Thursday, June 30, 2005

That's a biggun'

Boy, that's one big smelly, catfish.

You can read about it here. I deliberately chose this news site just to piss off Bob.

- Cod

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I don't even know how to react about this.

On the one hand, I am completely and thoroughly disgusted.

On the other have to respect the devotion to his "craft".

Time out

Due to some personal considerations, I'm not sure when I am going to be able to post again. It could be as soon as tomorrow, or as late as this weekend.

Stay tuned.

- Cod

ps- if anyone wants to do a guest post, email me and let me know....I tried to do that a few months ago but nobody had the balls to take me up on it

Thursday, June 23, 2005

It's Pocket-Cod's world and we're all just paying rent

With Tre-Cool and Pocket-Cod just having finished school for the summer, I thought that it would be nice to take them out fishing along with Daddy-Cod. Well, we couldn't exactly do it without Daddy-Cod seeing as how he is the one with the boat. Those usually come in handy.

The conversations usually go like this....

Me- Hey DC, want to go fishing?

DC- sure

Me- Ok, you go hook up the boat and I'll be down there in an hour.

DC- oh,, we're using my boat?

Me- well, yeah.....why do you think that I always invite...well, since you have the nicest boat around, I figured that you wouldn't want to use anyone else's

DC- well, it is nice

Me- The best! So, you go back up the truck to the....

DC- wait, we're using my truck too?

Me- well, need a nice truck to tow that beautiful boat of yours and you have the best one!

DC- well, I guess you're is a nice truck....

Me- Damn right it is! Anyways, after you hook the boat up make sure that you swing by the gas station and fill it up on the way to pick me up

DC- I have to pick you up now?

Me- well, yeah....after all, I did buy a dozen worms just for you....Jesus, you're ungrateful

And so on, and so on....

So, with DC on board (no pun intended) all I had to do was convince the boys to come as well. After some great deliberation and self-reflection (he hesitated for about .09 seconds), Tre-Cool declined. That's ok, all he does is bitch about how bored that he is while fishing anyways. Another casualty of the computer age. Oh, well.

It ended up being just DC, Pocket-Cod and myself.


Pocket-Cod and I headed down to DC's pad around 11:45 or so. That was after I finished cleaning up the mess that I made while making breakfast in bed for the Cod Gal this morning. That's right.....the Cod Gal lives large in this man's palace. Sorry ladies and Wheel Gun Bob, I'm already taken.

Back to the trip....

In fine DC fashion, he had absolutely nothing ready when we showed up at his house. It wasn't like this was a last minute thing either. We had planned on it for a few days and I even showed up about a half-hour late on purpose just so he would get his shit together. I shouldn't even be surprised at this point, but I am.

After PC and I loaded our stuff in the boat, we stood around for several minutes wondering if this man in front of us was not DC, but an escaped lunatic from the local psych-ward. He just kept stumbling around tripping over everything while muttering to himself like Rainman. What I failed to notice with all the stumbling and swearing was that he kept on going to the back of the garage and bringing out armloads of stuff which he would then unceremoniously plop in front of me.

It was after the 4th or 5th of these loads that I had to remind him that we were not boarding a Cruise Ship for a week long excursion, but only going out for a few hours in a 22 foot boat (that he built from scratch, I might add). Maybe he had just been watching Gilligan's Island before we showed up and wanted to stock up for the storm that was-a-brewin'.

After some brief "discussion" and a huge compromise on my part, I convinced him to bring only the bare necessities....You know, 3 rods, 3000 yards of line, approximately 200 hooks, 50 pounds of sinkers and 75 lures.

After the flatbed truck and the forklift left, we hopped in his truck and started the long and arduous trek to the boat launch. You can actually see his house from the boat ramp, but judging by the way that he strapped everything down, there are a lot of hurricanes this time of year on that lonely half- mile stretch of Rte 1 this time of year. It took longer to put all the tie downs on than it did to drive the damn boat there!

After surviving Hurricane Alley and making it to the ramp alive, Pocket-Cod and I hopped into the boat to await DC backing us down into the river. But, before we could do that we had to take the tie-downs off. I took off the ones assigned to me ok, but....well, he left one on. Not only that, but he also forgot to remove the large metal pole-like bracket that holds the motor in position while you travel.

So, while backing down I heard a loud clang followed by two crunches. One crunch was the pole falling off and being squished by the truck. The second crunch was after half of the ratcheting tie-down fell off and becoming smashed equally as well. Hey, if anyone needs half of a ratcheting tie-down, there is one at the bottom of the Hampton River by the Depot Road boat launch. Just thought that I'd pass that along. I am a full-service blog after all. Just ask any of the transients at the bus station.

After (ahem) successfully launching the boat, Pocket-Cod and I picked up DC after he parked his truck and off we went heading into the unknown.

During a brief stop at the local tackle shop for some sea worms, I saw a boat that I used to work on. While I was talking to the dude that owns it, he gave PC some sound advice. He said "If you don't catch anything, you tell your Dad to get some nets and bury the place! You'll catch something. Of course, PC immediately wanted to set 1000 nets all over the place but I convinced him to try it with a rod and reel to start. The boy is definitely mine.

After casting off ....god, I can't believe that I just used "casting off" in a sentence. I sound like such a blow-boater, with the emphasis on blow.

Let's try that again....

After "letting go" (it's a commercial fishing thing),we headed out for the mouth of the river. Apparently DC had some "hot spot" around there that he used to catch flounder at all the time. Little did I know (at the time) that it was 20 years ago when he last fished there, but we had to start somewhere.

When we got there DC informed me that he had an anchor stored up in the forward compartment and asked me if I would get it for him. I crawled under there, found some rusty piece of shit that resembled something that some hallucinating-epileptic-dry heaving artist might create while going through detox. I hadn't seen an "anchor" like that since I saw a painting of the Mayflower back in grade school. Hell, it probably was the same anchor.

