A Shaggy Fish Story

By Cynthia MacGregor on PUNY.

A fisherman spent all day casting his line to no avail . . . as always. (No, you HAVEN’T heard this story before.) He was all prepared to give up and come in without a catch one more time . . . why should this day be any different . . . but gee, he wished just once he had something to take home and mount. He knew exactly how to prepare a fish for mounting–he’d studied up on the methodology–but he’d never had the opportunity to use it. He would have mounted a damn *minnow* but couldn’t catch anything but seaweed.

His wife, meanwhile, knowing he was out in the boat and likely to come home in his usual frustrated state, did her best to mitigate his disappointment. She took a bubblebath and changed into a negligee, planning to–as she always did–try to make up to him for his disappointment by making passionate love to him.

She came downstairs to put his dinner in the microwave to keep it warm, and flitted past his workshop, noting with a sigh that he had once again, over-optimistically, left out all the implements he would need to mount the fish he hoped–just this once–he would catch.

Meanwhile our luckless fisherman stayed out despite the lateness of the hour, stayed out although it was growing cold, stayed out despite the fact that it was clear his streak of bad luck was holding as firm as ever. Finally, when it was too dark to even see the baited hook anymore, he decided to give in and head for home. Just then . . . what was this? . . . he felt a tug on his line!

It was late when he pulled into the driveway. The wife, feeling sorry for her hapless husband, was waiting for him in bed, all clean and perfumed and ready, determined to take his mind off his problems. The microwave had long since shut off, and she was sure his dinner was ruined. “Is that you, honey?” she called on hearing the door slam. “Forget dinner and come up here. I’ll make you feel good . . . the usual way.”

From downstairs his voice came loudly up the stairs: “Not tonight, dear. I have a haddock.”

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