I couldn’t help it. Faced with the same situation, what real man could have? It all started one afternoon after returning from a successful day as hunters/gatherers when we were back at the dock cleaning our kill.
Captain Eric and my buddy Skip were handling the filet knives doing what professional fishermen refer to as the “icky part” of cleaning fish involving getting fish blood, slime, and entrails over at least 30 percent of your body. My friend Woody and I, along with the rest of the crew, were devoting our energies to the much more critical part of fish cleaning which involves drinking beer and heckling.
Don’t laugh. This is a very dangerous undertaking. Heckling a man who has also had a number of beers and is holding a very big and very sharp knife requires big stones. It also requires that you be very macho (Spanish for stupid).
As Skip squatted down to select another snapper to clean, Woody and I noted his impressive plumber’s crack display. But just as we were laughing and making sport of Skip on this count, we observed something of far larger import: the band of his underwear had the word “Godzilla” printed in large letters across the back.
A number of questions simultaneously overwhelmed us. First, where would you find underwear labeled Godzilla? Secondly, what was the connotation? Thirdly, why would anyone (especially a Ph.D.) be foolish enough to take the risk of wearing such underwear with this group?
After the initial shock wore off, we did what I think most guys would do and immediately brought this to the attention of the rest of the crew and anyone else within ear shot. After the initial laughter had subsided, I then felt compelled to do the obvious with a twisted mind fueled by a couple of beers.
Retrieving a handful of snapper guts from the pile of carcasses, I waited until Skip squatted to pick up the next fish. Swiftly, I eased the “Godzilla” band back and slid the aforementioned snapper guts down the aforementioned plumbers crack. The reaction was both immediate and predictable. Skip shot to his feet and began making some very unflattering comments about me and my ancestors for putting ice down his pants and threatened revenge.
Ice? I thought to myself. Evidently he had mistaken the cold snapper parts for ice. As he yelled and screamed over the next few minutes, Woody and I were convulsed with laughter over his indignance at being made the victim of such a childish prank. However, I was also thinking, if he is this riled up over ice, how will he react when he discovers the truth?
Woody played his part flawlessly by not spilling the beans. This was partly due to his being a good co-conspirator and partly because he was laughing so hard he was having difficulty breathing.
Finally, after the fish cleaning had been completed, and we were standing around finishing our beer, Skip had settled down when a look of puzzlement crossed his face. Lifting his right leg, he shook his jeans leg at which time the snapper parts fell onto the dock. As Skip stared incredulously at the vile looking object, I wasn’t sure how he would react. I reasoned one possibility might involve my taking a swim in Gulfport Harbor. So I decided I had better try to confuse, distract, or at least divert his attention.
I joined him in studying the disgusting matter commenting, “Skip, that’s the worst case of hemorrhoids I’ve ever seen!” My strategy appeared to work as it was some time before he was fully able to grasp the full extent of my depravity in committing such a disgusting act on a fishing buddy by which time I had done the manly thing. No, I did not admit what I had done. Rather, I beat a hasty retreat back to the safety of the boat.
This all occurred shortly after 9/11 at which time many of Hollywood’s finest were suggesting that we must stop the cycle of violence and teach the terrorists forgiveness by taking the high road. I took this approach with Skip. It didn’t work. He still vows revenge.
Disclaimer: Frank Wilem is an author, speaker, and all around funny and entertaining guy. On this blog, his stories are based on his real life experiences, often with a satirical twist.
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