There are many types of strange things farmers grow and raise, but we will talk about that another time. Right now, I would like to talk about my neighbor Arlie. He has decided to be a fish farmer – and he doesn’t even know how to swim.

Moffett tim
Comedian
Tim’s Stand-up Comedy Special “MILK’N IT!!” is out on YouTube. His new book Corn Cobs and Chaos i...

He started by putting in an above-ground pool, and I still don’t understand why he needed the slide. If everything you need to start a farm can be bought at WalMart, well, I have the right to be doubtful.

Arlie is raising tilapia, catfish and trout. I told him one of those was a saltwater fish, and he explained to me that he only put salt in one end of the pool. I’m not sure he really understands this fish thing.

Why, the only time he ever fishes is while intoxicated. Even then he never catches anything, but he always has huge stories of how many fish he caught – and every fish was at least 23 pounds.

Apparently, the fish were all too big to keep. One time, the game warden caught him throwing a quarter-stick of dynamite in the lake, causing a boatload of fish to float to the surface from the explosion.

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In his defense, Arlie told Mr. Game Warden the boat motor quit and he was trying to signal for help. I’m not sure how well his fishing stories and math calculations are going to add up when the bank and the IRS man show up for the audit.

I don’t feel fish are very noble animals. I am a huge fan of anything that can be beer-battered and fried, but when was the last time you saw fried fish on the menu at the state fair? As a kid, fish sticks were one of my favorites only because Mom always served them with tater tots and lots of ketchup.

I’m sure my opinion will change when I turn 65. I’ve heard that at retirement it is mandatory to attend every “All U Can Eat Fish & Chips” early bird special at the local Moose lodge on Friday nights.

Let’s face it, fish do have a better campaign than cows. I have never once turned on the National Geographic Channel and seen a show called “Cows Attack.” Ask any farmer if he has a better chance of getting kicked in the head or bitten by a shark. Yet still, the fish gets a movie about it – with theme music to boot.

Fishing is a sport. Fishing is a hobby. Fishing is a passion. But fishing is not farming. I never had to cut a hole in the ice to milk a cow. Now, it’s been so cold a few times I had an udder break off in my hand.

I have never had to throw bait into a trailer to load up a cow, but I have had to throw a beer-soaked loaf of bread on a flatbed to get a pig loaded. I’ve never had to put on a mask and snorkel to feed my cows – although the bank has told me the farm was under water.

I wish Arlie lots of luck. If anyone can do it, he can. He is so committed that he is taking swim lessons down at the local YMCA. He should be off the “floaties” by harvest season.PD

Tim is a Florida dairy farmer and stand-up comedian. Have him at your next farm-related event by visiting his website.