My older brother and father were really, really into fishing growing up. It wasn't all that fun for me, hanging around and trying to catch some stinky as hell, scaly animal I didn't enjoy eating all that much in the first place, but to my bro and dad, it meant hours and hours of fun.
Now I view fishing as a boring activity, but after a while, most things become boring too. What makes them great? Good company. I could sit around with a regular old deck of cards but if I have someone to chill with me I could enjoy playing with cards or building little houses out of them or toss them into hats forever.
Boredom can be great if you know what to do with it, but being bored with someone else is almost always infinitely better. Something that this South Australian man realized after his fishing buddy passed away.
Ray Johnstone, a 75-year-old widower was searching for a new fishing pal. So he went online and created an ad asking for one.
Ray said in an interview with 7 News that it gets "lonely" sitting by himself and watching TV and that "Going fishing by yourself is not much fun."
So he posted the following ad on Gumtree:
"What I want is a fishing mate in a similar position to myself who also wants someone to go fishing with. I am willing to share all costs e.g. petrol bait and should you happen to own a boat willing to pay all ramp fees but happy if you are also a land based fisherman."
The response to his beautifully candid ad was immense – over 100 people called Ray up and offered their fishing buddy services.
Since it's posting on January 19th, the ad's been viewed nearly 90,000 times.
At first, Ray was a bit suspicious of the response.
"When I started getting a few phone calls this morning I thought it was just because of my age, but then it kept going, and going and going."
People from all over Australia called in, but Ray has narrowed down four potential fishing pals that live close enough to him for regular sessions.
Looks like this grandfather of 12 will have some people to pass the time with after all. Strangers can be awesome sometimes.