)LVKLQJ USDDWH: DOQ’W JHW Koonhd oq UVLQJ youu DUP IOU EDLW
Go DKHDd DQd cUoVV “cDWfiVK Qoodling” off the list of activities I’d like to try some day, mostly becDuVH LW LQvoOvHV fiVKLQJ IoU cDWfiVK the size of a Volvo using only one’s bare arm as bait.
Let me repeat that: “Noodling” is JoLQJ fiVKLQJ EDUHKDQdHd DQd OHWWLQJ WKH cDWfiVK ELWH you on the arm. What hapSHQHd Wo fiVKLQJ? :KHQ did it become acceptable to engage in this leisure DcWLvLWy wLWKouW D fiVKLQJ SoOH DQd woUPV?
See, I’m not much of D fiVKHUPDQ. ,Q IDcW, , haven’t tossed a line in the water in an attempt to hook something since I was a kid. It’s quite simple really: I don’t like touching the worm and I don’t like touching the fiVK. TKDW SUHWWy PucK HOLPLQDWHV me from the sport. I believe that WKH OIficLDO RuOHV oI )LVKLQJ do allow beer to be consumed while participating, which would indeed qualify me if it weren’t for the worms. I really can’t get past the cooler holding the worms to get to the cooler holding the beer.
But there is this thing going on down in Oklahoma — and it would be here that you would insert your own joke about Oklahoma, although I would never do such a WKLQJ Wo WKH fiQH IoONV wKo OLvH WKHUH — cDOOHd “cDWfiVK QoodOLQJ.” TKHy HvHQ KDvH WouUQDPHQWV IoU WKLV DcWLvLWy, SDUdQHU. TKHUH’V DOVo D reality show about it (and I’m not sure why I know that) called “Hillbilly HDQdfiVKLQ’ — wKLcK , suppose is named appropriately enough.
According to a story LQ TKH ONODKoPDQ, WKH largest daily newspaper in the state, noodling “entails wading through rivers and lakes and wrestling monstrous catfiVK IUoP WKHLU cDvHUQouV dens — barehanded.”
Sheesh. I like noodles. I thought this was going to be about noodles. Nope. Not even close.
Well, maybe it has something to do with canoodling. I enjoy the coPSDQy oI TKH BOoQdH AccouQtant and we like to canoodle every chance we get. Wrong again. “Noodling is somewhat dangerous in that the noodlers often have to hold their breath while reaching into caves, in the hope that a masVLvH cDWfiVK wLOO cKoPS oQWo WKHLU arm. Noodlers then have to wrestle WKH VWUuJJOLQJ fiVK IUoP WKH cDvH Wo the surface,” according to the story.
Uh … wait just a cotton-pickin’ dadgummed minute (I’ve got a hillbilly or two in the family tree). So ONODKoPD fiVKHUPHQ KoOd WKHLU breath and plop their heads underwDWHU, VWLcN WKHLU DUPV LQWo cDWfiVK cDvHV, wDLW IoU D ELJ cDWfiVK Wo clamp down on their arms and then UDVVOH WKH cULWWHU Wo WKH VuUIDcH?
Honest to Pete, are there no woUPV OLvLQJ LQ ONODKoPD? AQd how can Vince McMahon not be LQvoOvHd LQ VoPHWKLQJ OLNH WKLV?
OK, for a moment, let’s forget about a couple of other things I dLdQ’W UHDOLzH DEouW fiVKLQJ: (1) CDWfiVK OLvH LQ cDvHV? (2) CDWfiVK doQ’W KDvH WHHWK? (3) CKoPSLQJ LV DOOowHd DQd HQcouUDJHd KHUH? And try this on: Oklahoma’s neighbor — the great state of THxDV — oQOy UHcHQWOy OHJDOLzHd QoodOLQJ, DccoUdLQJ Wo TKH ONODhoman story.
Wait, noodling used to be illegal LQ THxDV? :Ky? TKH CDWfiVK LLving in Underwater Caves Union oEMHcWHd?
Here’s another bit of informaWLoQ JOHDQHd IUoP TKH ONODKoPDQ VWoUy: TKH wLQQHU oI WKH UHcHQWOy concluded “prestigious” — that’s TKH ONODKoPDQ’V woUd — ONLH NoodOLQJ TouUQDPHQW wDV D 19-yHDU-oOd woPDQ QDPHd Lucy Millsap. And she is a calendar girl for a group called “Bare Knuckle Babes.”
Ms. Millsap won the tournament Ey UDVVOLQJ D 72-SouQd flDWKHDd cDWfiVK uS oQWo WKH EDQNV oI LDNH THxoPD, WKH ODUJHVW-UDVVOHd cDWfiVK LQ WKH WouUQDPHQW’V 14-yHDU KLVtory.
TKDW’V ULJKW, WKLV QoodOLQJ WouUQDPHQW KDV EHHQ JoLQJ oQ IoU 14 years. And if that’s not amazing enough news, the Bare Knuckle Babes have a calendar with pictures of them in their bikinis holdLQJ UHDOOy ELJ cDWfiVK WKDW WKHy VHOO in an attempt to, according to the JUouS’V )DcHEooN SDJH DV UHSoUWHd LQ TKH ONODKoPDQ, “EULQJ woUOdwLdH QoWLcH Wo WKH VSoUW oI cDWfiVK noodling and the women behind the sport.”
If you buy this calendar and your fiUVW UHDcWLoQ LV, “GoOO duUQ, wouOd you look at the size of that catfiVK!” wLWKouW QoWLcLQJ WKH JLUO LQ the bikini, then with all due respect Wo coPHdLDQ -HII )oxwoUWKy, you might just be a redneck.
By the way, the manager of the Bare Knuckle Babes, Jennifer Drake — wife of champion noodler Eddie Drake — is quoted in the story as admitting that Ms. Millsap was an “ouWODw QoodOHU” EHIoUH THxDV OHJDOLzHd WKH DcWLvLWy LQ 2011.
RLJKW WKHUH , OHDUQHd Wwo PoUH WKLQJV , dLdQ’W NQow: (1) NoodOLQJ KDV LWV owQ cKDPSLoQ. (2) Noodling used to have its own outlaws.
TKH dLVcovHUy oI WKLV wKoOH noodling thing just leaves me incredulously shaking my head. I’m guessing even the worms living in ONODKoPD DQd THxDV IHHO WKH VDPH way.
SHH, LI woUPV wHLJKHd 72 pounds and lived in underwater caves, they too could have their own rassling tournaments.
Mike Morsch is executive editor of Montgomery Media and author of the book, “Dancing in My Underwear: The Soundtrack of My Life.” He can be reached by calling 215-542-0200, ext. 415 or by email at email@example.com. This column can also be found at www.montgomerynews.com.
Outta Leftfield Mike Morsch