This was a text message from my daughter: “Mom, I need to get a fishing license.”
Naturally, I texted back: “You do know that fishing is an outdoor activity, right?”
Her response: “I know where fish live, Mother.”
I had to chuckle. It is true that I give my daughter a lot of flack. She is for lack of a better term — a princess — or maybe that is the best term. She is a very nice princess who takes care of friends and family, but a princess nonetheless. Honestly, we don’t know how she became a princess. The only possible event that could have instilled this air of entitlement was when my doctor told me, in front of her, that she should not mow the lawn because of allergies and asthma. Yes, that one sentence appears to have elevated her to royalty and demoted me to peon status.
I tell you these things so that you understand why I was confused when she mentioned a fishing license. She has gone fishing before with her boyfriend, Nick, who is an outdoors type of guy. Well, let me correct that. She got a tan while he fished. But now, she thinks she is ready to truly fish, and he wants to take her. Love is blind.
I am perplexed by her sudden desire to fish. She is not a person who craves the camping or outdoor lifestyle. But I give her credit; she tries to learn about the nature stuff for her boyfriend. And one of her best learning tools has turned out to be the show Dual Survival. I have written about this show before. It stars two men, Cody Lundin, who is described in his bio as a minimalist and primitive skills expert. What this means is he never wears shoes and he eats bugs and trees, and Dave Canterbury, who is an army-trained scout, sniper and hunter. He wears shoes.
In the most recent episodes I watched with my daughter, the two men first made their way through the Everglades and then in the later show, they tried to find their way out of a remote area of the Rocky Mountains. Neither scenario looked appealing to me, and my daughter kept saying, “I would die; who goes to these places?”
Hopefully not her. The Everglades was downright gross. The barefoot guy waded through swamps and muck. I get creeped out if I step on a shell in the ocean. I can’t imagine what lives in the Everglades. Plus, what if the minimalist steps on an alligator or crocodile. They live there — right? Anyway, it was 100 degrees and buggy and swampy, and they ate things floating in the water, and I was hoping it wasn’t human remains from the many planes that have crashed there.
“See this is what fishing is like,” I said to my daughter.
“I don’t think so. Besides, we are not going into the Everglades. We’re going to the streams in Pennsylvania. I don’t think it will be the same.”
“Okay, but just in case you are in the Everglades, look around for eyes peering out of the water. There is usually a really long body and big teeth attached. I would hate for you to wind up as a crocodile cookie.”
She agreed. After the swamp episode, we settled in to watch as the Dual Survival stars find their way out of the snowy mountains. Although minimalist Cody, did not put on shoes, he did put on wool socks. I thought that was smart until I saw that he was wearing shorts. In 20-below temperatures, he is wearing cotton shorts. He did explain that his mitochondria–or something like that–has become accustomed to the cold from years of living in the outdoors, so he might not get frost bite or hypothermia as quickly as the rest of us whose mitochondria still looks forward to a cozy fireplace in a heated house.
The trouble with these survival shows is that survival depends upon knowing directions. One has to know North, South, East and West. I couldn’t tell you which way is up in the middle of suburbia. Put me in a forest, swamp or jungle and I’m getting lost, and my daughter is the same way. Does that mean I don’t want her to go fishing or learn about the outdoors? No. I think camping in the wilderness would be good for her. If I were her boyfriend though, I would start small. Take her to a nice little campground that has running water facilities and a community room where there is Wi-Fi and HD television and a place to plug in her kindle. Yes, then the outdoors life would be grand.