After trying to set the anchor 5 times....and then hauling the anchor back 5 times (during which he almost pulled me over the side 3 times because he didn't realize that the boat was in gear), I told him that the tide was running too hard to anchor and we had to try a drift. (I only told him that the tide was running hard so he wouldn't feel bad about the way that he was handling the boat...lots of circles, side to side, running over the anchor line, going forwards when I asked to go in reverse, those type of things....he drives the boat like an arthritic kangaroo with cataracts)

Unfortunately, we learned quite quickly that the drift was too fast so we had to run out a little bit further away from the river where the tide wasn't running so hard. I was starting to be a bit concerned that Pocket-Cod would become bored and want to go home soon. After all, we had been dubbing around with the anchor for the better part of 30 mins at that point.

Once we got away from the river a bit, we found a nice looking spot and dropped the hook (anchor). Luckily, it fetched up right away. Success!! Finally, we were going to be fishing!!

PC got comfy in his chair, and dropped his sea worm to the bottom. I did the same towards the stern of the boat and settled in for what I thought would be a long wait.

Within two minutes, I hooked up to a nice fish and started to reel it in. While I was fighting it (and secretly hoping that it wasn't a sea robin or a skate), PC hooked up to a nice fish as well. Hell, the only way that I even knew that he was hooked up to a fish is by hearing his reel as he was winding the fish in.

Upon getting my fish close to the surface, I was psyched to see that it was a flounder. While unhooking it and straining my arm while patting myself on the back, PC got his fish to the surface. Not only did he have a flounder as well, it was twice the size of mine! Good for PC! His first flounder! Hopefully he'll be having some fun now.

After hooting and hollering for a minute, I unhooked his fish, gave him a huge hug and put on another sea worm for him. He dropped his line back to the bottom and before I could even rebait my line, he had another fish on. A few seconds later, he had flounder #2 flopping around on deck.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

The fishing was hot over the next ten minutes, but as is the nature of flounder fishing it stopped as quick as it had started. When it was all said and done, he had 3 keeper flounder in the boat (one of which was HUGE!), 2 throwbacks, he lost two more, and also landed one skate and one stone crab.

Not bad for an 8-year old kid who had never fished for flounder before.

I ended up with 2 keeper flounder, 2 throwbacks, and I lost 2. I have never been so happy to not catch as much fish as the "man" next to me.

Forget about Daddy-Cod? Well, I did while all this was going on. He somehow tangled himself up 3 times, then caught a deformed skate after PC and I had pulled up our lines to move to the next spot.


On my urging, we had to try one more spot. But while on the way to said spot, we had a bit of an incident. We were headed up river when we started to pass a commercial fisherman that was a friend of Daddy-Cod's. He had his door open to the wheelhouse, so DC started bellowing to him about something or rather. I wasn't paying too much attention to what he was saying, I was paying more attention to the 90-foot party boat headed our way. DC yapping and not paying attention + Party boat with a 5' wake behind it = not good for us.

DC-(blabbing to other boat)

Me- Dad, do you see that boat?

DC- yeah, I see it (back to yelling)

Me- Dad, watch the boat....

DC- (blah blah blah)

Me- (grabbing PC and holding him) he's throwing a big wake!

DC- (Charlie Brown's teachers voice....wah wah, wah wah, wah wah)

Me- DAD! DAD!!....WAKE!!

DC- (looking up) oh...

We took three hard shots from their wake dead on. Luckily, I was holding Pocket Cod in my arms and I bent us forwards at the last second. My head took the brunt of the impact against the edge of the windshield but that saved his face from getting smashed against the windshield. Hey, what’s three more lumps on my head at this point? To be fair to DC, the boat did accelerate and threw a wake when he shouldn't have been. Still, he should have paid more attention. The man ran party boats and is the Harbormaster, for chrissakes!


My hotspot is right next to the bridge in a place where it quickly drops from 20 feet down to 45 feet. Not only that, but the tide runs like hell there as well, so it makes for a nice spot for fish to hang out.

To make a long story short, after we got there the anchor wouldn't catch, yet again. Luckily, after a few minutes of screwing around, she fetched up real solid. We then immediately went into a spin that Maverick (cheesy 80's movie reference) would've been proud of. The boat did circle after circle because, lucky us, we were perfectly situated in a giant eddy. After 5 minutes of catching nothing and 4-foot wakes from other boats, we had had enough and decided to head for the barn.

Easier said then done.

Apparently, the reason that the anchor fetched up so well this time was because it had hooked a trawl of lobster traps. Without hydraulic help to get it up (where is Wheel Gun Bob when you need him?) and the tide running like a river (imagine that, the tide running like a river in a river...whouda thunk it?), we had no choice but to cut it free. Now it's back with its ancestors that were laid to rest so long ago.

After that, we headed back towards the launch ramp and made it there without any major mishaps. When we got back, we filleted the fish, scrubbed up the boat and came back to the Cod Mansion no worse for the wear.

- PC and Cod

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

My Job (well, it was...)-Part 6

Jesus, it's been a week since I tortured everyone with my last entry. How times flies here at home-shit-home.

Speaking of that, it looks like we'll soon be moving. We'll be leaving the Cod Mansion for an upgrade....the Cod Estates. That's another story for another time.

Where am I? I mean, where were we?

Oh yeah, the endline is up and we are hauling the gear. Woo-hoo!


After the end line has been hauled and the net is coming up, it becomes time to pay attention. Like I mentioned in My Job-part 5, (wow! Trot Nixon just made a GREAT catch!!....yeah, yeah, back to fishing) hopefully the end of the string isn't all twisted up like Snoop Dogg and it starts to come up smoothly.

