Pipwick is derailed this week by me having spent a long weekend away doing things like going for walks and generally sidelining the internet. Bliss.
Instead, here are the five emotions of Sega Bass Fishing:
All is right with the world. You are pretending that your office chair is a boat, you're wearing a bobble hat to keep warm and a plaid flannel shirt because a teenage love of the grunge scene gave way to a career in games journalism which includes role-playing fishing games from the late nineties and thank goodness the wardrobes can be pretty interchangeable otherwise it would get expensive fast. You have a nearly full bottle of brandy on the side because you've heard that's a thing that being outdoors requires: medicinal/warming liquor. You consider digging out the hip flask you actually own but remember it's back at your parents' house in a box underneath a crystal ball (don't ask). You pick a lure and cast off (which might be a knitting term rather than a fishing one but shut up). FISH!
You sit in your chairboat throwing out your line, gradually remembering the rhythm for catching these bass. Some get away, some are yanked towards the boat and into your waiting arms. You don't feel anger when one escapes your hook, you just tip your hat a little to acknowledge the fish and you go back to waiting, waggling your hook in what you hope is an alluring manner and trying your luck with the other inhabitants of the water.
You forgot that role-playing being in a lake with no access to the internet means not watching the late-night news. Everything on the news is awful. The world is awful. The brandy is three-quarters gone. Any interaction you have with the rest of the world will likely be in CAPSLOCK and feature the phrase "burn it all down". You seek solace in fish but the fish are idiots and one of them has bugged out. It is swimming like a duck, arse in the air, face pointing downwards. "WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR PROBLEM," you demand of the fish. The fish just hovers there. Willful. Mocking you and your relaxation attempts.
You throw out your line again to find a new fish. A better fish. The new fish has glitched through a wall.
"FUCKING MILLENNIAL FISH," you shout, not really knowing what you mean by that. "GET OFF SNAPCHAT AND STOP SWIPING VINES OR WHATEVER IT IS YOU DO AND GET IN THE BLOODY BOAT."
"Pip, what is a millennial fish?" asks your boyfriend.
"I DO NOT KNOW."
Admitting this makes you more angry so you dig deeper.
"I MEAN, LIKE, THE GAME CAME OUT IN THE LATE NINETIES SO THEY PROBABLY COULD BE MILLENNIAL FISH IF THEY AGED LIKE REGULAR HUMANS BUT MAYBE THEY ARE NEWBORN FOREVER BECAUSE OF DIGITAL FISH CREATION AND THEY DON'T HAVE GENERATIONAL TRAITS OR COMMON POINTS OF CONCERN OR INTEREST AND THE FISH MEDIA AREN'T USING THE TERM IN A FAINTLY PEJORATIVE FASHION RATHER OFTEN."
You go to Wikipedia.
"LARGEMOUTH BASS LIVE FOR MAYBE 16 YEARS BUT I DO NOT KNOW IF THAT AFFECTS ME BEING ABLE TO CALL THEM MILLENNIALS ALSO DID YOU KNOW THAT THEY ARE THE STATE FISH OF ALABAMA."
You caught a HUGE one. You are the master of fish. The fish whisperer. You have bent the entire game to your will. No fish will ever defy you by swimming impossibly ever again.
"Am I being cruel by hunting digital millennial fish?" you ask yourself (and also your boyfriend).
Sure, they aren't real and sure you throw them back in anyway and sure the fish don't seem to learn any kind of caution so they probably aren't traumatised but...
"I'm sure they are fine," you say, trying to sound convincing.
"Pip what is wrong why are you crying?"
"I didn't mean to hurt the fishes," you sob.
"Hang on, have you stopped being angry at the fish for being millennial? Also where is the rest of the brandy?"
After a full day of fishing the last emotion left is sleepy. Definitely sleepy and not anything else. You should make the most of this emotion by heading to bed because tomorrow will involve nursing an inexplicable and completely unrelated headache.
Bass fishing is a rollercoaster of feelings.