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Hillybilly Handfishin’, Y’all!

  • August 15, 2011

Last night I was channel-surfing in bed and I stumbled upon Animal Planet’s Hillybilly Handfishin’. I had watched it the week before, but I was drinking sauvignon blanc distracted by my laptop and didn’t pay close attention. I paid more attention last night and I’m glad I did. I think I’ve already proven I like these kinds of shows. And by these kinds of shows I mean the ones that are over the top and show people experiencing things that most of us can’t imagine ever happening in real life. Like those clueless baby mamas on TLC’s I Didn’t Know I Was Pregnant. Remember in THIS POST when I shared my thoughts about that?

This is a picture of Skipper Bivens, the host of Hillybilly Handfishin’. That’s him on the right. My observation? Skipper is one hairy dude. That’s his best friend Scooter on the left. I have one burning question: Who the hell named these men? I’m guessing you have to be kind of badass to walk around with these monikers even though I’m pretty sure they’re just nicknames. Probably. If someone named Bubba shows up next week I will not be surprised.

The show started off with a tagline: Stick your hand or foot in a hole and you never know what you’re gonna find. This is wrong on so many levels. I’m not sticking anything in anywhere unless I know what’s waiting for me and that is just good common sense people. And if Hillybilly Handfishin’ wasn’t a total laugh riot all on its own, in addition to catfish there might be cottonmouth snakes and BULL SHARKS living in those holes. Okay maybe not bull sharks. MAYBE. Plus the water in the stream? river? lake? creek? (or crick if you’re a total redneck) looks all brown and poopy, like the catfish live in a giant, dirty toilet bowl.

As most? some? all? of you know, my husband Cowboy Dave hails from Oklahoma. Sort of. He lived there for 8 years and I watched an old videotape of him once and he had an accent which I razzed him about even though it was kinda hot. And being (sort of) from Oklahoma, he knew all about catfish noodling (but swore he’d never done it). I think it’s safe to say that all the Oklahoma’s been taken out of the boy though because the other night Dave had some wine and watched a pretentious foreign film with sub-titles. Skipper probably drinks Pabst Blue Ribbon and watches rodeo.

The other day a beetle fell out of my ponytail when I was at the pool and I think my lounge chair must have been positioned on top of a nest of spiders because after I spotted the 7th one crawling on me (and drew a bunch of attention to myself by jumping off said chair and doing the spider dance while screaming) I decided I was done with all the suburban wildlife and spent the next day indoors with the air-conditioning and my Kindle. So I am not an ideal candidate for this show (don’t let the cowboy hat I’m wearing in my profile photo fool you. I’m wearing it ironically because I am totally not a cowgirl and only listen to 70’s music).

But Stacy and Shelli, who were on last night’s show, were ideal candidates. They hail from Boston – Stacy’s a bartender (with enormous boobs) and Shelli’s a personal trainer (with enormous biceps). I tip my cowboy hat to these girls because they exhibited some total badassery and I salute them with a can of Budweiser. But they weren’t brave at first. At first they were all freaked out because they found a bug in Shelli’s suitcase and then they each found a couple bugs crawling on them and they did the screaming spider dance and I felt a kinship.

There was also a brother-sister duo (Devyn and Tyler) and two cops from Chicago (Dan and Tony).

Shelli (the personal trainer) caught the first catfish. It was either that or arm-wrestle the Chicago cops so everyone could see how tough and fearless she was. She did awesome.

Stacy (the bartender with big boobs) caught the second. You go girl.

Now it’s Devyn and Tyler’s turn. Tyler thought it would be fun and bonding and meaningful to take his sister noodling. Devyn probably wanted to sit on the couch in her comfy yoga pants sipping a glass of wine and watching season three of Sex and the City. Yet there they were. Maybe Devyn can give Tyler a gift certificate for a Brazilian wax for Christmas and then ask him how his man-parts feel. It only seems fair.

THIS is what happened the last time I went fishing with my brother, back in like ’87 or ’88. I can’t remember exactly when it was because I tend to block out traumatic things.

It was all fun and games and BUD LIGHT TALL BOYS until Georgie hooked me and we had to drive to the walk-in clinic and have a purple Mister Twister extricated from my face with a scalpel which is like the biggest buzzkill ever. And Georgie said he was sorry, and told me he felt terrible, but he does not look sorry at all in this photo. So fishing will probably not be my first choice for a recreational activity that my brother and I can enjoy together. To clarify, first choice would probably be wine-drinking.

Tyler’s sister Devyn is so scared to go catfish noodling that she looks like she might poop her pants (which would totally go unnoticed because of the murky, brown, toilet bowl water everyone is standing around up to their chests in). But I’m proud of Devyn. She redeemed herself. Check it out.

If you were paying attention, you might also have noticed Stacy’s boobs and Shelli’s biceps. Need to watch it again? Go ahead.

So now everyone’s caught a catfish except for Devyn’s brother Tyler, and Tony and Dan, the Chicago cops. Even though Dan’s chest is like 17 axe handles across, and he’s super manly, he can’t find a catfish to save his life. Neither can Tony. So they’re feeling around in all those holes, desperately, frantically, trying to find their balls some catfish and finally, finally they succeed. Tyler does too, and I am odly invested and proud of all of them by now.

I was manipulated into watching – and enjoying – a show I only wanted to make fun of. I cheered at the screen. I want to drink beer and do push-ups and play pool with Stacy and Shelli. I want to get a mani-pedi and see a chick flick with Devyn. And you can bet your Wranglers and your can of Skoal that I’ll be watching next Sunday.

So well played Animal Planet.

Well played.

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