While hauling the nets, we all have certain jobs that we have to do. The way that one person does his job directly affects the others as well. If you have some jackass screwing things up, everything gets fucked.

You have the captain who is at the hauling station controlling the net-lifter and the boat. If all is going smoothly, he doesn't have to do anything besides that.

After the captain, there is a man who stands immediately behind him (if your name is Billy, you stand extra close) and keeps the net from tangling up on the net-lifter. Remember that tuna-can on steroids thing that I described earlier? That thing.
He has the easiest gig going. All he does is keep moving the net down the table and clearing a few fish as they come around. Clearing the fish is when you untangle the fish from the net so all you have to do is "pick" it out. Only if we get a lot of fish in the net(s) does he ever have to fish. Naturally, the laziest guy usually loves this position.


Now, we usually only went with the captain and two crew members because we were extremely fast. We out-fished boats that had 3 or sometimes even 4 crewmembers on deck. I'm not tooting our own horns, just stating facts. Looking back after surgery on both wrists and my back, I think that we should have taken that third guy and made a little less money (every boat allots the same percentage of the money made after each trip to the crew, no matter how many that there may be) every trip. Oh well, live and (never, for me) learn.


With our normal crew of two, the next guy down the table would be right at the very usual haunt. Hey, shit flows downhill (or down table in this instance) right?

The guy at the end does most of the work. The first 6-10 fish come straight down the table to you. Anymore than that, the man at the net-lifter will start picking fish. He also packs all the nets. With each net weighing 100lbs while wet and there being 100-120 nets a day to pack, it can wear out the arms and shoulders after a while. In addition to tossing the nets, you need to also figure in that the man at the end of the table picks most of the fish (which weigh between 7 to 40lbs) and then tosses them across the table over the deck and into a pen that is about 7 to 10 feet away. It's all a nice recipe for some tired wings...or torn tendons in the shoulder (me again).

If there happens to be a third crew member on that trip, he would stand almost directly across from the captain and his boyfriend (Billy) clearing the nets from the net-lifter. He will only pick fish out of the net when the man at the end got backed up. If he wasn't needed at the table to pick fish, he would be by the fish-pen, where the fish first go after removed from the gillnet, dressing fish (removing the gills and guts) and basically being our soda-bitch. He would be closest to the fridge, so was constantly going in and out to get us stuff.

So, that would go on for as long as it would take to haul the string. The standard amount of time to haul a string would be about an hour. It can go as fast as 35-45 minutes, but that was quite rare. On the other hand, we have also had it take several hours do to the amount of fish. It can also vary because of the weather, the tide, the shitheads that you have for crew that trip etc. etc.

After hauling the string, hopefully you have lots of fish to cut. When that happens, we have two guys cut the fish and one guy gut them. The proper way to dress a fish is to make a quick cross-cut to free up where the gills attach to the underside of the head, another quick cross-cut where the throat attaches to the gills (making sure to cut the throat all the way through to the spine), and one straight cut from the throat across the bottom of the belly and finishing at the anus. This should take anywhere from 1-2 seconds.
To properly gut a fish, you grip the fish (it varies from person to person as to where they exactly grab it), grab the gills firmly and rip them out in one quick motion. After that, make a downwards sweep through the stomach cavity of the fish with your hand somewhat opened grabbing all the guts along the way. This should also take about 1-2 seconds, if you are any good. Once you finish that lovely chore, you throw the now gut-free, but quite bloody, fish into a big tank full of water in order to rinse it off.

Once all the fish are done, you need to put them into the fish hold to ice them down and properly store them for the trip. I'll explain that next time.

to be continued....

- The Notorious C.O.D.


Just substitute my name, Wheel Gun Bob, or Bface in this and it would apply perfectly.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

My Job (well, it was...)-Part 5

So, there I, the drunk, and the dumb guy.

And no, I wasn't by myself, wiseass.

Actually, I was trying to think of someway to start this entry and that first sentence was something that I would say when we were hauling gear. Hey, when you fish with the same couple of guys for a long time, there are lots of running jokes.

That's the one thing (well, it's more than just that) that I miss the most since I've been left ashore after I blew my back out....making fun of everyone. It always made the trip go along so much smoother. No matter how miserable someone or something would be....ah, forget it. It's not important.

Back to the fishing...

So, now we have hauled the entire endline and have come to the money end, the net(s). On a good day, the end won't be twisted up like cable, but it usually is. If the tide is running, sometimes the absolute end of that would get swung around and doubled back on the string of nets. That's always fun. You end up hauling a 1/4 mile of nets in one giant fucking ball. Of course there are always several spider crabs (scroll down to see the pic and please disregard the Yankees hat, it's the best picture that I could find) that have about 18 layers of net on them and you can't get them out . That's always a positive way to start the day....especially when its blowing about 30 and your getting knocked around. Good times.

Back to it....

We use a gillnet lifter to haul the nets. It's quite a unique machine, actually. It looks like a giant tunafish can with a groove that is dead center around the outside of the "can". It uses these "hammers" with teeth that are tethered by extremely strong springs and when the lifter spins around, they are retracted and released, gripping and releasing the leadline and the floatline together in the groove, and up comes the net.

Well, thats the theory, anyways. You do have to pay much more attention while hauling gillnets than any other fixed-gear like lobster traps or long lines. Some people can do it well, some people just can't. You can usually tell around the pier the people who can haul nets or not just by the way that they handle their boat(s) around the dock. If they send you running for cover while trying to tie their boat up, they generally don't understand the principles about boat handling and will therefor tear the shit out of the gear.

That reminds me of another quick story...

We were in from fishing working on the boat one day when a boat from Newboryport, Mass came in. He had originally tied up behind us on the pier because somebody was already at the takeout (the spot reserved for unloading your catch) ahead of him.While he was walking by, he looked at the water rushing by in the river and then asked me what would be the best way was to come into the takeout ( it can be pretty tricky). We have one of the hardest tides in the country and if you get screwed up around the pier, there is nothing you can do but crash, and hope that you don't hurt anyone and/or destroy a boat or two.

