I am in a sporting goods store looking at artificial lures – specifically, the ones that boast they can catch mighty big stripers. In front of me is a wall display of 6-inch-long pink rubber squids dangling very enticing hot pink tentacles. What phylum they belong to, I know not. Their Latin scientific name? I plead ignorance. I just call them “Punk Pink Disco squids.”

Every hook on the wall display is hooked with not one but four squid behind the first. Next to me is a young clerk and he is telling me that the squid is a popular choice for fishermen.

“A new shipment just arrived,” he says, “but we’re having trouble keeping up with the demand.”

“Uh-huh,” I say, as I stare hypnotically into one squid’s pink glass eyes.

“I use them all the time,” he says. “Had a lot of luck with them.”

“Uh-huh,” I say, as I free one from an embedded hook. “I’m sold.”

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When I get home, I delightedly place my new lure into my tackle box and wonder if it’s even sporting to use such a bewitching temptation.

It’s like I’ve discovered the visual version of a striper pheromone, I think. The stripers won’t stand a chance.

Now here is a confession and an epiphany all wrapped up in pink wrapping paper and a pink bow. I decided to buy that Punk Pink Disco squid not because I believed stripers would actually try to eat it but because, given the opportunity, I would have. And that’s the true reason any fisherman really purchases any artificial lure – be it ones that float, sink, hula, pop or rattle. What we are doing when we purchase an artificial lure is revealing that if we were a fish and the lure plopped down in front of us, we’d greedily gulp it down. And if a lure actually works, actually compels a fish to try to eat it – well, that’s just totally, I mean TOTALLY – a lucky coincidence.

On a side note, I must admit that my sole reason for buying one bottle of wine over another is that I think the label is pretty.  Who doesn’t, by the way?

The Punk Pink Disco squid has had many opportunities to catch stripers off the coast of Maine. Not once have I ever felt a tug. Not admitting defeat, like Linus, I have decided to stay in the pumpkin patch a little longer. I even decided to switch my aquatic location from salt to freshwater. Yes, that’s me casting the Punk Pink Disco squid into a lake near you because I cannot help but believe there is one fish out there who wants to expand its culinary portfolio. There must be a fish who will take a chance that this odd, didn’t I see such a squid fight Godzilla in a movie recently, pink monstrosity dancing along the bottom of the lake is also likely, very very likely, extremely yummy.

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