It has come to this, after two decades of the cod moratorium and an empty, largely deserted ocean: kids fishing off the wharf are a novelty.
Younger Boy and a buddy went fishing the other day. Upon their return, I asked the standard, age-old question, “How did the fishing go?”
“We were a tourist attraction,” was the reply. Apparently, the interested onlookers outnumbered the fish — for the record, one conner and one sculpin. But the questions were plentiful. What are you fishing for? How many do you usually catch? What’s the biggest one you’ve ever caught?
The youngsters were baffled that their rods spurred such interest.
People just like to see activity around the water, I explained.
Whether or not the question-poppers were tourists, their interest is a good sign. The past 20 years have been highly unnatural, with hardly a small boat to be seen on the water. The provincial government might think it’s good for outports to be used for tourism rather than for fishing, but hopefully the people of the province have longer memories and a better understanding of economics.
• • •
During dinner recently, discussion turned to the news.
I mentioned the item about the JPMorgan bank executive — actually, former executive — who has to return two years’ worth of salary because of the multibillion-dollar trading loss/scandal at the bank.
Her earnings for those two years? A mere $30 million. The information percolated in Younger Boy’s mind for a few days. Then he mentioned he’d been thinking about that bank executive’s salary, which works out to $40,000 per day.
“That’s more than some people make in a year,” he said. “That’s insane.” The kid fully deserves his formidable collection of math awards. Premier Kathy Dunderdale should give him a call and ask him about Muskrat Falls.
Actually, being too young to have ever held a real job — similar to but not quite the same as some MPs — he was too literal in his calculation, and counted all 365 days of each year. Using the more likely figure of 250 workdays per year, the (former) JPMorgan executive’s daily pay was closer to $60,000.
Surely such remuneration goes beyond “insane” and into the realm of “epic fail.”
• • •
It’s tough to beat the great combination of a hot summer day, a cool shed and a cold beer. Tried the iceberg beer. Love the blue bottles. Tastes good, too.
Younger Boy is perplexed by all the publicity about iceberg beer, iceberg vodka, iceberg this, iceberg that.
“Everybody talks about drinking something from a 12,000-year-old iceberg,” he said in bewilderment. “But every glass of water they drink is millions of years old.”
It’s been more than 30 years since I took Biology 101, so I had to resort to Google on this one.
Specifically: do hydrogen and oxygen atoms separate when water evaporates?
We look forward to seeing what the Tourism Department will do with this one.
• • •
Every year, old propane barbecues line the roadsides like lupin to await the annual garbage pickup. If you haven’t thrown your old one out yet … don’t.
I almost did, but then got a better idea.
We bought a new propane barbecue.
We were also going to buy a charcoal barbecue, just for fun and variety.
They’re popular again, and you can get them for $50 to $200. Instead, I used a wrench and pliers and removed the gasworks from the old one.
Plug side holes with nuts, bolts and large washers; lay down a sheet of metal to cover the gasworks gaps. And there you have a perfect, standup charcoal barbecue, free of charge.
Tell your friends you read about it here first.
Brian Jones is a desk editor at The Telegram. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.