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5:35 a.m. - 2005-04-06

FISH STICKS, ANYONE?


I'm at work yesterday, bitching about how hungry I was at 11 a.m. because I'm one big fat tub o' lard ass and goddammit, I want some food in my belly 24-7.

Luckily, I have Jill at work who is always just as hungry as me.

"What should we have for lunch today?" I asked Jill.

"I don't care," she replied. "Something good."

I thought for a second.

"Mmmmmmmm," I said with a smile. I always start off a conversation about food with the phrase "Mmmmmmm" because that's supposed to signal that the person I'm speaking to needs to get their taste buds revved up as I'm about to drop a major delicious sounding word on their ass.

"How about fish from Captain D's?" I finished.

"NO!" Jill said, shaking her head violently.

Huh??

No fish from Captain D's??

The great little seafood place?!?

"Why not?" I asked, not really comprehending how Jill could shoot down fish from Captain D's.

"I don't eat fish. I never have," she said.

"You don't eat fish?!?" I gasped. "Not even the fish from Captain D's?!??"

(For those of you who have no idea what Captain D's is ... it's a chain restaurant that features "fish" that is about 90% batter and 10% fish. It's really just fish-flavored fried batter. Sounds pretty gross but if you douse it in malt vinegar, you have yourself one soggy crunchy treat my friend.)

"I do not eat fish period," Jill said.

This revelation needed prodding.

"Why come?" I said in my best redneck accent.

Jill hesitated before she told me the funniest story I had heard in weeks.

It seems when she was a kid, she grew up in a predominantly Catholic setting.

Every Friday at school, the school cafeteria would fix foods that weren't meat because Catholics don't eat meat on Fridays because ... I dunno. They go to hell if they eat meat on Fridays.

Something like that.

Right now, in Hell, there's good God-fearing Catholics shoveling red hot coals into a furnace because they made the grave error of scarfing down a pork chop on a Friday.

Jill says that most weeks they'd serve fish sticks on Fridays. Sometimes little cups of peanut butter. Not peanut butter sandwiches ... those little condiment cups that you'd normally fill up with ketchup at Wendy's with a tablespoon of peanut butter in them.

Apparently she went to a Nazi Death Camp of a school. Once again ... I dunno.

So they'd go through the cafeteria line and she was six years old and some cafeteria lady told her to "eat your fish sticks".

While Jill was Catholic, she also had older brothers who were hellions.

Who talked about their penises a lot, referring to them as "dicks".

So she was under the impression that these fried sticks that the cafeteria lady was putting on her plate were called "Fish Dicks".

And if you say "Fish Sticks" out loud, you can tell where a six year-old may misinterpret the name.

So Jill would sit at her cafeteria table every Friday, horrified that her friends were so keen on eating fish penis.

She was paralyzed with disgust over this and never said anything to anyone about it. She just figured that everyone liked to eat dirty fried fish dicks.

It wasn't until much later in life that she spoke up and asked a friend how she could stand to eat fish dicks.

The friend thought she said "fish sticks" and told Jill that fish dicks were good.

Jill then asked her friend in a whisper what a fish's dick tastes like.

The friend (another Catholic) was horrified that Jill would even ask such a thing. The friend assured Jill in a huff that she had never eaten and would never eat a fish's dick.

Jill pointed at the fish stick on her plate and asked her friend to explain herself.

The friend finally figured out what Jill was talking about and corrected her on the whole Fish Dick/Fish Stick and had quite a hearty laugh at Jill's expense.

The friend then proceeded to tell everyone in school that Jill thought they were eating fish cock every Friday.

Jill was mortified and everyone in school made fun of her.

Every Friday at lunch, the cafeteria room was much more lively as people laughed and called their food "fish dicks".

She even earned the nickname "Fish Dick" for a short time.

While she's telling me all this I'm about to die laughing because it's the way she's telling the story. She's all solemn, dragging up these bad memories of fried fish and I'm about to piss myself, picturing this dorky little Catholic girl finally figuring out that fish don't have four-inch long fried penises.

We ended up having barbecue.

But in about three hours, I'm greeting Jill with "Good morning, Fish Dick!"

I cannot WAIT.

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