Monday, June 21, 2010

The Fish Who Screamed

When I was a little girl, I was the love of all the little boys in my neighborhood. Was it because of my hair? Noo. My smile? Nooo. Was it because I was a charming, feminine little sweet heart. NOOOOOOOOOOOOO! It was because I loved to clean fish.

One of the fathers in my neighborhood built crafted cabin cruisers for a living. He did this in his garage and they were gorgeous. So they always had a boat, of course, and would take all the boys fishing. They always caught quite few fish. When they got home with their catch, one of the first things they would do is come and get me.

"Hey Beej! We got fish!"

That's all I would need to hear and I would race through whatever was doing so I could go clean fish.

Those boys did not hang around to help. They'd take off to play ball or watch tv. I preferred it this way, too. I'd sit there with newspapers and a knife and a big bucket or two of fish and I was in my glory.

I think I can still remember the process; scrape the scales off. Cut off the head. Cut off the tail. Split the belly and clean out the innards. Cut the fish into two sides. Fun fun fun!!!!

This went on for several years of fishing season. Leave me alone with that bucket of dead fish and a knife and I was in hog heaven! Then one day, something really disturbing happened...

Scrape the scales, cut off the tail..cut off the head...and the damned fish squeaked long and loud at me. It was alive! I was sure it was alive! I threw that thing in the air and took off running and screaming, tossing the knife behind me. Oh. My. God. Little me had cut off the head of a LIVING FISH!! Murderer! I was a fish murderer!

Well, the boys finished playing whatever they were playing and went to get the fish which they were certain had been cleaned and filleted. Instead, they saw a couple of finished fish, a bucket full of a lot more unfinished fish, and a partially cleaned fish down by the curb next to the sidewalk. They came to my door.

I tried to hide but my mom ratted on me and told them I was home. They marched into my bedroom and found me (rather quickly) in the closet where I was hiding.

"Why didn't you finish the fish?" Gary asked.

"Yeah, why?" asked Tommy. "My dad is going to be mad when he sees I didn't clean them."

"hey, I'm sorry guys. One was alive and when I tried to cut the head off it shrieked at me! I'm not cleaning your old stinky fish ever again!"

With that and a toss of my hair over my shoulder, I firmly plopped myself on my bed and crossed my arms. I mean business. I didn't care how mad they got.

To my surprise, they started to laugh.

"Leave it to a girl!" Gary said.

"Beej, the fish was dead. You hit the lungs and air squeaked out is all!"

I hated them right then. Not only was my fish cleaning, which I had loved to do, a thing of the past, they were making fun of me.

I looked at them and they looked at me.

"What you boys waiting for?" I asked.

"Don't you have a bunch of fish to clean?"


  1. Unfortunately for my sisters, I remember just about EVERYTHING!

  2. Yeah, the fish likely was dead and it's as the boys said it was. But it sure sounds like they caught a lot of fish. I don't catch many but enjoy the ones I do catch. Of course they have to die but that's life on this rock, most things here are part of the food chain, even the veggies you eat were alive until you killed them. Or someone picked and killed them before you bought them.

  3. among all these boys, they caught A LOT of fish and for some reason, i just loved to clean them.

  4. Where was you when I was young? Oh, I remember, you were still shitting green stuff. :-)

  5. Love the last line, with you telling the boys they had fish to clean!! :) Thanks for sharing your memories with us, and i LOVE reading over your's :)

  6. Hey Kristen! I'm so thrilled to see you here! You need to start a blog so I can visit YOU!

  7. I hated cleaning fish when we went fishing. I just hated it. I would run and play and make good old dad clean the fish..LOL.. I am wasting time reading blogs at 10:23 PM MY TIME before getting a real good pizza and then playing yahtzee with Jeff..

  8. I don't think you could pay me enough to clean fish now, tweetey.
    Hope you won your yahtzee game!

  9. I won a few and he won a few and then we went to bed...LOL> To tired to play to late.. But we had fun and enjoyed out pizza..

  10. Pizza? I thought you made popcorn! :)
    Either way, glad you had fun.


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