Thursday, August 5, 2010

Satan's Puppies

I hate fish. Like really hate fish. It hasn't always been this way. At some point in my childhood, I'm sure I had a little goldfish that I loved for the full 12 days I remembered to feed it and it lived. But we've all had those moments that changed our lives forever. And this is the story of one of those moments.

In high school I was selected to work with at-risk, inner-city youth as a summer camp counselor for the D.A.R.E. program. I was stoked! Silly songs, obnoxiously cheerful clapping and cheesy ice-breaker games? This was right up my alley.

Little did I know, three days into the summer this ooey-gooey happiness would be replaced with torment and fear. Fishing was on the day's agenda.

I pulled out my pole, grabbed the nearest trash-talkin', saggy pants wearin', rappin', bad ass little mother fuckin' kid I could find and headed out to the dock.

Being a consistently fished area of the lake, the fish knew what was up and immediately approached the dock. Hundreds swarmed, rubbing their scaly little fishy bodies all over one another, water splashing, little mouths opening for the anticipated dinner and their black, soulless eyes looking right at me.

It started out innocently enough. We cast our line and waited for a fish to take the bait. Funny thing is, inner-city kids apparently don't do much fishing and, much to my ultimate demise, have a short attention span.

Suddenly and without warning, the miniature thug pushed me over the railing and into the water.

Only... I didn't... hit... water. I hit fish. A solid platform of fish.

Four seconds later, I hit water. The fish went nuts - slapping me in the face with their tails, cutting me with their fins, giving me little fishy bites on my arms. It was, hands down, the most terrifying moment of my life. And I've been mugged in downtown KC.

Finally hearing the commotion, the D.A.R.E. police officers in charge came to my rescue and pulled me out. But the damage was done.
This event took place 12 years ago but to this day, fish are one of the things that terrify me the most. More than spiders, more than snakes, more than zombies. Even the thought of fish makes me shudder. It's ruined me - I'll never snorkel. I'll never enjoy a leisurely day fishing with my dad. I'll never be the next breakout star on 'Deadliest Catch'. I'm ruined.

No salmon dinner at a fancy restaurant.

I panic in my dentist's office when I see her tiny little goldfish tank in the waiting room.

God help me if I walk into a Japanese Steakhouse with a giant coy tank in the entry way.
(*Note: I don't know Japanese... I just doodled some stuff that looked like Japanese writing to me. So if you know Japanese and I just said something about your mom, I'm sorry. Total accident.)

I run screaming when my 10 year old brother approaches me with bait to fish while my family is down at the lake.

And don't even get me started on Shark Week.

Yes, some hungry fish and one little wanna-be gang banger have changed my life forver. And I'll never be the same.