Archive | July, 2017

The Parable of The Catfish

27 Jul

 

 

 

2017-07-27 11_19_13-ancient japanese fisherman - Google Search

 

Greetings, Fellow Catfish Enthusiasts, 

The young boy of ten sat on the side of the lake, cane pole in hand, with cork floating on the water and a brown cricket submerged on the hook.  The catfish had not been biting all summer, and he was the last, grave hope for success.  His father, mother, and his older brother and older sister, all usually phenomenal in the art of fishing, had been unable to coax the big cats out of the pond.  And after a sub-par corn harvest, hush puppies had been a scarce delicacy as well.  His four younger siblings had cried themselves to sleep all summer for lack of delicious catfish in their bellies.  

“If I don’t catch some catfish,” the young boy muttered, “we’ll all starve to death, for a family cannot subsist on vienna sausages alone.”  (And they were running dangerously low on those little cans, as well.)

He sat for a couple of hours and fished with no luck at all.  Peering down the bank of the pond a few yards, he noticed an elderly Japanese gentleman, also with his pole in the water.  Every so often, the pole would wiggle, the cork would go under, and the gentleman would snap it back up to show a big, beautiful catfish hooked on the line, which he would then pull to shore with ease.  The boy continued to watch, and the catfish continued to bite the line of the old man.  Dumbfounded, the boy watched the old man pull in four catfish in just a few minutes.  

He called to the old man, “Sir, excuse me, but how are you doing it?  I have the same pole and the same bait, but I’m catching nothing!  I have to know your secret, sir.  My family is starving!”

The old man called him closer.  “I will give you my secret, young man.  Each time I put my line out, I say a Catfish-inspired Haiku in order to curry favor with the Catfish gods:

Catfish slumbering,

No more rest under water,

You must attack bait!

I do this each time my line goes in, and each time, I pull out a hearty, beautiful catfish, which I take home, clean, rinse in whole milk, coat in cornmeal, and drop into my Bayou Fryer 700-701 with V-Channel technology.  

When the catfish has fried to a golden brown, I pop open an ice-cold Miller Lite and enjoy these wondrous gifts of the catfish gods along with a tasteful mix of classic and new music, my family, and maybe a couple of friends and neighbors if they’re around.  After the catfish has been consumed and we are full and content, we continue to revel in the celebration of these gifts until well After Dark.”

The boy nodded enthusiastically and returned to his spot.  It couldn’t hurt to try, he thought, although in his heart, he doubted the existence of catfish gods.  He closed his eyes and remembered Haiku structure: five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables.  Then he spoke:

“My family withers

’cause we can’t get no Catfish.

Hook me up, damnit!”

He baited his hook and tossed his line into the murky water…Nothing.  He tried again, and again nothing happened.  

He thought for a moment, then said aloud, “I don’t doubt you, Catfish Gods, c’mon.  I need a break here and I welcome you into my heart.  My poor, starving family is depending on me!”  Then he recited his Haiku again.

Just like that, BOOM!  He had a catfish, and a nice sized one at that!  He repeated his Haiku and put the line back in…BOOM!  Another one!  The old man smiled and nodded as he watched with pride.  The young man continued his new ritual all afternoon, and returned home a hero.  

His family invited over all of their friends and neighbors, one of whom worked for a Miller distributorship and provided all the Miller Lite the adults could drink.  And another whose cousin was a corn farmer who’d dropped off a big bag of cornmeal for breading and hush puppies.   The family was saved!

And what is the moral of this tale, you might ask?  

If you don’t write a Catfish-Inspired Haiku for the Fourteenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival, FAMILIES WITH YOUNG CHILDREN WILL STARVE, AND IT WILL BE ALL YOUR FAULT.

We are accepting your submissions, all the way up until and including Catfish Festival Day!  What are you waiting for?  Fabulous prizes from the far corners of the Earth await the winners!

Sincerely,

Joe T., Chairman

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Prior Engagements

18 Jul
150225114911-italy-catfish-tease-medium-plus-169

I’ll try to make it, if I can just get to my keys…

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“I’m pretty sure I’m busy that day,” she replied, nervously twisting strands of her long hair around an index finger while casting her eyes about the room, searching for the quickest means of escape from the mounting flood of awkwardness that threatened to drown them both.

“But I haven’t even told you what day yet,” he pleaded, exasperation mounting, a wave of anxiety working its way up, up, up, from the deepest part of his fragile soul to the cold and blinding light of humiliation.

Greetings, Fellow Catfish Enthusiasts,

It has come to our attention that some of our less adventurous supporters may be questioning last Saturday’s decision by your Dear Chairman to select and publish a date for the 14th Annual Denver Catfish Festival within the jovial midst of a local brew fest.  

Please understand that your Chairman had been swept away in a malt and barley wave of cosmic, communal YES with tens of dozens of fellow beer likers, and decisions had to be made with the lightning speed of a catfish in pursuit of prey.  (Or grain, as the case may be with our farm-raised variety.)    

Thus, we have our date with Catfish Destiny and are beyond excited to share a splendid display of deep-fried deliciousness with our fellow Catfish devotees.

Also, today we would be remiss to continue with this pointless, rambling post without fondly remembering one of the exalted patron saints of the Denver Catfish Festival on what would have been his 80th birthday:

Image result for hunter s thompson quotes

Well spoken, sir.  

And so it goes with this year’s Denver Catfish Festival.  We’ve heard from many of our usual festivalgoers (even a Haiku Champion or two) that 7/29/17 is a date that just doesn’t work, due to goings on in Moab or Carbondale or Sante Fe or Chicago or the oft-cited “wedding out of town,” or for Soccer or Sawyer Brown (gross) or even for having to pilot an Airbus A310 from Denver to Milwaukee and back.

Wait…Soccer?  Don’t kids play soccer like 300 days a year?  In the years that follow, will you look back at this one, crucial game on 7/29/17 as the moment that pushed the needle over to a full-ride scholarship and acceptance to the USA World Cup team?  

And Piloting a jet?  Don’t those things basically fly themselves now?

But fret not, absentees; we shall raise a full glass and a golden fillet to you and yours, the no-shows whose souls must be trampled in the name of triumphant, beautiful, perfectly seasoned and prepared Fried Catfish and Hush Puppies.

And as for those festive, fortunate folks who have presented no viable excuses otherwise, we’ll see you at the Fourteenth Annual Denver Catfish Festival!

Sincerely,

Joe T., Chmn. 

7/29/17

16 Jul

It’s been decided. The latest iteration of the Denver Catfish mother effin Festival is July 29th, 2017.

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