Science forces us to revisit driving schools
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Science forces us to revisit driving schools

This morning I was watching the news when a segment came on that told of how a team of scientists had recently taught goldfish to drive.

Rest easy. They weren’t driving cars. That would be silly and possibly illegal since, as far as I know, 16 is still the minimum age required to get a learner’s permit.

No, those little fish were driving mid-sized wheeled aquariums at about two miles an hour – on sidewalks.  They steered the vehicle by moving around the aquarium.

Suspiciously enough, the fact that the goldfish was driving on a sidewalk was never actually addressed in the news segment. So, I can’t report for sure whether this was because that’s what it was instructed to do so, or whether it was just a lousy driver. But let’s just say, at no point did they show you the fish attempting to parallel park and not once did it signal. So, I suspect it is the latter.

Of course, that is beside the point, unless they are in the line-up in front of you at a boat ramp. Then it’s a huge problem.

The main story is that these scientists have finally put to rest the age-old question nagging mankind since even the invention of the first wagon. And the answer is, yes, you can teach anybody to drive.

I have issues with this, however. I think most anglers should be a bit concerned too. After all, teaching fish to drive could have huge impacts on angling, particularly if it catches on.

I know I might be getting ahead of the science here, but we all know how quickly it moves. One minute a goldfish is driving an aquarium on a sidewalk, the next large perch are flying overhead in a jumbo jets. You get the picture.

This is not good for many reasons. Not the least of which is the road rage issue that is sure to occur whenever fighting fish meet at a four-way intersection.

This newfound mobility we are giving fish is going to be a nightmare for anglers. After all, some species are hard enough to catch already. And we always complain that fighting a carp is like reeling in a truck. Now, potentially fighting a sunfish could also potentially be like reeling in a truck.

If this keeps up it might mean that we will have to eventually stop fishing lakes and rivers and start fishing major thoroughfares where fish are zipping by at 100 kilometres an hour so they can get to their natal streams in time for the spawning season.

Admittedly, this isn’t all bad. It will give outdoor writers a lot of new topics to cover. Spoiler alert: I am now working on my first draft of “Fly fishing for Truckstop Trout” and am poised to become North America’s leading expert on the subject. (So, if you see me hanging around a truck stop dressed in nothing but a fishing vest and hip waders, don’t be too alarmed.)

And, yes, this will probably help fish parents get their youngsters to school more efficiently.

Other than this, I can’t see many other benefits – especially if they decide to drive those big old, gas-guzzling classic cars. I mean if God had wanted a fish to drive classic cars, He would have given them fins. Right?

Oh, never mind.

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