Mark Twain knew that there is more than one way to skin a cat.
Having not read A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court for a very long time, I honestly cannot recall why someone would even want to skin a cat. (Tastes like chicken?)
But there is little doubt that the meaning of the expression is that there is usually more than one way to get a job done.
Some are tried-and-true methods and have been time-tested and, moreover, have been proven to be safe. (Although you should call your physician if the effects last more than four hours.)
And others often involve harebrained schemes using unknown techniques, dangerous components, and, if you are lucky, highly explosive materials.
And, more often than not, are probably illegal in most municipalities.
Many of the guys I hang out with would look at the former as being stodgy and boring and have just one thing to say about the latter, “when do we get started?!?”
This concept came to mind recently in terms of a fish tale I recently told.
You may have seen my story about fishing on the American River for a type of fish called a shad.
To summarize: no fish were harmed in the writing of that story as my tackle was inadequate and all I got was a wet crotch.
At the time, I blamed my guide du jour, that Singlebarbed dude, for my lack of productivity.
But since that report was released, further in-depth investigative reporting that this site is known for now can reveal the actual truth of the matter.
I was skinning the cat incorrectly; I was doing it wrong.
While we were discussing the appropriate fishing line characteristics as to strength, as given in pounds of test; monofilament vs. fly line; floating vs. tungsten-impregnated; we should have been talking about bungee cords.
I recently discovered an entirely new way to go after the elusive shad fish of the American River.
What you can’t see are the strategically placed fishing hooks under the board.
“What kind of bait,” you ask?
Skimming the water at 30 mph, who needs bait?
I get close enough and he’s mine.
But if this fishing technique is still too tame for you, I discovered a really extreme method of covering miles of river on something I can only describe as a combination of a float tube and a bungee surfboard.
Time to get out the Mr. Zoggs Sex Wax.