Monday, October 11, 2010

The Dale Bumpers Post

A Story About A Story Explaining Nothing (and maybe everything)

When I was growing up, Senator Dale Bumpers from Arkansas ran for President. His campaign seemed to last for about five minutes (and couldn't have stretched beyond a few weeks).

These days with the Google and the Wikipedia, you can learn all about Dale Bumpers in a few clicks. But for many years, all I knew about Dale Bumpers was this:

When he was campaigning to be President, a reporter asked him why he was running for President. He paused, then told this story:

There was a guy who was infamous in my home county for being the best fisherman around. When others would come home empty-handed, he would always have fish.

One day, the local Fish & Game Warden decided to investigate. So he followed the Fisherman out to a local lake. As the Warden watched, the Fisherman reached into a bag, picked out a stick of dynamite, lit it, and threw it in the water. A second later the dynamite exploded and a bunch of dead fish floated to the surface. The Fisherman calmly scooped them up with a net.

The Fish & Game Warden ran up to him, sputtering and furious. "You can't do that," he bellowed. "It's against the law, it's fundamentally unfair to the fish, and it's just plain wrong."

The Fisherman nodded, reached into his bag, grabbed another stick of dynamite, lit it, and handed it to the Warden. "I just have one question," said the Fisherman. "Are you gonna talk or are you gonna fish?"

There's a lot that I love about that story -- it's folksy, it's colorful, it's memorable, and it shows a healthy disregard for authority. But the best thing about might be that in no way does the story come close to answering the question.

Still, there are times in life when you need to ask yourself if you're gonna talk or are you gonna fish?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Eat them up, yummmm!