Stop 221 On The PCB Guide To The Hebrides
Your tour guide here! Here we are at stop 221, a popular attraction: Phil, The Lonely Fly-Fisherman And His World-Famous Interesting Mutterings. Everyone off the bus!
Phil, the lonely fly fisherman is out fishing again, alone. Let us approach him quietly from behind so we might overhear his mutterings all the more sneakily.
The mutterings of a lonely fly-fisherman are among the most interesting in the world. Now you won’t read that in any book nor hear it from any statistician, but you can count on my word that it’s true, friends. Have I ever steered you wrong? Only a divorced single of mother of 6 living in a mid-priced suburb of Brasilia has the edge on the lonely fly fisherman for interesting mumblings, for she, also, has noone to talk to despite her large and clamorous family.
Right now, sshhoooooooosh! Softly, softly we approach the huddled figure at the loch’s edge. We’re in luck! He’s mumbling. Everybody crouch down behind that boulder there while I swing this fuzzy microphoned boom out over him. Let’s see if we can pick up some mumbles. OK folks, don your headphones!
Lonely Fly Fisherman: “Oh why did I lie that time to Miranda? It was always between us after that, besmirching her trust for me like a lollipop stain on a priest’s surplice. It was such a little thing too, I hardly know why I did it. Why oh why oh…
Wait! Was that a twitch on the water…?
(Silence for 83 seconds)
Why? Why did I have to tell her I was a dangerous and sexy maverick librarian who categorized his own way, the rules be damned? I guess I was desperate for her short-term love. But she saw it, saw the lie behind my eyes. She knew I’m not man enough to mess with the Dewey.
(Silence for 18 minutes.)
I wish I knew why soda bubbles only stream from certain points in the glass. There’s probably some very simple chemistry or physics behind it that I feel I should know about, as a reasonably well-educated man living and fly-fishing in the 21st century. I’m pretty sure there’s no biology behind it. I don’t think. Nah, no biology. Bubbles aren’t living things…although they do grow and move and reproduce… Goddammit! What’s the matter with you, man? Bubbles aren’t alive! I wouldn’t have to think these thoughts if I weren’t so awfully awfully lonely…!
(Phil sometimes has periods of crippling despair like this. Don’t be concerned though, they never last longer than a month or so at a time. And besides, when he’s cheery, he doesn’t come fishing and then we’re left with no stop 221. The mainland press, as I’m sure you’re aware, have tried to imply we’ve paid all his old friends not to talk to him anymore, just so we can cram another stop on the tour in, but there’s no truth in that. Ahahahahaha.)
Oh! Oh, I just thought of a joke! Which world capital has the most junked out automobiles in the world? Khartoum! Ahahahahahahahaha! Oh I must tell that to … to whom? I have noone. There is nobody to whom I can tell my joke… Oh for Chrissakes, why do I have to be so bloody grammatically correct all the time? I’m all by my bloomin’ self out here! Why am I so anal? Why must I be so self-pitying and loathsome?
(Observe as the lonely fisherman slaps himself upside the head, folks…Minutes pass… He’s calming down now…)
Why doesn’t analyse mean bullshit? It’s right there in the word – anal lies! Why don’t therapists just tell you the truth and say they’re going to bullshit you? Oh this is going nowhere…!
(Attraction 221 will occasionally break down and weep like he’s doing now but, again, there’s no cause for alarm. Weeping’s just a form of happiness for Phil, the Lonely Fly-Fisherman.)
Fish? Hello? Fish, if you’re out there, give a guy a break, eh? How about it? You sacrifice your life to my hook and I will tell everyone you were much bigger and more fearsome than you are. Except I have no everybody…There’s only the wind will hear my big-fish lie.
(Silence for 3 more minutes)
Did you know, fish, that the word ovation comes from the Latin ovis – a sheep? I think that might explain why I find myself cheering and clapping loudly at things I didn’t think were as good as all that.
Another thing, fish. Montaigne once said, “Even on the most exalted throne in the world we are only sitting on our own bottom.” I hope he said it more than once. I would have. It’s a good one.
When I was 9 I could play The Well Tempered Clavier by Bach with only two fingers (moving really quickly) and I was hailed as a prodigy. When I hit puberty I lost that ability. Science can’t tell me why.
I should have moved my bowels this morning before i came out. I knew it, and yet I didn’t. I didn’t, and now they’ll be waiting for me when I get back.
How long could a person live if toothpaste was the only thing to eat?… Oy, fish? Any guesses…?
What’ve I got in for my dinner tonight…?”
The fuzzy boom retreats.
Well there we have it, folks. Not as interesting as I’d hoped but you can never tell how his thoughts will turn. I’ve noticed that when there’s cheese in his sandwiches he’s at his most interesting but, as you might be able to see, folks, today it’s some sort of involved fancy schmancy Mediterranean wrap which does actually look quite interesting itself. See, it hasn’t entirely been a waste of time, eh? And it’s certainly whetted my appetite for some of Mrs. MacIver’s lovely scones at Stop 222. Ahahahahaha. Of course, Phil’s really at his most interesting in the early mornings and at sunset but during the day he can lapse into drivel, like we’ve heard. Yeah. Sorry about that. But what can you do? It’s beyond our control. One of these things. You pays your money, you takes your chances etc. Ahahahaha.
‘K, everybody, back to the bus. There’s a pine-fitted gift-shop at the tea-rooms beside attraction 222 and they have copies of The Lonely, Muttering Fisherman: His Greatest Hits available for purchase in both tape and CD formats, if you’d like to hear him a bit more, uh, on form. Ahahahahaha.
The moral of the post is: Stay away from people who are not as interesting as their sandwiches. Also, don’t pay for any Hebridean bus tour until it is over. These people will so screw you over.