Easy to lament now that I never became a cryptozoologist, but they weren’t offering degree courses in pseudoscience when I left school. I love cryptozoology and forteana, but the thing I love most is enthusiasm in others. My interests dip and wane and run all over the place. I admire single minded people whose love of their special area shines. I like to stand near them, and listen to them even when I don’t understand them – it is their tone and energy I enjoy, their glow. I just don’t want to be them. I used to have a boss who described himself as an armchair mountaineer. I hadn’t heard the expression before, but I quickly worked it out. It takes a special sort of enthusiasm to be so specific an armchair anything, I think, and he had his own special glow, though perhaps once removed. Me, I’m an armchair everything, though I like to think I am more than just that.
Watching “River Monsters” on television is a guilty pleasure of mine. I tried to fish once, but the bait kept falling off the hook. I can’t see me ever doing that again, so I don’t want to be Jeremy Wade, but I love his enthusiasm*. Buying his book of the same title earlier this year, I enjoyed a little of the same frisson I used to get as a kid buying books about the Mothman and Bigfoot.
And that is quite enough about fish for a long time.
*Whereas Robson Green, not so much. Love him in Wire in the Blood and in Being Human, but not with fish. Oh well. I’m sure he is devastated.