Norbert, who thought surf-casting was the only way to catch striped bass, helped stop that nonsense by teaching me the proper technique. But sometimes, even after I theoretically knew how to do it, the lure wouldn't release, and it would end up jingle-jangling foolishly at the end of the rod. Or, worse, if my knots to the swivels were bad, a pricey lure would go sailing off towards the horizon. At times like this, I think Norbert wondered why I was there, too. He said to me one time, "Not many wives come surf-fishing with their husbands. You like this?" About as much as making From-Here-to-Eternity love on a sandy, wet beach, I thought to myself, but what I said out loud was, "It's sort of a pain-pleasure thing with me. Pain to please the palate." I was beginning to get the hang of it.