Fly fishing in Austria

Man and woman standing in creek, both wearing waders, holding fishing poles.

Woman: Oh, he’s a big fella.

Man: Where? Oh, he’s big.

The big fella swims deep, nosing the gravel of the creek bed with singular concentration.

Most of the time, that’s his whole world: gravel.

Man: What’s he looking for?

Woman: Periwinkles? May-flies?

Gravel, gravel, gravel. Rarely, something shiny or something bright catches the big fella’s eye and he leaves the creek bed and swims to the surface and there’s a small splash and a dragonfly disappears, or sometimes a lure of chrome or polished brass.

Incomplete list of shiny things that have caught the big fella’s attention:

  • The phrase “better to stay silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt” (as a child);
  • The idea of going through life without leaving any footprints (as an older child);
  • Young woman in blue shirt eating a banana in a cafeteria (back in college);
  • Falling stars;
  • Heat lightning;
  • Fireflies;
  • Certain people;
  • The phrase, “as you live your days so do you live your life” (somewhat recently);
  • The phrase, “your problem is you think you have time” (more recently)

Man: Where’d he go?

Woman: Into that shady pool, I think.



The secret of happiness: WWASPD?

Part of being happy is doing things that make you happy.

Part of being happy is avoiding doing things that make you unhappy. This second class of things include stupid things.

By definition.

Both of these skills can be helped with the WWASPD method.

Like yesterday. There is this guy. He is driving home and there is a bottleneck where the road from Vienna goes into the Vienna Woods. The road is lined with old homes and goes from two-lane to one-lane for a block. Each end of the bottleneck has an electric sign that lights up red when there is oncoming traffic.

The sign is black so the guy goes. He meets two oncoming cars. Either the sign is not working or they ran the red light.

But since there are several oncoming cars now, he backs up and lets them pass.

The sign is black so he goes.

He meets a big, fat Audi driven by a guy about 60 with a chihuahua. They stop and look at each other. There are no cars behind the Audi, but a line of cars quickly forms behind our guy. Two things are possible: the Audi ran a red or the light is broken.

They wait like this for a couple minutes. Then the Audi begins to honk.

Cars behind our guy honk back.

What Would A Smart Person Do? thinks the guy.

The situation is out of his hands, he realizes. He can relax. The problem will solve itself, somehow.

So he relaxes while the honking goes on. It’s a nice evening and in the distance the Vienna Woods are just beginning to change color.

Eventually the Audi driver gets out of his car. Our guy rolls down his window. The Audi driver yells at him. Our guy doesn’t even try to explain his theory about the light; he just says, I’m kinda boxed in here as you can see. You’ll have to talk to the guys behind me.

The Audi driver goes and yells at the other guys. They all seem to be, as our guy noticed earlier, burly young construction workers, and they yell back. The Audi driver eventually backs up and lets everyone pass.

And they all go on their way, happily, except for maybe the Audi driver.