,” I whimpered. “I just don’t like seeing it die.”

He was baffled by this. “I thought you grew up fishing all the time.”

“I did!” I cried. “We just never caught anything.”

Being raised in a family of terrible fishermen had not prepared me for this spectacle. There was some more discussion, a bit more sobbing, and a quick, solemn death for the fish.

As soon as dinner was stashed safely in the cooler, Pythagoras turned to me.

“The fish was probably really old,” Pythagoras said. “On death’s doorstep. We saved all the other fish from having to watch him die slowly of old age or liver cancer.”

I thought about that for a minute, then nodded. “He was also a pedophile.”

“Absolutely,” Pythagoras agreed. “For years, he’s been terrorizing the other fish.”

“And he’s a compulsive liar.”

“And a car thief,” he added.

“Did you hear how he voted in the last presidential election?”

By the time we’d finished assassinating the fish’s character, I felt almost glad about removing him from the gene pool. We caught several more evil fish that afternoon, and they were all delicious stuffed with lemon slices and cooked over a campfire.

OK, so I know it’s unlikely each fish we catch is a tawdry character preying on children and passing out KKK literature. But believing it for a few hours assuages my conscience and makes me feel less guilty about something that’s a bit uncomfortable for me.

Am I the only one to use my overactive writer’s imagination like this? Do you regularly lie to yourself so you feel better about something? Tell me in the comments.

I’ve got some granddaddy pedophile fish to catch.

Pythagoras shows off our first evil fish, may he rest in peace.


Linda G. said...

I'm a total soft-hearted fish-hypocrite, too. Love to eat 'em, hate to kill 'em. I'm okay with catching them--that part's fun--but I can't stand looking into their fishy little eyes as they live their last moments. ("Finding Nemo" didn't help any. I already tend to over-anthropomorphize animals.)

But, anyway, thanks for a blog idea! I may have to mosey over and tell the story of my first camping trip with TG. :)

Danica Avet said...

LOL, oh Tawna,that was great! My family never caught fish either so I, being the naturally competitive person I am, gave up on it for years. It wasn't until a few years ago that I picked it up again and realized how fun and relaxing it is.

Let me see...When I see those perfectly nice ladies approaching my house with pamphlets, I hide in a dark corner and refuse to answer the door. "Because they're planning to give me drug laced cookies that'll render me unconscious so they can steal my dog and keep her for breeding purposes, poor little virgin puppy that she is."

Okay, so I just don't like people stopping by my house.

Kelly Breakey said...

I am too girly to do the catching so what you described is very alien to me. I do enjoying the cooking of the fillets (already cleaned) and the eating part. But I love the fact that your husband understood you enough to make you feel better about sacrificing that bad old fish for your dinner. You got yourself your very own romantic leading man. How great is that!

Claire Dawn said...

Ha! I don't think I use my writerness like that, but I'm going to start! Enjoy your trip! :)

Jeffe Kennedy said...

I love that part, too, Kelly - that Pythagoras first offered to throw it back, then came up with the "saved from a slow death by cancer" rationale. He's a prince!

Patty Blount said...

Awww. That was very sweet.

I'm a city girl, born and bred. I don't eat seafood at all unless STARKIST is slapped on its butt.

But I would feel the same way about killing one. What you've described is sort of the game I play with myself (Oh, God. I said play with myself to Tawna!) when I people watch. Is the guy with the lazy eye and hairy belly peeking out from a too-short t-shirt going to follow that poor, unsuspecting librarian home? What about the scruffy teen eyeballing the shiny Mustang? Yep, he's about to jack it.

Of course, with fish, you don't run the risk of getting caught staring, as I have.

Debra Lynn Shelton said...

I can barely kill a bug in my house, never mind a fish in a lake. This post was extremely enlightening - I never realized fish could be pedophiles! Or worse yet, vote for McCain/Palin!

Elisabeth Black said...

Awesome lies. I can. not. deal with the poor fishes flopping in the cooler. Nor can I bear the hook going up into the top of their mouths. I was not born to fish.

Lily said...

I haven't been fishing since I was 8. I had no problem with catching the fish, but I would not bait my own hook. I just couldn't do that to the sweet little minnows! I am a city girl though, so I haven't been fishing since then.

Reading that story made me literally laugh out loud. You and your husband seem like quite the couple!

Angela Perry said...

Trade you husbands. Mine is totally mean about stuff like that!

Okay, so it's ten years ago, I'm pregnant and driving through the canyon. A cute little furry ground squirrel ran in front of the car. I couldn't swerve--sheer dropoff to the right--so I *sob* squished him.

I immediately burst into tears (the myriad of pregnancy hormones did NOT help) and pulled over at the next shoulder. My husband, who had been dozing, was panicked.

Him: "What's wrong?"

Me: "I...I...hit a squeaky."

Him: "A what?"

Me: "A ground squirrel! That's what we call them in my family!"

Him: "Bwahahaha! Do you call them that because they go 'squeaky, squeaky' as the wheels go over it?"

Me: "Wahhhhh!"

Yeah, so about that trade?

Kathryn Rose said...

Ha ha ha. That's funny. I love to fish too, but instead of getting sad when they're caught, I get freaked out because they're slimy and scaley and slippery and wiggling around and always looking at me. Yuck!

??? said...

Me? Thinking dirty, filthy lies in order to make myself feel better? NEVER. I am pure as the driven snow. I am honest and open and never try to ignore the reality of the world we live in just for a small moment of ignorance-based bliss. Shame on you for even participating in such heinous crimes against the natural order!!!

(Did anyone actually buy that? Wow, I'm better at this than I thought)

I will admit to lying to myself in the past in order to justify mooching music off of my friends instead of buying the CD. "He's a freakin' billionaire already... he doesn't need my $9.99... he'd probably just use it to do drugs anyway..."

Rebecca T. said...

hehehe! Oh the stories we tell ourselves. Glad I'm not the only one!


Doug MacIlroy said...

Loved this post. Just joined and was shopping around. Looking forward to more. Thanks, Doug