September 29, 2017
Dear Bishop Hackle,
Well, my dear Bishop, tonight I'm sitting in parishioner Perry Fuller's study, typing a letter to you while smoking a bowl of my soon-to-be-famous Churchwarden pipe-weed. No person on the planet, I dare say, has ever formulated a full-bodied Balkan pipe tobacco more perfectly suited to the taste of a true fly fisherman as I have. Woodsy aroma, bracing without a bite, this mixture is manly in the truest sense of the term . . . not at all effeminate like those fruity cavendish blends preferred by your delicate palate.
Undoubtedly such androcentric language offends your genderless sensibilities. Too bad, because from now on the practice of accommodating myself to the prevailing canons of political correctness is over. "Plain talk for plain people," shall be my motto!
And you know what, Harry? The average person really does possess enough common sense to read masculine terminology without taking offense, especially when it’s obviously contextually inclusive. What he or she doesn't appreciate, however, is infelicitous phrasing which serves no other purpose than that of catering to the social agenda of intolerant liberals who regard themselves as the rightful gatekeepers of postmodern culture.
Words possess a significant ability to transform dominant ideologies, my friend, chiefly because of the intrinsic symbiosis between language and thought. To alter a given society's perception of reality, you merely have to change how its power brokers speak and write, and then patiently wait for their influence to affect the populace. In due time there will be an uncritical public reception of ideas previously rejected in saner times.
Perhaps that's why your namby-pamby theology books are finally making money.
But I have taken up the resistance. Just watch: one day when history cycles around to our traditional ways of speaking once again, I'll be looked upon as an avant-garde custodian of proper communication!
Therefore I gladly embrace the moniker of Father McAllister and, thus, defy your decree to modify my title to something less patriarchal such as Reverend. However, I might consider the idea if I can call you Pric as a shorthand reference to the bishopric office you currently hold. ‘Tis quite apropos in your case, no matter how the word is spelled or sounds.
Since arrogance is a besetting sin of mine, I'll be so bold as to state exactly why I'm subjecting myself to an interminable night at Mr. Fuller's humble abode. Quite honestly, he’s an atrocious angler. If that numbnuts had to depend on catching fish to keep himself from starvation his dumb ass would have gone belly up long ago.
The purpose of my stay-over at Perry's place is to drive his sorry soul to a certain river before dawn. I'm figuring if we slip into the water incredibly early, the first flies those trout should see when they start feeding will be ours. Perhaps then Fuller won't have to burden his poor friends with yet another cleverly spun tale of imaginary success. Under my expert tutelage at least there's hope of an actual hook-up.
Perry often complains how the rivers are cleaned out by Mother's Day. I don't know what he's babbling about. Although Royal Wulffs and small Orange Stimulators hardly project the image of etymological orthodoxy, these patterns are quite effective on brookies. Every major stream in Massachusetts holds stocked brookies. But can he catch them? Hell, no!
The Swift is swimming with brook trout right now. They'll hit anything, but last evening he couldn't turn a single fish. Why? Because the man is a moron, that’s why; he was casting a fly with a broken off hook. I would suggest going back to golf, but I doubt the idiot even knows how to play with his putter anymore.
And this guy is a member of my little flock. Oh what stupidity I suffer for the Kingdom of God!
Yes, I’ll ship off a few nicotine-laden ounces of the Churchwarden. But I fear, my dear ball-less bishop, you’ll die from a testosterone overload. Perhaps a bubble gum cigar instead? Sincerely. Father Felim McAllister