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February 11, 2014 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Fishing. A sign.

Can’t miss it.

The fish is bigger than life.

Hands lifting it up. Eyes adoring it.

Are those heavenly voices?

illustration of 1915.Water-babies.Kinglsey/Robinson William Heath, 1872-1944,ill./ life/

An afternoon of noodling isn’t exactly what was meant by wading in the waters or baptism. 
(1915.William Heath/

The giant billboard glows with meaning.

Subject to interpretation by design or accident.

(Hope it’s not by accident. That roadway is pretty busy.)

Half the sign features a gleeful fishing Bubba holding a trophy-sized fish. 

The other half features bright happy letters announcing, “Attend church on Wednesday!”

Not sure whether to laugh, cheer, or pretend it isn’t there.

Salmon fishing in Alaska/ By US Fish and Wildlife employee/USPD/

Catch the spirit! Fishing is a religion all its’ own.
(US Fish & Wildlife/USPD/

It’s a sign for a local Supersized Mega-Church.

Sprawling campus. Surrounded by big parking lot, large palm trees, and nice playground equipment.

Hired off duty police assist with traffic before and after services.

Drive past it in a fog or at night and anyone could get confused by the LED scarlet red ribbon design on the church’s entrance sign.

Looks a lot like a shopping mall or a cinema.

Identity crisis?

No doubt making an effort to appeal to young, hip, trendy group used to striking advertising.


In an effort to fit into people’s lives, Sunday Worship Service is now offered on Wednesday.

No excuses now!

Get your weekly ticket stamped!

Wednesday’s lost anyway with work and school, so why not combo it?

God won’t mind.

He’ll be glad to see you whenever you manage to find time. He’s a forgiving sort.

And He wants you to be all you can be, right?

Free will for a purpose, right?

It sure would have made things easier in our childhood neighborhood.

Illustration. 1915.Water-babies. Kingsley/William Heath,1872-1944.ill/USPD

Mom, That’s so not fair!
(1915.Water-babies. Kingsley/William Heath,1872-1944.ill/USPD

Birthday parties were always on the weekend.

After school ones, quite impossible. No one would go.

Saturdays were for trips to the bank, grocery shopping, mowing the yard, and birthday parties.

For Catholics, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Baptists and others.

Sunday was church, day of rest with family, and football. (Or just goofing around aimlessly in the afternoon or dealing with school assignments due on Monday.)

For the Jewish kids, it was the reverse: religion on Saturdays with parties and ordinary life on Sundays.

Unitarians were totally flexible.

Not a big issue most of the time – except with birthdays.

Kids in traditional Jewish families weren’t allowed to attend parties on Saturday, their Holy Day. Disrespectful

Many Christian moms wouldn’t let their kids attend parties on Sunday – even in the afternoon. Day for worship and family.

The division was heavy with emotion – but never discussed in public.

“On the 7th day, He rested.”

Does Sabbath mean Sunday or Saturday? (Which is it? Midnight services were created for times like these?)

 Was it right one religious group insisted others be disrespectful to their own beliefs and traditions? (Was it “My religion is better than your religion”?)

“If he/she doesn’t come to your birthday party and bring a gift, you’re not going to theirs.” (Well, that one might have been said out loud a time or two.)

No wonder parents got exasperated and simply announced we were all too old for birthday parties.

Wish you'd stayed awake during that story about Jonah? (1918.Bad Child's Book of Beasts.Basil T. Blackwood/

Wish you’d stayed awake during that story about Jonah?
(1918.Bad Child’s Book of Beasts.Blackwood/

Sign of the times. Sunday/Sabbath worship services midweek. 

Choir practice was on Wednesdays for some anyway.

There was Prayer Service on Wednesday for those who needed a religious booster shot to make it through the week.

But couldn’t substitute that for Sunday service. (Tried. Nope. Get in the car.)

Still, God wants each individual to be happy. It’s his focus. Ask any popular church.

Religion should fit into people’s lifestyles – not the other way around.

Too commandment like.


That “Fisher of men” thing – totally misinterpreted apparently.