One morning after a particularly strong moon-tide, we came down to go fishing and the boat was gone! So was the one that we were tied up next to. There was just an empty spot where the tide had ripped the two boats off of the pier. We just kind of stood there dumbfounded until we saw some lights down river that turned out to be the two boats. Luckily, they had laid up next to another pier that stuck out into the river and it prevented both of them from hitting the bridge together. I can't imagine the damage that it would have done if that had happened.
Anyways, the tide had ripped 3 12" cleats (those t-shaped things that are on every boat and dock) that were through-bolted a 2'x2' beam and another foot and a half of dock. So, needless to say, there is a lot of water moving around there.

Back to Mr Dipshit and his question...

I explained to Wonder-mutt that you just eased the nose of the boat over ever so slightly and let the tide slowly push it in. No problem, he said....and it wasn't. It was when he decided to leave that we had a problem.

Now, Dennis (my captain/co-worker at the time...the reason that I say that is because I ran one of his boats and he ran the other at the time) had gone down to tell Wonder-mutt how much harder that it would be to get out of the takeout safely if you didn't do it right. He explained that all you had to do was push the nose of your boat out into the tide and (once again) let the tide do the work for you.

Wonder-Mutt replied "I know how to drive a boat! This isn't my first day on the water!"

Dennis calmly explained that the reason that he was telling him this was that it would be his boat that Wonder-Mutt would be smashing into if he were to screw up.

Wonder-Mutt said something derogatory under his breath and hopped on his boat to take off.

And guess what Wonder-Mutt did after he let the lines go? Did he listen to everyone and let the tide do his work? No, of course not. He turned it broadside to the tide and the tide immediately smashed him into our boat. At the time, I happened to be on the overhead bolting down a new storage rack that we had just received and I never saw him coming.

He hit us so hard that he knocked me off of the overhead and onto my ass in the netpen (luckily). That's not a terribly fall far(about 7 feet), but if I landed awkward, it could have sucked.

The only redeeming quality of the situation was that his boat was much smaller than ours and when he hit us with the broadside of his boat, the bow of our boat cut right into his hull and rail like a knife through butter. Our boat ended up about 6" through his hull his and into his deckspace.

I may have giggled once or twice once I saw what had happened.

So, not only did he only ignore everyones advice and smashed into our boat, he was stuck there for the next few hours until the tide slacked up a bit and he could pry our boat out of his. To top it all off, he never came out of his wheelhouse once to say sorry or look at the damage. He just sat there like a loser with our boat stuck in his and everyone staring at him, from fisherman to tourists. Even the local paper got a picture of it.

He never came into Portsmouth again that season.

to be continued.....maybe I'll actually get to the catching of some fish next time


Sunday, June 12, 2005

My Job (well, it was...)-Part 4

Well, where did we leave off?

Oh yeah. We are all going beddie-by on the first night.


After what was (hopefully) a good night's sleep, we wake up at 6am. Well, we get up at 6, invariably someone is already awake because of the thrashing about that the boat takes when there is a little bit of weather. Tools bang around in toolboxes, drawers sqeak, some jackass left something on the dinette table and its sliding around....things like that.

Anyways, the first person who gets up (usually me) takes a few minutes to make coffee. Now, we don't have any of those wussy coffee makers that most of you have sitting on your kitchen counter as we speak. We have a 45-cup percolator strapped to the wall. The reason that we don't use a regular coffee maker is twofold. One, it doesn't brew enough...these guys would go through a pot before we even got our shoes on. And two, they are too messy. Every time that the boat rocks, the coffee that is dripping from the filter to the carafe gets sloshed side-to-side in mid air and spills down the side and onto the burner making for a nasty smell and an even nastier me. I don't much care for the smell of burned coffee.

We would usually brew up a gallon of coffee at the time and seeing as how only two of the guys drink it regularly throughout the day, you can usually get most of the day out of it.

After sitting around for 45 minutes to an hour getting the cobwebs out of our (perennially empty) heads while eating something small, we would get dressed and put our rain gear on (no small feat in itself) and then drag our sorry asses out on deck to get ready to haul the anchor and go to work.

After having hauled the anchor, off to the first string we go. It was usually within a half-mile or so but sometimes you had to steam a few miles into some shitty weather which would always start everyone off in a foul mood. Nothing like some spilled coffee or a nice shot of icy water dumped over your head to get the attitude in a bad place.

While on our way to the first string, I would set up whatever it is that we were going to listen to for the day. If it was in the summer, we could usually get several radio stations in. If it were in the winter, it was CD's all the way. The reason that I was nominated as the music man was that I was the only one who owned more than 8 CD's and would dare to bring them on the boat. Well that, and all their CD's sucked. My captain once gave me a "Pink" CD to put in. I handed it right back to him and told him to put it away before I slapped him baldheaded.


That reminds me...

One time, my captains buddy (who was also a fisherman) was filling-in with us for a few trips. It was during one of these trips that they discovered, of all things, a "Supertramp" tramp. Now, being the children of the 80's that they were, they would play this tape every-fucking-day after lunch. Now, I can take any kind of music in small doses but when something is blared every-fucking-day at 9-million decibels, "the logical song" begins to sound like a screech monkey with his nuts caught in a rusty lawn mower to me. After the 4th day of tortue-by-Supertramp, I politely asked them if we could play something else after lunch. Of course, they thought that I was outnumbered and I could do nothing about it, so they put it in anyways. Not only that, they turned it up extra loud just to piss me off, giggling like schoolgirls all the way.

You don't want to piss off the only guy with access to the stereo while you are working.

