Fishing For A Reason To Scream

, , , , , | Friendly | April 21, 2021

I care for three small children; the eldest is a three-year-old boy. One day, I take them for a walk around a local park, and the eldest becomes fascinated by the people fishing along the river for the opening weekend of the fishing season. As he asks excited questions, some of the fishers turn to answer him and let him see their catches and do things like hold their nets.

As we continue, the eldest asks if we can go fishing, too, and I tell him he can only pretend to fish today. To go fishing for real, he needs to talk to his parents and they will have to get a bunch of stuff.

Boy: “Like what?”

Me: “Oh, a fishing pole and hook, you’ll need bait, and you’ll have to get a fishing license…”

A man on the shore screams a curse, turns, and charges at us.

Man: “That’s bulls***! Don’t listen to that. Why would you need permission? Fishing licenses are just bureaucratic bulls***. Why the h*** do you think you need to get anyone’s permission to go out in the world? Do you really believe all that?”

The rant continues, but at no point is it directed at me; he is screaming at the three-year-old. The kid is startled and tries to hide behind me, but the man rounds me and tries to get closer, spitting without a mask.

Me: “Okay… I was just talking to him. We are on a walk. Could you back up?”

The man ignores me, still getting closer, yelling at the preschooler about government overstepping and his personal viewpoints.

Man: “There’s no one who can take my right to take fish from where God put them for me. They don’t need to track my name! They don’t own me; they don’t own you!”

There was definitely something unhinged about him, and as he got angrier and louder, he was scaring all three children, and the babies started to cry. I scooped up the boy and started pushing the stroller with the other children away, telling the man to please leave us alone. It was slow going between carrying the squirming kid one-handed and pushing the double stroller.

It’s at this moment that one of the oldest fishermen suddenly appeared beside me, whispered that he was a retired policeman, and asked if he could take over pushing the stroller. At the same time, two other fishermen stepped between the yelling man and us. They were trying to distract or placate him, but he was literally yelling over them at us.

Thankfully, with the help of the retired policeman, we got some space between us, but I now found myself on the far side of the river from my car. The policeman told me he wasn’t comfortable allowing me back toward the yelling man, as he was obviously unwell and had a holstered weapon. Instead, I took the kids and hid inside a locked public restroom until he gave me the all-clear.

Apparently, the cops were called to diffuse the situation, and they ultimately got the yelling man to leave because, unsurprisingly, he was fishing without a license. Still, I got an escort back to my car, and the policeman pointed out that it was a man-made river that was stocked with fish… by the government.

1 Thumbs
621