Thursday, September 21, 2006

All Dead Fish, All the Time

He was somebody's baby, once

So’s, I catch this fish last week. 2.5 pound pickerel, I’m told (why don’t we use metric in weight and height in this country an centigrade for pool temperature, anyway?). Not my first since I’ve been up here, but it was the first one I wanted to kill myself. Generally I will bring the fish up on shore and, like a schoolgirl, get either Robin or Mr. George Trevor, my new chums and experienced fishermen, to get it off my hook and take it out. But, before everyone in town thought I was entirely gay, I figured I had to do this one on my own.
The fish I killed looked suspiciously similar to this one

Mssrs. Stewart and Trevor pretend the fish are immigrant workers stealing their jobs

Like Dachau, only with fish

So I have it on the ground, grab a pair of pliers, and start braining it. It’s about as violent as it sounds. You think fish are all squishy and stuff, but their skulls are rather hard and you really feel each whack to the cranium. Then comes the job of slitting its throat, as George Trevor does, so that the blood runs out and you don’t have a mess on your hands while you’re cleaning it. I have it on its back in one hand, filleting knife in the other. This is where it gets real sick, where you can feel the thing’s heart beat (or something), and all its muscles twitching, and I start feeling real guilty for having caught it and bashed its skull in. I have the knife ready to go in, but there’s a mental block. It’s as if its throat were solid concrete or something. No matter how hard I try to cut into it, I just can’t do it. Now, luckily this scene was taking place in the company of many seasoned teachers; so, while I looked like an ass in front of them all, I was able to call one over so he could finish the job himself.

Anyway, not that I’d never eat fish again, or quit fishing, but I definitely will not be killing one ever again.


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