By now, anyone with cable television has at least seen promos of people wading muddy water up to their necks and catching catfish by hand.
"Noodling," as it is called, seems to be more popular than ever.
This week, an interepid individual named Kaleb Summers won the big-fish title at the annual Okie Noodling Championship by hauling a 70.46-pound flathead out of Oklahoma's oddly named Northeast Oklahoma River.
In an interview with a Tulsa World reporter, Summers said he had to dive back into a 5-feet-by-6-feet underwater cavern to grapple with the monster.
Now I like fishing for catfish as much as the next guy, but I simply don't understand the appeal of hand-to-mouth underwater combat with big, strong, ticked-off fish armed with venomous spines in their pectoral and dorsal fins.
Obviously I'm a fuddy-duddy, a stick-in-the-mud, a weenie and a wuss.
At least that's what the millions of Americans who watch the "Mudcats" cable TV show would probably think. During its spring 2012 run on the History Channel, the show consistently ranked as the second- or third highest-rated show on cable. TV viewers apparently like to watch people wrestle catfish.
Then again, TV viewers often enjoy watching others do things they can't - or won't - do themselves.
Hovering near the rail of a Bering Sea crab boat in subzero weather as 30-foot waves crash over the deck seems almost insane, but the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" consistently enjoys huge ratings.
Placing oneself directly in the path of an onrushing tornado flirts disaster, and perhaps for that reason alone Discovery's "Storm Chasers" draws such large audiences.
I like those shows, too, perhaps because the protagonists have a true purpose.