My buddy Tim and his wife's Uncle (Brian) are both avid fishermen, jokesters, and drinkers.
Back in the day, Tim and Uncle Brian were in Tim's basement throwing a few back and telling fish stories when Tim brought out a new lure he'd purchased that was guaranteed to catch fish. You may remember it, the Banjo Minnow? Uncle Brian was unimpressed. He was so unimpressed that he placed twenty dollars on the table and wagered that the Banjo Minnow would prove to be nothing more than a clever marketing scheme and have little in the way of "science" to attract fish. Tim, drunk at this point, accepted the bet and asked Brian to which lake they'd be heading to prove the theory?
"Lake? Fuck that. I'm too hammered to drive. Rig it up and toss it in the fish tank!"
Tim housed several South American Cichlids in a fifty-five gallon tank in his basement. As if the idea was a perfectly reasonable one, the inebriated angler rigged up the Banjo Minnow, took a swig of beer and cast his line into the fish tank across the room. Then, as advertised, one of his big Jack Dempsy's took the lure. Tim had been proven the winner and Uncle Brian lost his twenty, but Jack the fish wasn't as agreeable.
According to Tim, "he tore through the tank like a fish possessed, ripping up plants, overturning ornaments, and freaking the fuck out."
Experienced in the way of the fish, Tim gave his line a tug which sent jack flying across the room and directly on to the lap of Uncle Brian. He flailed and flopped. Brian choked on his beer and vaulted himself from the couch. Tim, drunk and clumsy, tried to dislodge the hook from the captive pet's mouth but was interrupted by the screams of his wife who'd walked down to see what all the ruckus had been about.
"What are you two morons doing?" she exclaimed. "Why is there water all over the place?" Then she saw it – poor Jack, their son's favorite fish, hooked to the Banjo Minnow. She turned five shades of angry red, turned, and walked back up the stairs. Her Husband and Uncle's stupidity had rendered her speechless.
After a minor struggle, Tim freed old Jack from the hold of the lure and released his pet back into the environment from whence he came.
I was saddened to learn that the shock had been too much for Jack. He died two days later. Tim had to use his winnings to replace the lost fish and, to this day, I don't believe the Banjo Minnow has yielded any prize fish for the family freezer.
Take a lesson from my friend, Tim, readers. Even though you may find yourself inebriated and jonesing for some late night fishing, it's probably a bad idea to cast a line in the living room aquarium.