I waited until we were partway into our next string while they were busy on the other side of the boat, then I walked in, calmly popped the tape out (they assumed that I was just turning the stereo down), walked back out on deck and THREW IT AS FAR AS IT WOULD FUCKING GO out into the ocean!! You should have seen their faces, they went from amusement when they first put the tape in to irk me... to bewilderment while watching me carry the tape out on deck... to astonishment as they watched it sail over the horizon. They just looked at me with a strange look, then turned back to what they were doing and nothing more was ever said about it.

I didn't have any other "radio problems" after that.


When we get to the first string, we all take up our positions...

...Now, this is just how one boat does it. While all boats have basically the same setup, there are many different ways to work a boat and every boat has its own system. This was ours...

One person is standing at the back of the boat, one is directly amidships in case the captain misses his mark and he has to grab the buoy, and the captain is at the hauling station approximately 2/3 of the way up the port side. As we pull up to the Hi-Flyer and poly-ball that marks one end of the string, the captain gaffs the buoy, unties it and slides it back to the man amidships who then slides it down the rail to the man at the stern.

The reason that we have to do it this way is that the boat is not completely open along the rails. There is part of the overhead that comes down and attaches to the rail between the captain and the man amidships while the net pen (basically a giant wooden box that goes from rail to rail and is 6-feet tall) stands between the man amidships and the man on the stern.

The man on the stern puts the Hi-flyer in a customized rack and waits as the man amidships hops up into the net pen. While the captain starts to haul the endline (the rope that connects the hi-flyers to the nets), the man on the stern reattaches the rope to the hi-flyer and hangs the poly-ball on a post. We then wrap the line from the poly-ball around the hi-flyer and then hang the ball outside the boat. The weight, and more importantly, the shape of the ball keep the hi-flyer from flopping around in its holder and snapping off in bigs seas or when ice builds up on them in the winter.

While hauling the endline, not too much is going on. Its a good time to get caught up on some things that you may have forgotten to do and to suck down the beverage of your choice until the net starts coming up.

to be continued....

next entry, hauling the nets and (hopefully) catching some fish

Saturday, June 11, 2005


Here are some pictures of the fish that we catch.

Don't ask me who the people are because I only know one of them. I took them all from a friend of mine's web site. He owns a party boat in Maine.

This is a blue hake. Sometimes called red hake or something else, I forget. They are our bread and butter in late winter, early spring. Their heads (one of the rare fish that we have to take the heads off) make excellent lobster bait.

I just thought that I'd throw that in there.

Wolf Fish

This is a wolffish or an ocean catfish. The baddest of the bad.

They eat mostly shellfish and have been known to chomp on the occassional rock or two. They have huge fang-like teeth in the front that wear down with use from crushing all of those lobsters and crabs. As you can see from this picture, this one hasn't been eating very well. Also, the whole roof of their mouth is one giant plate of molars that will crush anything in their path(s)....including the odd finger or wrist. I have seen a 15 pounder turn a 2-inch closet pole into splinters with one bite, so I learned early on not to fuck with them.

For some reason, people say that they are a "Poor Man's Lobster" when cooked right. I think that they taste like "Poor Man's Feet".


This is a redfish or ocean perch. They used to be the bread and butter of the huge dragger fleets that used to work out of large ports like Portland, Maine and Gloucester, Mass.

You can see that they are covered with spines and many a man has had to be air-lifted off of a boat within a day or two after having been poked by one of these guys. The fins have some sort of poison on them that can kill you if not treated.

They are a huge pain in the ass to get out of gillnets because they are so small (the one pictured is HUGE) and they are covered in spines. But damn, are they good. We used to fillet them up between strings of gear, microwave them and have sandwiches.

Good stuff.


Ah, monkfish (part of the anglerfish family). These were my bread and butter for some time.

These were originally considered a trash fish for years until around the early 90's when a foreign market opened up for them and they then became a prized catch. The Japanese eat them whole, stuff the stomach, and serve them on a platter of rice. The tail (from just behind the wing-like fins back) is where 95% of the meat...and damn is it good. This is one of the firmest, best testing fish that you will ever eat.

The way that we catch them is to set special nets that have pieces of twine tieing the floatline closer to the leadline creating a bag for them to swim into. The mesh size used in the gillnets is much, much bigger on Monk-nets (12-14") to compensate for the large head, than the normal 6". They also move very little, so you only haul the nets once to twice a week instead of the normal daily haulings that you would do for other species.

It is said that when they lunge up to eat a fish after it has been attracted by the fleshy barb hanging from its head, that a camera can't record it because it is so fast. I don't know if it is true but I have had them lunge at me and they had my hand in their mouth before I knew what had happened.

Speaking of that, their teeth are exactly like needles...and their are hundreds of them. They even have a patch of teeth in their throat that pulls fish down their throat. A pretty amazing fish.


These things suck. They dull a knife with their leather-like skin. They get the bends so bad that you can't even hold them because they are so blown up with air. And they are ugly.

The one good thing about them is that they eat well. Great chowder fish.

Incidentally, the Codfather had landed two world record cusk one time while out on a party boat. All that was left to confirm it was that they were weighed on land on an official scale.

The crewmembers filleted them on the way home.

Now I know where I got my luck from.


Pollock. Our main catch landed (at least in pounds).

This is what you eat most of the time when you eat fishsticks.They school up in giant schools and they fight like hell when hooked.

There isn't much more to say about these. Oh yeah, they probably have the furthest range as far as depth and habitat is concerned. You can catch small ones off the dock and steam out 200 miles and catch small ones. They usually average from 10-20lbs in gillnets. You will get bigger ones, but they bounce off of the smaller mesh sizes most of the time.

We once had a 25,000 pound day on these. To put it in perspective, if you catch 5,000 pounds in a day, you're doing well.

Cod namsake.

