Take your partners for the Semantic Two-step: brought to you by our house band, Stu Apte & The Elite.
Apte and fellow luminaries Emily Whitlock, Mark Sosin, Dave Whitlock and Flip Pallot, deigned to cast pearl before swine at the recent LL Bean Expo and Mainetoday.com reporter Dyke Hendrickson, sat in the audience, was rightly ticked off to hear Apte opine that “There are anglers and there are fishermen”.
‘Anglers’, his theory ran, are those who immerse themselves wholly in their sport. ‘Fishermen’ are those to whom it is merely an occasional pastime with which to while away the hours of a summer afternoon.
Hendrickson’s beef centred on his suspicion that by ‘fishermen’, Apte meant those with bait on their hook, rather than feathers. My beef is that Apte should feel it necessary to indulge in this wordplay at all.
Sadly, there remain those for whom no aspect of life is so simple or innocent that it cannot be improved by the establishment of some spurious hierarchy. Back in the days when store credit cards were still something of a novelty, I still remember the emotional meltdown of one customer at a Marks & Spencer evening ‘exclusive to card-holders’ when he discovered that – wait for it – several non-cardholders had been allowed into the store. His exclusivity gone, his world fell apart and no-one in M&S uniform that evening was allowed to forget it…
Apte is apparently blighted with the same quirk but his attempt to construct a pecking order where none is needed cannot go unchallenged.
‘Anglers’ and ‘fishermen’ are one and the same. Some throw themselves into it with all-consuming gusto, while others don’t but that is merely a question of degree and if those who do are secure in themselves, they don’t need to articulate a label for the advantage it brings them.
It’s just fishing, Stu. Let it go.