Saturday was the fishing opener, and from all reports fish were, indeed, opened. Yuk. For those who fish, it was the annual reconnection with the traditions of life at the lakes; for the rest of us, a reminder that we should be fishing. Somehow, if you're not out there bobbing on a boat, shivering over a Schlitz, dragging a lunker from its aqueous abode, you're not really a Minnesotan.

Some have a moral objection -- fish not, lest ye be fished. Not me. More like ye without scales, cast the first hook. Top of the food chain, Ma! Last year PETA launched an effort to call fish "Sea kittens," so people would transfer the affection they feel for adorable kitties to slimy, dead-eyed, tasty fish. Obviously we have no seas here, so I prefer the term lake weasels.

No, fishing just seems ... dull. If I wanted to sit for four hours waiting for something to happen, I'd be a fan of baseball. If they could combine fishing and baseball, we'd have twice as much action. "And it's a line-drive cast up the middle -- Johnson throws it right at a muskie! He's hooked! -- but no! The umpire is signaling Johnson was over his limit, so they're throwing it back. That's two outs and one DNR fine." But even that would wear thin after a few innings.

Ah, you say, it's not the sitting. It's the drinking -- er, the timeless rituals, the bonding, the fanciful tales of the ones that got away -- big as a Buick, cursed in Klingon and slapped three men cold when I tried to land it, sued me in civil court for assault -- and also the beer. That's fine. Enjoy!

At least I don't pretend my disinterest makes me some rarified super-evolved form of Minnesotan. "Hey, I don't fish, cheer the Twins or Vikes, visit the Guthrie or go to the State Fair, but I'm as much of a Minnesotan as you are!" Well, no, you're not. There are gradations. The rest of us will have our own fishing opener.

There's a certain skill in tearing apart that Mrs. Paul bag so the sticks don't fly everywhere. More daily at