The Rolling Armadillo

There’s a saying where I come from: ‘a rolling armadillo loses its shell’. Alright, it doesn’t translate from my native tongue nearly as well as you might think, and you sort of have to experience over twenty years of annual armadillo celebration festivals to really make a connection to the animal itself. But the main point is that time and motion wear away something that used to be there. It’s something elderly people say a lot when they see the loose morals of the younger generation, how they don’t follow the old traditions, and anything else they want to complain about.

Never gave it much thought, but now I’ve spent a lot of time sitting in my friend’s fishing boat and I’m thinking there’s something to it. You think about that sort of thing when you’re cleaning a bait board, having grown up in a family that would never go fishing even if fish were the only thing left to eat in the world. There’s fishing in my home country, of course…a full marine welding industry, and you can buy fish in the market. But only full-certified professionals can fish, and they have to do so with the proper ceremonies, thanking the fish for being our meals. Anyone is Australia can slap on a bait board, load up the fishing rod holders and head out for a fun day of not doing much. It’s a hobby, whereas where I’m from, it’s a full profession. I suppose it’s just surprising that I’ve been here long enough not to think much of it. I AM the rolling armadillo, and the things I was taught have been scraped off like my outer shell.

But hey, fishing IS fun. And most of the stuff we catch we throw back anyway. I’m not about to go out and buy my own boat, coat is with what are very obviously fishing rod holders and invite my visiting family out for a pleasure cruise. I’m going to be respectful, but…keep my hobbies my hobbies. When in Rome, and all that.