It’s Like Fishing, But Without The Beer

The Christmas shopping frenzy is upon us, and I’m observing the usual gender division.  The women are out in the malls snagging the perfect gift for everyone.  The men are at home watching TV and telling themselves they have lots of time.

On Christmas Eve the tables will turn, and throngs of empty-eyed men will wander the mall ten minutes before closing, reeking of desperation and despair.

And at midnight outside a convenience store, two men will wrestle over the last pine-scented air freshener because it’s Christmas-tree-shaped and therefore vaguely appropriate as a Christmas gift, and they will ask themselves, “Why do women do this?”

Well, it’s like fishing.

If you’re starving and you have to catch a fish in order to survive, it’s not fun; it’s work.

But if you’re fishing for the fun of it, there’s no greater joy than being out on the lake just tossing in your line.  You might not catch anything; you might catch and release; you might catch a tasty fish you’ll enjoy for supper that evening; or you might catch the biggest Holy-Shit-Look-At-The-Size-Of-That-Mother trophy fish of all time.

It doesn’t really matter.  It’s all about the process.  And the bragging rights.  And your buddies.  And the beer.

Some guys would happily go fishing every day, even though their freezer is full and they’ll probably end up throwing away some of the fish.  Some women would happily go shopping every day, even though their closet is full and the clothes will probably be out of style before they get around to wearing them.

Recreational shopping is extremely similar to the actual process of fishing.  We cruise the mall, dipping into the places where our quarry is most likely to lurk.  But sometimes the shopping gods turn their backs, and there’s nothing worth buying despite our skill and patience (no catch).

Other times, we reel in lovely things that are perfect in every way, but we don’t buy (catch and release).

Sometimes, we choose to take that tasty item home.

And every now and then, we score the most amazing deeply-discounted, absolutely perfect article that will be discussed with awe among our peers forever more.  The great grandmammy of bargains.  The holy grail.

Like fishing, there’s much discussion of the one that got away.  Right size, right price, wrong colour.  Screaming deal, sublime colour, wrong size.  The almost-perfection of the item increases with each telling, inspiring heartfelt commiseration from our buddies.

Here’s where the comparison begins to break down for me, though.  Most women are just as happy in a crowded mall as most guys are out on the lake.  I’m not.  The act of shopping simply isn’t rewarding enough for me to put up with a crowd.  I’ll pay for an item or I’ll engage in a fistfight for the item, but I refuse to do both.  I suspect most guys feel the same.

But that problem could be easily solved.

What malls really need is beer.  A mall-wide liquor permit, so you could wander around with a cold one in your hand.  They could set up beer-and-snack kiosks here and there, and put nice little stands next to the changing rooms so you could put your beer down without fear of spillage when you went in to try on clothes.

With a reward like that, I bet even the guys would shop early and often.

Am I right?

33 thoughts on “It’s Like Fishing, But Without The Beer

  1. Good analogy. I don’t mind shopping if I have money and actually need something…except hardware stores; that’s different.
    And as they say, give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and he will sit in a boat all weekend and drink beer and be totally useless around the yard.


    • Hardware stores don’t count as shopping. Everybody knows tools are necessities, so any amount of time and money spent on them is allowable, and in fact, commendable.

      I like the fishing quote! Boat, beer, and no yard-work. And sometimes, a yummy fish. Aaaahhh. 🙂


    • Hmmm, good point. And as Dennis mentioned, the results of shopping under the influence might not be good, either. How about this: Let’s skip the shopping and just go fishing instead. Somewhere warm. Ice fishing makes it easy to keep your beer cold, but the (frozen) ends don’t justify the means.


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  3. Diane,
    You had me right up to the point of making the mall a shopping pub. For the ladies protection I protest. I’ve seen the thought process of a group of fishermen during the latter part of the angling day. That’s particularly true if the “bite” is poor that day. I can visualize impaired men wandering the mall and buying feminine disasters for gifts. How about “deer scent” for perfume, or a camoflage cocktail dress, or ten pounds of limburger chesse for hors doeuvres. I shudder at the thought.


    • Oh, you just made me laugh my fool head off! A nice bottle of “Mrs. Doe Pee”, with a big red ribbon on it… And everybody knows “ain’t nothing that doesn’t go with camouflage”.

      I can see my idea needs some refining. Maybe I’ll go have a beer and think it over. 🙂

      Thanks for visiting and commenting!


  4. i detest shopping. The only thing good about shopping is finishing it up and going home, or to lunch or whatever. I’m proud to say that most of my shopping is done online these days. I will never understand women who enjoy recreational shopping, browsing, etc. I hate it. If they had little booze kiosks at the mall I might enjoy it more. Could you make this happen, please? Thanks, you’re awesome.


  5. And the key is to look for a calerdar, not by what the content is, but by the price tag that is printed on the UPC When else are you going to find a $30 gift(with proof of the full value) for $5? Pine-cone air freshner is for rookies, seasoned vets go stright for the calendar with highest printed upc bar


  6. You are so very, very right. In fact, I didn’t think it was possible to be as right as you are about this, but I was obviously wrong. Let’s start petitioning for the mall-wide liquor permits right now!


  7. no, Diane, you are wrong. Its not over the tree shaped freshner, its over the calendars. Why? because its a universal gift, there is plenty left over, price gets slashed to 80% just in time for last minute shoppers, and all the recipients will be thinking of you for next 12months :). So we are not procrastinating, we are strategically waiting for the right sale price on the calendars 🙂


  8. How about beer for those who have to work in the mall, listening to the same non-stop Christmas carols, and dealing with frothing, belligerent shoppers for 8 hours at a time? Been there, done that, and I could’ve used a cold one or six. 😉


    • I can’t even imagine what that must be like. I stopped into a work-wear store the other day for a new pair of work gloves, and within the few short minutes I waited in line, I was ready to snap from the bleating of the giant-screen Christmas promo video behind me.

      The staff were cheerful, friendly, and patient. And they didn’t even have beer. They must have been angels.


  9. This may be the most perfect post I have ever read. I was loving your comparison with fishing. I was saying “that’s right!” “That’s exactly right!” And then came the beer! Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. The perfect post got even perfecter! (Yeah, I know, but it fits!) You have such talent, you have such looks, you love motorcycles and you drink beer. Lord almighty, are you an angel????? HF


  10. You are so right. I am not a fan of shopping. In fact, all my Christmas buying so far has been via the Internet. Unfortunately, I’m going to have to brave the mall later today to get stocking stuffers. A cold beer would make the experience much more pleasant. 🙂


    • We’re lucky. Hubby and I have scaled back the Christmas frenzy to a gift for each other (which may or may not actually be delivered in the vicinity of Christmas Day), and some cookie exchanges with friends and family. All our nieces and nephews are grown up enough to appreciate a cheque more than a gift, and their kids are too young to care yet. I generally avoid the mall from mid-November to mid-January… but I still think beer makes everything better. 🙂


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