Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Voices from the Past: A Fishing Joke (1915)

The following anecdote, entitled "Fishing in the Park," comes from the journal Current Opinion dated September 1915, is one of my favorite fishing anecdotes from a period when gentle humor prevailed.

A fish story, told at a banquet in Milwaukee by Representative Bartholdt of Missouri, has been started on a successful tour of the east by the Philadelphia Bulletin. It goes further here:

"Those people," said Bartholdt, "remind me of the old man. Yes, they remind me very much of the old man.

He had a soft, daft look, the old man I'm speaking of, and he sat on a park bench in the sun, with rod and line, as if he were fishing; but the line, with a worm on the hook, dangled over a bed of bright primroses.

'Daft!' said a passer-by to himself. 'Daft! Bughouse! Nice-looking old fellow, too. It's a pity.'

Then, with a gentle smile, the passer-by approached the old man and said: What are you doing, uncle?'

'Fishing, sir,' answered the old man, solemnly.

'Fishing, eh? Well, uncle, come and have a drink.'

The old man shouldered his rod and followed the kindly stranger to the corner saloon. There he regaled himself with a large glass of dark beer and a good five cent cigar. His host, contemplating him in a friendly, protecting way, as he sipped and smoked, said:

'So you were fishing, uncle? And how many have you caught this morning?'

The old man blew a smoke cloud toward the ceiling. Then, after a pause, he said:

'You are the seventh, sir.'"

-- Dr. Todd

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