Cod are probably the most written and argued about species in the last 20 years. They built this country. Why do you think that there is a 6-foot wooden Cod hanging from the Massachusettes State House front door?

This is a beauty of around 50lbs caught by Ian Keniston, captain of the Bunny Clark...a party boat out of Ogunquit.

I once caught a Cod by the ass this size with my rod (insert joke here) but my largest is 72lbs.

There is so much info about Cod that is around, I won't bore you with anymore about it. Just remember, if it weren't for Cod, you wouldn't be here.


Haddock, the miracle fish.

It wasn't that long ago (just a few years) that there were severe restrictions on Haddock because the scientists said there were none less. It didn't matter that we said that their data was incorrect. What do we know? We're only drunken fisherman.

Anyways, there are now no limits on Haddock and its a modern success story.

Haddock is yummy....and expensive. That's about all the info that you need about these.

I guarantee that you will never see a bigger one than the one that is being held in this picture. It is the pending all-tackle world record, breaking a very old record from Norway.

Friday, June 10, 2005

My Job (well, it was...)-Part 3

Let's try and stay on topic today.

We're all loaded up with the necessities and we're on our way out (still).

The captain (Dennis or myself...We'll do Dennis for this trip) would usually take the last watch so he could start making the rounds on the VHF (radio) to see where everyone is fishing. If someone or something is where you would like to go, you have to make a decision as to where to go to next. The worst ones would be when you would have to steam an additional 30 or 40 miles out because some boat(s) were working where you would like to be. Actually, the worst was when you had to turn around and go back in towards a spot that you have already steamed past. Those were frustrating because you could have left the dock quite a bit later, which is always a plus, and the extra steam time was boring because you had already gotten all the sleep that you needed so all that you could do was watch a movie or read a book. That's about it..

Usually, we didn't have anyone sitting on our spots very because we normally fished areas that weren't the traditional spots....and we caught more fish because of it. It was funny, when I first started running the boat, all the other guys tried to be friendly with me to see where I was fishing after getting nowhere with Dennis. After I wasn't giving up any info, then they started to try and push me around. That didn't work out so well for them. I'm not as nice as Dennis. But those will be some stories for another time.

Anyways, we usually got up with about an hour to go before we started setting nets. We'd get up, someone would make coffee and we'd have something quick before breakfast.

Breakfast was never a very elaborate meal because no one wanted to cook first thing in the morning. Even more so, no one wanted to wash dishes at 6am when its 12 degrees with 30 knots of wind and the decks are covered with ice.

After getting jacked up on some caffeine (2 cups of joe for each of the other guys and two Diet Mountain Dews for me....mmm, mmm, good!), we'd reluctantly get skinned up (put our raingear on), stumble and grumble onto deck, and get ready to set the first string of gear.


Here's the technical part....well, its not very technical but I'll explain some of the equipment and how things work as best that I can.

I worked on a gillnet boat. They are not the drift nets that you hear so much about in thePacific that killes everything high up in the water column. Ours are anchored to the bottom and don't move at all. If they do move at all (say, falling off the edge of some bottom, a dragger gets into them and tows them or if the tide is realy bad) they come up in a giant ball. And that sucks....bad.

BAck to the gillnets. Just picture a chain link fence with poly rope (floating) at the top part of the "fence", with streamlined plastic floats every 5 feet on it. The chain link part of it is essentially fishing line like you would buy woven into diamond shapes of varying sizes, depending on what you were fishing for. I believe the minimum mesh size is 6 1/2" right now. The bottom part of the "fence" is a cotton-nylon-poly weave with a core of lead in it. They take a piece of twine and dunk it in lead (picture a candle wick) and then weave the rope around it. The shit is heavy as hell.

Each net is 50 fathoms long (300') by 1-1 1/2 fathoms tall (6-9 feet). Seeing as how that we were targeting grounfish, anything taller would have you catching more undesirable species. Mostly just the small baitfish that swam a bit off the bottom. They would just be a pain in the ass to get out of the nets and they were of reduced value, so it wasn't worth it.

We would tie the nets into 20-net strings. Each string was approximately one mile long and we would usually fish 5 strings a day. When we would fish out by the Hague Line (the US-Canadian border) we would fish three strings of 33 nets (yeah, yeah...I know... one would be 34 nets, Bface) because the bottom didn't have much structure. You would just be fishing depths. The longer strings made for a shorter day.

EAch string would have a Hi-Fler and a poly ball at the end. The Hi-Flyer had a radar reflector so we could find it at night and in the fog and the poly-ball took the brunt of the tide. It would keep the Hi-Flier from sinking and from us losing our gear. Each string of nets is worth about $6500, so you would like to keep them around.

You can see all the tools of the trade for gillnetting right here. It's all pictures and it's all on one page, so its easy to check out. Incidentally, this is where we bought 90 % of our stuff and its about 2 miles from my house. (why I included that last part about my pad, I'll never anyone cares)


After stumbling out on deck, we would get ready to set the first string. Now, there are two ways of setting...the total suckbag way, and the way that civilized men do it.

The first way is when you have to stand at the back of the boat and make sure that it goes out ok. What you do to start setting is to throw out the Hi-Flyer and the poly ball, let all of the end line (your rope) go out and when the time is right, start letting the nets go out. You'll have a "setting bar" on the back of the boat that is designed to keep the leadline and floatline apart so you don't have any twists in the gillnet while it is sitting on the bottom. If you have any twists, its that much less net that is fishing.

The setting bar, or "goalposts" as we like to call them, is basically a semi-circle of stainless steel tubing that sits right at the back of the boat. Actually, if you look back at it, it looks like a exactly like a "w" except that the middle parts of the "w" are curved so there is no peak in it.

