Tuesday, June 03, 2003


David (age 5), Irena (age 3) and I decided to go fishing this past weekend.

Our first stop was Wal-Mart to get fishing rods. As we came up to the fishing display in the sporting goods department, Irena took one glance at the selection and immediately locked onto the $8 "Barbie Rod and Reel" set.

I didn't know that Barbie fishes.

If you could go back in time and replay a person's life like you replay a video tape, you would be able to find a scene in my life where, shortly after Irena was born, I proclaimed to my wife Leigh that our home would be a Barbie Free Zone (BFZ). Three years later it is obvious how foolish and naive I was. What Barbie has going for her, even in a fishing set, is the color pink. The rod is pink. The rod's grip is pink. The reel is pink, with a blue cover and a little flower glued on the side. Plus, the rod came with its own mini tackle box (pink) complete with Barbie's photograph and endorsement on it.

What is it about the color pink? Pink is a strong tractor beam that pulls Irena inexorably toward it. Is there something chemical that happens in her brain when she sees the mixture or red and white pigments?

David chose a full size (non-endorsed) adult rod ($14) because it came complete with a tackle kit and tackle box. The tackle kit had hooks, bobbers, sinkers and a selection of perhaps 700 different rubber lures.

We drove to the lake. The kids opened the tackle kit and divided the lures between their two tackle boxes. They each picked out a lure and I tied them on. I told them we were just practicing. But I'll be damned if Irena didn't catch one. We went fishing 3 times over the weekend and we caught one fish each time. The only possible comparison in terms of excitement level for the kids is Christmas day. It was a total surprise to me, and a really nice weekend.

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