The Baiting Game Is Not For The Squeamish

by Ken Carpenter



            Dating through the ages has been labeled everything from medieval torture to a little slice of heaven, depending on the level of frustration reached by the labeler on their previous date.  For most of us it is something in between, and I admit to being a bit skeptical of anyone who gushes too long about how smooth things went on their first date with whoever. 

            First dates were not invented to go smoothly, they were invented to weed out the weak.

            The first date in history took place shortly after the first man crawled down out of the trees, scratching furiously and looking around for something to brutalize for dinner.  The first woman, setting a trend that would not suffer a reversal until the invention of pantyhose, had reached the ground months before and was already comfortably entrenched in the area’s only decent cave.

            The man soon realized that he wanted the cave, not to mention the woman, but he had learned the hard way that sooner or later he had to sleep so he did not want to just take over.  He did the only thing he could, starting a trend that never suffered a reversal, by draping a brace of bloody ducks around his neck and showing up on her doorstep.  This impressed her a great deal and in no time they were going steady.  He still had a substantial wait for the cave, however, a girl has her standards after all. 

            Things never really changed after that, except for terminology.  For thousands of years the word for date was bait, based on the common sense notion that if you wanted to attract someone of the opposite sex you had to have some good bait.  Somewhere along the line some devious sort changed the word to date, perhaps thinking that he could disguise the whole process into something it was not.  It didn’t fool anyone, but the new term stuck anyway.

            Date bait is now a multi billion dollar a year business, though there are still corners of the world where a brace of bloody ducks works quite nicely.  Sigh, if only it could be so simple in the civilized world, where a good dose of bait can set a guy back two bills and guarantee absolutely nothing except a couple hours of being tolerated. 

            It is not much better for the ladies, who pay out the nose for artificial baiting aids  in hope of attracting Mr. Right, little realizing that Mr. Right is out somewhere happily bashing ducks. 

            The baiting game is a vicious circle, men and women buying bigger, flashier bait in a mostly futile attempt to lead their one and only within reach, little realizing that the best bait of all is totally natural.  That realization, however, does little for those of us whose natural bait has, shall we say, seen better days.  Unfortunately, sniff sniff, even the better days were somewhat shabby for some.

            Yes, baiting should probably be left to the young, who don’t have to pay as much for the little bit of bait they need or worry about their natural bait emitting any less than romantic gurgles or creaks at an inopportune moment.  They can just merrily bait away without a care in the world, knowing that if it fails once it will most likely work in the near future.

            After they reach a certain age, though, and the bait begins to bloat, sag, or whither, they will find that it not only fails more often but that they may begin to doubt that it will ever work again.  Uhh, not that that has ever happened to anyone I know.  Everybody I know is perfectly content with their baiting equipment, droopy, rusty or otherwise, and there is absolutely no reason to believe that anyone I never look in the mirror at has reached the end of their successful baiting careers.  None at all.  Nope. Not one single, solitary reason in the world.  Zilch, nada, zero.  Is that clear?