The Complete Angler

My father and brother and I are headed to Canada with friends for our first fishing trip in over 15 years. Naturally, we had to restock our gear supply. So we visited the frighteningly expansive Bass Pro Shops in search of a craggy old fisherman who could help us find what we needed. We certainly found him: a leathery, nearly-toothless Vietnam vet who could speak in English for sentences on end without seemingly ever using a word I understood. (“Psst, Dad. Did he just say that the crawler harness behind the bottom bouncer might catch on the planer board? Right, OK, thought so. Good to know.”)

Who would have guessed that fishing line and condoms would be marketed so similarly? You have XL for extra long, smooth action and XT when extra toughness is required and of course there’s new-kid-on-the-block Sensation monofilament for “Greater Sensitivity, Strength, and Control.” Having Mr. Fishervet unironically explain the differences between the types of prophyl- er, fishing line made me feel slightly unclean, quite honestly. He didn’t particularly care for the condom analogy, either.

And because I know you’re wondering, we bought Sensation … for pleasure.