Don’t get hooked on us­ing your arm for bait

The Advance of Bucks County - - OPINION -

Go DKHDG DnG FUoVV “FDW­fiVK noodling” off the list of ac­tiv­i­ties I’d like to try some day, mostly beFDuVH LW LnYoOYHV fiVKLnJ IoU FDW­fiVK WKH size of a Volvo us­ing only one’s bare arm as bait.

Let me re­peat that: “Noodling” is go­ing fiVKLnJ EDUHKDnGHG DnG OHWWLnJ WKH FDW­fiVK bite you on the arm. What hap­pened to fiVKLnJ? :KHn GLG LW EHFoPH DFFHSWDEOH to en­gage in this leisure ac­tiv­ity with­out a fiVKLnJ SoOH DnG woUPV?

SHH, ,’P noW PuFK oI D fiVKHUPDn. ,n fact, I 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. 7KDW SUHWWy PuFK HOLPLnDWHV PH IUoP WKH VSoUW. , EHOLHYH WKDW WKH OI­fiFLDO 5uOHV oI FLVKLnJ Go DOlow 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 nHYHU Go VuFK D WKLnJ Wo WKH finH IoONV wKo OLYH WKHUH — FDOOHG “FDW­fiVK nooGOLnJ.” 7KHy even have tour­na­ments for this ac­tiv­ity, pard­ner. There’s also a re­al­ity show DEouW LW (DnG ,’P noW VuUH wKy , Nnow WKDW) FDOOHG “HLOOELOOy HDnG­fiVKLn’ — which I sup­pose is named ap­pro­pri­ately enough.

Ac­cord­ing to a story in The Oklahoman, the largest daily news­pa­per in the state, noodling “en­tails wad­ing through rivers and lakes and wrestling monVWUouV FDW­fiVK IUoP WKHLU FDYHU­nouV GHnV — bare­handed.”

Sheesh. I like noo­dles. I thought this was go­ing to be about noo­dles. Nope. Not even close. “Noodling is some­what danger­ous in that the noodlers of­ten have to hold their breath while reachLnJ LnWo FDYHV, Ln WKH KoSH WKDW D PDVVLYH FDW­fiVK wLOO chomp onto their arm. Noodlers then have to wres­tle WKH VWUuJJOLnJ fiVK IUoP WKH FDYH Wo WKH VuUIDFH,” DF­cord­ing to the story.

Uh … wait just a cot­ton-pickin’ dadgummed min­uWH (,’YH JoW D KLOOELOOy oU Wwo Ln WKH IDPLOy WUHH). So ONODKoPD fiVKHUPHn KoOG WKHLU EUHDWK DnG SOoS WKHLU KHDGV unGHUwDWHU, VWLFN WKHLU DUPV LnWo FDW­fiVK FDYHV, wDLW IoU D ELJ FDW­fiVK Wo FODPS Gown on WKHLU DUPV and then rassle the crit­ter to the sur­face?

Hon­est to Pete, are there no worms liv­ing in Ok­la­homa? And how can Vince McMa­hon not be in­volved in some­thing like this?

OK, for a mo­ment, let’s for­get about a cou­ple of oWKHU WKLnJV , GLGn’W UHDOLzH DEouW fiVKLnJ: (1) CDW­fiVK OLYH Ln FDYHV? (2) CDW­fiVK Gon’W KDYH WHHWK? (3) Chomp­ing is al­lowed and en­cour­aged here? And try this on: Ok­la­homa’s neigh­bor — the great state of Texas — only re­cently le­gal­ized noodling, ac­cord­ing to The Oklahoman story.

Wait, noodling used to be il­le­gal in Texas? Why? 7KH CDW­fiVK LLYLnJ Ln UnGHUwDWHU CDYHV UnLon oE­jected?

Here’s an­other bit of in­for­ma­tion gleaned from The Oklahoman story: The win­ner of the re­cently con­cluded “pres­ti­gious” — that’s The Oklahoman’s woUG — ONLH NooGOLnJ 7ouUnDPHnW wDV D 19-yHDUold woman named Lucy Millsap. And she is a cal­en­dar girl for a group called “Bare Knuckle Babes.”

Ms. Millsap won the tour­na­ment by rassling a 72-SounG flDWKHDG FDW­fiVK uS onWo WKH EDnNV oI LDNH 7Hx­oPD, WKH ODUJHVW-UDVVOHG FDW­fiVK Ln WKH WouUnDPHnW’V 14-yHDU KLVWoUy.

That’s right, this noodling tour­na­ment has been JoLnJ on IoU 14 yHDUV. AnG LI WKDW’V noW DPDzLnJ enough news, the Bare Knuckle Babes have a cal- en­dar with pic­tures of them in their biki­nis hold­ing UHDOOy ELJ FDW­fiVK WKDW WKHy VHOO Ln Dn DWWHPSW Wo, DF­cord­ing to the group’s Face­book page as re­ported in The Oklahoman, “bring world­wide no­tice to the VSoUW oI FDW­fiVK nooGOLnJ DnG WKH woPHn EHKLnG WKH sport.”

,I you Euy WKLV FDOHnGDU DnG youU fiUVW UHDFWLon is, “Goll durn, would you look at the size of that FDW­fiVK!” wLWKouW noWLFLnJ WKH JLUO Ln WKH ELNLnL, WKHn with all due re­spect to co­me­dian Jeff Fox­wor­thy, 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 “out­law noodler” be­fore 7HxDV OHJDOLzHG WKH DFWLYLWy Ln 2011.

5LJKW WKHUH , OHDUnHG Wwo PoUH WKLnJV , GLGn’W Nnow: (1) NooGOLnJ KDV LWV own FKDPSLon. (2) Noodling used to have its own out­laws.

The dis­cov­ery of this whole noodling thing just leaves me in­cred­u­lously shak­ing my head. I’m guess­ing even the worms liv­ing in Ok­la­homa and Texas feel the same way.

SHH, LI woUPV wHLJKHG 72 SounGV DnG OLYHG Ln un­der­wa­ter caves, they too could have their own rassling tour­na­ments.

Hello …Vince?

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