All the nets are stacked in a giant pen, so when you start setting out, you have to have an 8" piece of PVC pipe suspended in the air over the net pen so nothing gets tangled up. The nets come out of the pen, over the pipe, under your arm and through the setting bar. It sucks to set like that because whatever shit is still in the net, like slime or mud, flies back into your face the whole time that you're setting. Even worse is when there are some jelly-fish in it. I don't know what kinds that we have up here, but it feels just like someone threw acid onto you. Not fun.Not fun at all.

Anyways, we all take turns setting out and it takes about 20 mins to set a string, if you're good at it and up to 30 mins, if you're not

The other, and really the only, way to set is when you have a net flaker on the boat. What a net flaker basically is is a machine that automatically seperates the leadline and the float line while you are hauling the nets. Thus eliminating the need for the setting bar, and more importantly, someone back there. You just throw the Hi-Fler and poly ball over the side, and steam off into the sunset. Its much faster, and safer this way. The part that I dug the best was that I wasn't going to get douched by mud and slime anymore. Good times.

Well, after setting all 5 strings out, we would clean up and find a nice place close to our gear and anchor up for the night.

After our traditional meal of grilled T-bones, with way more side dishes that I can remember, we would usuualy watch a couple of movies and head off to bed. As long as there was no boats trying to screw with our gear during the night, we would sleep fine.

Ocassionally, you would get a dragger towing his nets through there and trying to tear up our nets.Luckily, we have an alarm on our radar that you can set to any distance and when a target shows up in the rings, you are woken up by a loud beep. When you have several boats around you, it can make for a long night.

Well, that'll be it for now. I don't feel like typing anymore.

- Cod

My Job (well, it was...)-Part 2

Let's see, where did we leave off?

Let me check...Oh yeah. We have ice, fuel and grub and we're headed out.

One more quick note about that....(careful, this is my hippie time)

There is something very optimistic about that first day. Steaming out with a boat load of supplies, it seems like no matter how bad fishing may have been or how miserable that everything might have gone that last trip, you always think that this next trip will be the one. The one that you fill 'er up early. The one where you will make $2500 for a few days work. The one where the weather will be good and nothing will break. The one where the pots and pans won't go cascading onto the carpet after a rather large wave.

It really is kind of odd because I'm not an outwardly optimistic person by nature. By that, I mean that if I am feeling optimistic about something, I will keep it to myself for fear of jinxing it. You may think that is odd, but I have seen many a time where we start catching as ass-load of fish and as soon as someone says, "Wow. We're doing good out of this string." the fish stop coming or something breaks. I swear, it's almost a given. I’m very superstitious when it comes to things like that. As far as fisherman in general go, I’m quite lax when it comes to dumb superstitions. Some of the old timers have more than you can imagine. Here are a few of the superstitions that I have either heard, or subscribe fully to…

Never, and I mean NEVER flip a hatch cover over when you take it off to get to the fish hold/lazerette/engine room etc. It symbolizes the boat capsized and is upside down. (That’s a big one for me)

Never paint your boat blue. I don’t know where that one came from. I worked on a blue boat for three years and….wait, I’m a bad example. Don’t paint your boat blue.

Never whistle. It sounds like high winds whipping through the antennas and will bring a storm within the next day or so.

Never eat a banana. I never knew where or why that originated. I have heard it from people in the middle of the country and read it in magazines. Who knows? That’ll be a good project for you guys. Let me know how you make out.

Never say “pig” on a boat…..ever. They can’t swim and somehow that’s supposed to relate to you. I don’t subscribe to that one…at all. Here's a funny little story about that…

We had a hardcore Mainer (a guy who grew up in downeast Maine, up by Nova Scotia. They are their own breed up there) by the name of “Bob” who worked with us for a couple of years who swore by all of these silly superstitions…none more so than the pig one. He wouldn’t even refer to a pig on land by any other name than “a fuckin’ curly.”

We used to taunt him by saying it all the time while out fishing and he would legitimately get upset. One time after we were done getting ice and loading some grub on the boat, my buddy Billy thought that it would be funny to buy this little pig hand-brush while he was out shopping just to taunt Bob. It even came with it’s own little sty to stay in when it wasn’t being used. It looked kind of like this, except with its mouth closed…and in the sty, of course.

Well, I saw that pig, just knew that Bob would have a fit, so I had to add my two cents to his aggravation. I drew a beard (he had just grown one for the winter) on it, drew a smoke hanging out of its mouth and wrote “Bob” on it in big letters on the side.

This had all gone on while Bob was finishing up doing some maintenance in the fish hold. When he came up, we were all standing there with shit-eating grins on our faces while waiting for him to notice it. Once he saw our faces, he immediately had known that we had done something to him….yet again. He furtively looked around, saw that bearded pig with his name on it and freaked out. I mean he really, positively, absolutely, posilutely flipped. And this guy was normally as mellow as they came, so we knew we had hit a nerve and maybe had gone a little too far this time. Nah….it’s never too far.

He started yelling and screaming about what assholes that we are and lunged for the pig with the intention of throwing it over the side. Luckily, we were able to wrestle him to the deck (it took two of us) and pry it out his angrily clenched fists before “Bob jr.” could go swimming. After we tore it away from him, he immediately stomped down below to his bunk, grabbed his stuff and started chucking all of it onto the pier because he was going to quit right then and there….all because of a pig. I couldn’t believe what was going on. I knew that he was serious about these silly superstitions, but damn.

We eventually calmed him down enough to stay on the boat working with us by promising him that we would take “that fuckin’ curly” off the boat as soon as we got back to the dock. What he didn’t know was that instead of deep-sixing the oinker, we hid it in a cupboard instead.

