Pretty Fly For A Beige Guy
Many Things Very Considerable or Trout Fishing With Robot Jesus
And an ingenuous Spaniard sayes, “That both Rivers, and the inhabitants of the watery Element, were created for wise men to contemplate, and fools to pass by without consideration.” And though I am too wise to rank myself in the first number, yet give me leave to free my self from the last, by offering to thee a short contemplation, first of Rivers, and then of Fish: concerning which, I doubt not but to relate to you many things very considerable. –Isaak Walton, The Compleat Angler (1653)
The poor dope. He always wanted a pool. —Joe Gillis (William Holden) in Sunset Boulevard (1950)
“He’s supposed to have a particularly high-class style: ‘Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole’ … would that be it?”
“Yes,” said the Managing Editor. “That must be good style.” –Evelyn Waugh, Scoop (1938)
I come from haunts of coot and fern, where the curious Pyrenean wombat barrels through the lush undergrowth in search of….ahhh, fuck good style. I doubt it suits me.
Greetings scribblers, versificators, assorted creatures (and Mowbray, who’s sui generis). Politely Homicidal is back in harness…goddamn it. Back to the city I love/hate, where the dulcet tones of the Lesser Spotted Crackhead echo in the detritus-strewn streets; where pimply teenaged policemen club you to your knees and taser you for being beige and politicians and ‘celebrities’ make the air hideous with their noise and unseemly contortions. Ah…London. Where I might, if I cared to, emulate the Blessed Freep and ‘slink sullenly through Slough, or prance petulantly past Penge.’
I picked up the robot Jesus image from a souvenir stall in the portico of Girona’s cathedral. Even given Spain’s long predilection for blasphemy, I was a bit surprised. I’m not sure why, but I was very struck by the image and carried it with me throughout our varied fishing jaunts around the peninsular.
I must mention, in passing, the Aragonese hamlet of Sant Jordi des Arroyo or, as I came to think of it, The Village Of Ghastly Headgear. For some inexplicable reason (and believe me, I was too disconcerted to actually ask) the entire population of the village (all 200 of them) wore what are called in the US ‘gimme’ hats, i.e. baseball caps with a corporate logo emblazoned across the front. (‘Where’d ya git thet hayat, Gomer? Feller down the John Deere place gimme it‘).
It was passing strange to see an 80 year-old crone shuffling down the main drag, shopping in one hand, fiercely-smoking Ducado firmly plugged into the corner of her puckered old gob as she emitted metronomically regular puffs of smoke like The Little Engine That Could, a Microsoft baseball cap planted on her old grey head. The local priest wore a cap that declared his fealty to Metallica and the local game warden advertised his penchant for Dr. Pepper. I suspect some US Air Force plane, winging its way to an American base with the necessities of US-style existence (hamburger patties, guns, crack, Percocet, baseball caps), was forced to jettison its cargo over the village.
Even more intriguing, I came across firm evidence of our friend Steven Augustine’s double-life (something I’ve long suspected him of, the dog). A local establishment bore the sign:
Estaban Agustin i Germans-Pernils (‘pernil’ is ham in Catalan, ‘germans’ is brothers)
Berlin hipster/artist provocateur by night, purveyor of quality pork products to gnarled Catalan rustics by day: if I had one of those gimme hats, I’d take it off to him. That’s what I call subversive.
I’ll be back later on to bore you all comatose with tales of derring-do: how I matched wits with the cunning trout in the eternal battle for primacy between Arab and fish. But lest you imagine that trout are the only wildlife of interest to be found in an Aragon trout stream, disabuse yourself of this notion. Many shy and lovely creatures may be observed in these bucolic mountain landscapes.