“The fishermen” appreciate the correction.

That sign is a show of good faith.

Finally, able to stop fishing for excuses.

row boat painting. (1885 Fog Warning:Halibut Fishing. Winslow Homer.1836-1910/Museum FA Boston/ of PD art/artist life/Googe Art Project/

Looks ominous. Maybe there was some validity to the argument that Wednesday doesn’t even start with an “S”.
(1885 Winslow Homer/Museum FA Boston/USPD:artist life/

Reel truth.

Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

(Note: Know you are desperate to see that billboard, but it’s raining and impossible. Gave up. To make up for that, here’s a link to Big Mouth Billy Bass and his fishy friends singing on YouTube)

Big Mouth Billy Bass. (Flickr User_mpd_/

Making that joyful noise. Billy’s hooked on song. (Big Mouth Billy Bass. Flickr User_mpd_/


  1. robstroud / Feb 11 2014 3:09 am

    I received one of those mounted bass for a gift. It never hang on my wall, and hopefully found a loving home when we donated it to a charity.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 11 2014 4:32 pm

      Those fish are so quirky. There was on hanging in a country store/bait camp near here that would be hoodie robbers broke into. Apparently the fish detected motion and started his normal welcome song. Freaked the guys out – they even left without the cash sitting on the counter. Go fish! Thanks for dropping a line into these waters


  2. PiedType / Feb 11 2014 3:16 am

    Too old for birthday parties!? Never!


    • timethief / Feb 11 2014 4:49 am

      I’m with you on that one. I have even been known to celebrate an un-birthday or two. 😉


      • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 11 2014 4:38 pm

        Party on! It occurs to be that as you get really old, you could adopted many days as your birthday – and people would be too polite to say anything. I should write that down so I don’t forget. Thanks for rowing a comment over


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 11 2014 4:34 pm

      We felt so deprived. Joy just sunk by troubled waters. Thanks for floating a comment over


  3. roughseasinthemed / Feb 11 2014 7:40 am

    There are advantages to being atheist/agnostic. You can party every day/night of the week and don’t feel obliged to waste spend time in schul, the mosque, the church, or any other type of temple of worship.

    Love the Jonah cartoon. So droll.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 11 2014 4:44 pm

      Or you could be called a Methodist here. (Sorry old joke commonly said in school…sort of true according to many Methodists…or Catholics who would just go to confession and be given a pass…now I’ve irritated people – but those guys both said that themselves!)
      The attempts by the mega churches to attract people (money) is a bit amusing. (It’s a “lifestyle or social connection”!) The sign is a piece of art – wish the fog/mist/rain/torrents would end – it would have been nice to include it.
      Thanks for swimming by


  4. Aquileana / Feb 11 2014 7:42 am

    That was a cool & witty reading.

    I wanted to tell you that I ´ve nominated your for the Versatile blogger award.

    You can check it out at the end of this post (just scroll it down):

    Cheers, Aquileana 😉


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 11 2014 4:46 pm

      You are so kind. I’m honored to be nominated.Glad you had time to wade over and splash down a comment


  5. Snoring Dog Studio / Feb 11 2014 1:18 pm

    I can’t abide church on Sundays. Why would any other day make it more palatable? Such is the evolving nature of organized religion. I wonder if there’s a church online I could join? Is that Facebook?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 11 2014 9:09 pm

      Seriously. It is what it is – resorting to marketing and “adapting” to get bodies in the door. The whole glaring thing struck me as funny – but the weather is so grim, I’m easily amused. Actually there are online churches – but maybe more demanding than Facebook even. How about a nice walk outside away from everyday distractions instead?
      (No matter what the groundhog said about winter’s end, the army of squirrels seem to differ…a lot of friskiness when the sun comes out) Stay warm and thanks for fishing out a comment


  6. shoreacres / Feb 11 2014 2:51 pm

    I’m not sure of much, but I’m pretty sure that when Jesus mentioned that “fishers of men” business, he didn’t mean the noodlers from Oklahoma and Arkansas! That was the first thing I thought of when I saw the pic of the fellow, although that’s clearly not a catfish he’s holding.

