“Hey… so I’m at the gear shop now and I’ve got a question,” said my wife into her cell phone.
“Hit me,” I replied on the other end.
“Why is fishing line marketed like condoms?”
It’s common knowledge among anglers in mixed marriages that it’s best to keep the non-fishing spouse away from the gear. No good can come of them inventorying the garage. So I understood that asking my wife to pick up some leader material was a calculated risk. But the stuff I needed was 30 miles away and she was driving right by it. How, I reasoned, could that possibly backfire?
“What are you talking about?” I asked, with a sudden sinking feeling in my gut.
“They spell extreme with three Xs.”
“You’re just being silly.”
“Sensations: Ultra Thin, Ultra Strong, Ultra Sensitive.”
“OK. One brand with bad taste. Don’t be so juvenile,” I challenged, hoping in vain to nip this in the bud.
“Nope, that’s from a second brand… there’s a whole aisle of this stuff. It’s amazing… Wow… Feel Everything! It actually says that. And EVERYTHING bolded!”
“Almost like fishing with nothing at all!” added a muffled background voice.
“… like a truck stop bathroom in here. Did he tell you what flavor he wants? I think I saw Love Honey over there!”
“Mariah wants to know…”
“Yeah, I heard her. Very funny. Look, I just need some fluorescent orange, 8 pound mono…”
“Do you need Xtreme Slickness Technology for a Natural Glide? Boy, do the Madison Avenue boys ever have fishermen pegged… Oh, no thank you. We’re ok.”
“Sorry. Some old guy with a porn mustache wanted to help. Hmm… This one has Low Memory. What is that like fish roofies?”
“It’s just because you’re in the bait fishing section. I…”
“Enhanced Control. Seriously, what could that possibly mean in fishing? I mean, what exactly have you been getting for your money all these years?”
“You know what sweetie, this was a mistake. Let’s just forget it.”
“Magnathin Small Diameter. Not sure how that’s a selling point but whatever… Oh… Oh my… and there it is.”
“I’m afraid to ask.”
“I just found the giant rack of camo lingerie.”
“Yeah… um… so…”
“Do you still want that orange stuff?”
“Yes please,” I said meekly.
“Fishermen” she said with a headshaking tone of disappointment. “You’re a sad, sad lot.”
Having made one critical mistake already on the day, I knew enough not to argue.