Angling for laughs

Pothole turned into fishing hole on Route 90

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The sun was out and the water was clear and cool, yet the fish weren’t biting on Kenaston Boulevard Wednesday afternoon. Even so, Chris Thompson had no trouble reeling in the laughs.

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The sun was out and the water was clear and cool, yet the fish weren’t biting on Kenaston Boulevard Wednesday afternoon. Even so, Chris Thompson had no trouble reeling in the laughs.

Thompson cast a lure into the depths of a sizable pothole — his new fishing spot — from the muddy banks of the barricaded curb lane. His makeshift tackle box, stocked with protein bars and a wine cooler, sat atop a platform made from stray hubcaps found nearby.

A measuring tape clipped to his utility vest ensures no one can accuse him of exaggerating his catches.

Chris Thompson had no trouble reeling in the laughs when he cast a fishing line into a giant pothole on Route 90 Wednesday. (Mikaela MacKenzie / Winnipeg Free Press) Thompson cast a lure into the depths of a sizable pothole

“I try to look at frustrations and annoyances that are relatable and try to find the humour within it, whether it’s long cold winters or gas prices or scammers,” Thompson said. “I’m not a comedian, but I do like experimental comedy, trying to find things that make people laugh.”

Drivers in rush-hour traffic beeped their horns at Thompson. Many rolled down their windows to ask if he had caught anything or whether the fish were biting.

“The honking is a little annoying because I think it’s spooking the fish,” Thompson said

Thompson lives in the neighbourhood and drives by this pothole regularly. Though Thompson hasn’t endured a nasty pothole hit this spring, he dedicates the shtick to those who have.

“I know the road crews aren’t intentionally dragging their heels on it. They’ve got tons and tons and tons of these things to fill,” Thompson said. The city had fixed one pothole nearby since Thompson’s first outing Tuesday, he said.

“My plan was just to set up, take a quick picture and then post it… But the longer I sat out here, the more people were laughing and smiling and honking,” said Thompson, who spent a couple of hours angling on Tuesday.

Thompson returned Wednesday to attach a “No Fishing” sign to one of the pylons on the site. Since he was going to be there anyway, he donned his gear and took a few casts — he was hooked.

He figures passersby who saw him Tuesday will understand what the sign is referring to, and perhaps even more humorous, those who missed the first act will wonder why such a sign is necessary.

“I was worried the water would be dried up,” he said. “I bought a deeper water lure than (Tuesday) so I can get the bottom feeders… I think the only time I use this rod is as a comedy prop.”

There’s no particular type of person that finds the scene amusing, Thompson said. He says he’s drawn laughs from teenagers, seniors, police officers, semi drivers, and even city workers.

Aubrey Margolis, the owner of Danali clothing store at the Grant-Kenaston intersection, said Thompson’s skit struck a chord with him.

“Here’s a person that looked at the same situation and had a different perspective and was able to have fun,” said Margolis, who dropped by Thompson’s fishing hole with his daughter, Jessie Margolis, Tuesday. “It wasn’t politically driven; it was just from a sense of humour… It was wonderful.”

More of Thompson’s comedy can be found on his Facebook and Instagram pages @uncle_chrisser.

fpcity@freepress.mb.ca

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