One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

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I believe they are called corn fritters, small balls of deep fried corn bread batter with diced onions and whole kernel corn mixed in, which taste amazing with my fish. I catch my own fish, but not with neon pink or orange colored marshmallows, or sacrificing worms in-prisoned in a styrofoam cup of dirt. The thought of impaling a worm, squirming in pain onto a hook to marinate in temperate waters just does not appeal to me. I prefer catching my fish with a fly, or colorful spinning lure, or something artistically pleasing to me and the fish. If I were a fish, and did not end up next to the corn fritters in the fry pan, and released back with my school of fish friends, I would tell the story of how I was minding my own business when all of a sudden I saw the most colorful dazzling work of art come spinning next to me. Doing what fish do, due to a lack of limbs and a brain, I just had to put that lure in my mouth. The other fish would nod approvingly of my tale, completely understanding of why I put a sharp hook through my lip.

rainbow trout

I like the thought of catch and release, unless I need something next to my corn fritters. One fish is usually enough to satisfy physical hunger needs and I am aware, when out on the water, I am ultimately searching for something else and fishing is just a tool to find it.

Fishing and Policing have something in common. My personal fishing expeditions have no quotas or minimum catch limit and when writing a citation for a violation of the law, I and none of the Police agencies I know of, have a quota. The simple act of Policing and fishing, is enough to find happiness and gratification. As a Police Officer, I enjoy the work because of the nature of it and during patrol, you end up meeting a lot of people, or to relate it to the story, a lot of fish. How do you know you have a keeper, one you want to filet? Sometimes it starts with a traffic stop and contact with a fish, driving a sports car, with a very large mouth.

I initiate a traffic stop and the driver starts with a common, unoriginal and ignorant remark, “What did you pull me over for? Have to make your ticket quota today?” and continues with a barrage of stupid jabs, “You know I pay your salary!” and blah, blah, blah.

“Sir, justice and power must be brought together, so that whatever is just, may be powerful, and whatever is powerful may be just.”

“What? Why did you pull me over?”

“Sir, I stopped you for driving 45 mph in the 25 mph zone and not stopping at the traffic light.” “No Sir, I do not have any citation quotas I must fulfill today and can provide warnings as needed, unless it falls under the oves caput stultus culus law doctrine, which in this case, it does, so I must therefore issue said infraction.”

“What? What does that mean?”

“Sir, I just need your driver’s license, registration and insurance.”

Should one bother with an explanation that involves logic, when you are hungry, the corn fritters are warm and the driver is just dangling on the hook mouthing nonsense. I think not. There are no quotas, there are no doctrines, and to translate the latin phrase “oves caput stultus culus,” to the driver as; “You Sir, are a meat head and a stupid asshole”, would just get me more grief than satisfaction. I do have the privilege in writing him a citation, because he was speeding, ran a traffic light, and mainly, is an asshole. On of the pleasures of a being a Police Officer.

To set the record straight, there are no quotas for the number of citations a Police Officer needs to write. Some Police agencies require a minimum number of ‘contacts’ per shift, but not one that I am aware of, has a citation quota. In addition, the fine for the citation, determined by elected officials, goes mostly to the State, County and City courts and government, not to law enforcement. Out of every $100.00, approximately one dollar goes to law enforcement. However in our city, the citation revenue of one dollar is thrown into the general budget, so the Police Department does not see any of the money directly. Does the Police Officer issuing a person a ticket care about the one dollar in the pocket of the City? Contrary to the view point of some liberal attorneys, the answer is absolutely no.

The act of Policing and fishing is for the pure enjoyment of it. So if you got a citation, either you needed one, you were an asshole, or on a rare occasion, the Officer was an asshole. I catch a lot of fish, sometimes one fish, other times, two fish. I release a lot of fish, but some are kept for my enjoyment, to fulfill me with satisfaction and nourishment, both physically and spiritually. My advice to you is don’t be a fish, not a red fish, or certainly you will be a blue fish, laying breaded, covered in seasoning, presented with garnish, next to my corn fritters.

“There is a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.”

Steven Wright

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