    And if I may put this delicately…. there are those of us who think some of those billboard-posting groups have about as much relationship to the heart of Christianity as…. hmmm… searching for a good analogy here. Believe I’ll just go get another cuppa and ponder getting a civilized job, like greeter at Walmart. Cabin fever’s setting in.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 11 2014 9:21 pm

      We drove over the hill through the fog and there that sign was: trumpeting in LED. The fisherman in one of those flat brimmed hats with lures all over it – grinning with this big fish. Hilarious (easily amused – this weather!) If you have to adapt the organization to the people, rather than people making an effort to adapt to the organization? Wait, this is a “lifestyle congregation” that won’t make unreasonable demands? Not sure if that was really meant by “be in the world, but not of it.” Oh, well, to each their own.
      Couldn’t get the sign after several tries, so went with the salmon fisherman from Alaska. And of course the blue sky in the picture. About ready to print out pictures of blue sky and tape them to the windows…
      Thanks for bobbing by


  7. robincoyle / Feb 11 2014 4:35 pm

    We have a church just like the one you described . . . more concert and motivational speakers than religion.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 11 2014 9:02 pm

      The powerpoints being used are such an interesting touch..just like the office and Dale Carnegie courses. Well, something for everyone. Thanks for fishing out a comment


      • robincoyle / Feb 11 2014 10:20 pm

        Those kind of churches are filling a void for a lot of people so who am I to judge!?


  8. jannatwrites / Feb 12 2014 4:29 am

    I know people that attend one of those mega churches. Too much production for me… I prefer a quieter environment. Sunday is what I’m used to for a service, but I think Wednesday might make church more accessible for those who work the weekends (when I waitressed in college, I couldn’t afford to pass up the weekend shifts… that’s where the business- and tips- were.)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 12 2014 5:17 pm

      Everyone has their own style. Maybe some are so used to lots of noise and flash, that’s what they expect. When they bring out the Powerpoints, I’m gone. You do make a point about Wed – it was easier when stuff actually closed or didn’t open until noon on Sundays. People seem value their own convenience more than others’ personal lives and time. Got to adapt and evolve. Thanks for netting that comment and tossing it in


  9. Bongo / Feb 12 2014 6:48 am

    I think Molly ate that first fish in the video.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 12 2014 5:18 pm

      We suspect it’s buried in the yard and she’s blaming the squirrels for the hole. Thanks for splashing over, Bongo


  10. reneejohnsonwrites / Feb 12 2014 12:34 pm

    The quiet of sitting out on the water waiting for a nibble drives me crazy. I’d rather be hunkered down with a good book. That said, I totally get it.

    So many people have such little time for reflection on their thoughts and deeper spiritual connections. A little time in nature brings those things together. My father loved to fish, camp, garden. We often spent weekends camping in the Smoky Mountains, and when questioned about missing church, he’d answer that God was too large to be kept beneath the roof of a building.

    But I never knew him to try the method of grappling for catfish. Wow. That takes a special kind of fisherperson!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 12 2014 5:20 pm

      Silence is a time honored form of worship. Perhaps more should see the value of it? Noodling? Fish scales, fins, and slime – and I know they don’t have teeth, but that doesn’t stop some of them. Sitting in the boat with a book, maybe. Thanks for rowing that comment over


  11. jmmcdowell / Feb 13 2014 7:38 pm

    I hope that guy in the photo isn’t the Illinois DNR bigwig who was forced to resign when the state learned that while he was on paid sick leave he was also taking part in professional fishing tournaments!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Feb 13 2014 10:32 pm

      This was taken by a federal employee – salmon fishing in Alaska…hmmmm. Hope you’ve got power and things tied down up there for this storm…if it makes you feel any better, warm should be coming. (Sunny and almost 70 today. Chase that cold out of here!) Thanks for floating over a comment.


      • jmmcdowell / Feb 13 2014 11:13 pm

        Supposedly we might be back in the 50s by the end of next week. My fingers are crossed for that—we had over 19 inches through this afternoon, and we could get a few more tonight. No please!


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