While on the way out later that night, Billy had put it back in its sty when it was Bob’s turn for watch. The next thing that I know, I hear “those motherfuckers!” and the boat started riding different. Bob was so pissed that he had turned the boat around and had headed back towards home with the intention of quitting. Ole Captain Dennis wasn’t too impressed with that maneuver and told him so. After Dennis put us back on course, Bob had demanded that a Coast Guard cutter be dispatched to come out and get him. Yeah, that would go over well. I could just hear it now…

Us- April Nicole to Coast Guard Station Portsmouth

Them- Coast Guard Station Portsmouth standing by…

Us- Yes, we would like a Coast Guard cutter to come out and pick up one of our crewmembers, please

Them- April Nicole, is your crewmember having a medical emergency?

Us- Um….no Coast Guard….um…he’s afraid of a plastic pig

Them- (10 second delay) uh…April Nicole,…please repeat?

Us- I have a crewmember afraid of a pig and he would like a ride home

Them- (20 second delay) transmitting false emergencies is a federal offense and will result in a $200,000 fine and 5 years in jail

Us- U.S. Coast Guard, April Nicole

Them- April Nicole, go ahead

Us- So, can he get that ride to get away from the pig that is taunting him? He’s quite distressed

Them- April Nicole, please report immediately to Coast Guard Station Portsmouth for drug tests as soon as you are ashore…out

Anyways, Dennis told Bob to stop being a wuss and act his age. We ending up having a successful trip and, good god, did we taunt that poor bastard the whole time.

As far as the pig goes, it was still sitting in its rightful spot when I blew my back out and had to have surgery.

Bob had long since moved back home. Big surprise, eh?

Wow. I ended up way off the beaten path today. Oh well, I’ll continue this later….

- Colin

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

My Job (well, it was...)-Part 1

For the lack of something more interesting to write about and with several people having asked me questions of late about what I do (or I did, before I munched my back and had to have surgery...still recovering) for a living, I figured that I would pass along a detailed look at what goes into an average fishing trip. So here goes...

A typical trip would start by 2 or 3 of us getting up around 6am to bring the boat up river to get some ice for the trip. The company that we purchased the ice from was a few miles upriver and when you have a 4-knot current to fight, it can take a long time to get there.

The worst is in the summer when the 2 bridges that we had to go under go from "on demand" to schedules to compensate for the increased boat traffic. The Memorial Bridge lifts on the half-hour and Long Bridge (you can see it raised in the foreground) is on the quarter hour. When you missed one of them, all you could do was hang around for 30 minutes, make sure that you didn't crash into anything and wait for the next opening.

Once we got upriver, hopefully no one was already ahead of us and we would pull right in under the ice hose. Since I was in charge of all things related to the fish, I would have to don raingear and hop on down into the fish-hold. Depending on which boat that we currently using, we would take anywhere from 3-6 tons of ice.

They used a hose that was supposed to be flexible, but never was, to pump the ice from the building into the boat. That usually took the better part of an hour, depending on how fast that the ice-dude was willing to crank up the machine. The one problem with going fast was that the hose would thrash all about and knock you on your ass. I've had it buck so hard that it has broken bones and caused concussions. Sometimes just for fun I would pretend to lose control of the hose and pin my buddy Billy up against the fish hold wall. The ice came out dso fast that it felt like being pelted with little marbles. He would thrash around screaming while his raingear and boots filled up with ice and I would laugh and laugh. It was fun for one and all.

The worst thing that happened while icing up was when they had an ammonia leak (they use it in the process of freezing the ice), the fumes were pumped through the hose and it filled up the fish hold. Man oh man oh about a burn. I should have gone to the hospital, but I didn't have insurance at the time and all that they were going to do was give me a breathing treatment to soothe my burning lungs anyways. Good times.

I'm getting sidetracked here. Moving on...

While we would be pumping ice into the boat, one guy would be out food shopping. If we were headed out for a normal trip of 5-7 days, we would usually spend around $300 or so.

The reason that we spent so much for only a few days was that there are only two things to look forward to every day on a boat...eating and sleeping. While the weather usually dictated the quality of sleeping, we could control what we ate.

The traditional first meal of every trip was always freshly cut inch and a quarter T-bones. Some other meals that we would also have was some sort of roast, a chicken or turkey, some fish that we caught with a lobster or crab stuffing and invariably one of the quick meals that we had on standby for those nights when we would get done late like chicken pot pies or some sort of pasta. We would always have a full compliment of snacks and ice cream with everyone getting their favorites of each.

The best thing about working on the boat was that no matter how much fattening food that you ate, you would always lose weight. The bad part was that you usually carried those eating habits over to home and gained weight by the hour.

Anyways, after getting ice and loading groceries (we always refueled the day that we got home from the previous fishing trip) we would be back to the pier and tied up by 10am. The rest of the day was usually used up by spending as much time as possible with family and doing laundry for the trip. I would always pack 7-9 sets of everything plus 3-5 sweatshirts and various other crap like movies and books. Needless to say, my bag was huge and it weighed a ton. (hmmm, that isn't the first time that I have said that, now is it?)

We would usually leave the dock between midnight and 3am depending on where that we were headed. The spots that we frequented were anywhere from 45 miles and 135 miles. When you're on a 9 knot boat, it takes quite a while to get there. We all took even turns at the wheel and usually slept the rest of the time. While on watch (driving the boat) it was nice because we had a Windows program that interfaced the GPS, the auto pilot and the computer together and it essentially drove itself.

Your watch could get quite boring and sometimes it was a struggle to stay awake, especially if it was on the way in after a huge day. I fell asleep once for 6 minutes when I first started out and got so scared to death that it never happened again. I didn't want to end up like my friends on the Heather Lynne 2. God, I remember listening to that go down only a few miles away from us like it were yesterday. If it weren't for one guy not showing up on the boat that I was filling-in on, I would have ended up on the Heather Lynne. Hutch, the captain, had called and asked my new boss (Dennis) if I was still available one week before they had their accident. Thankfully, Dennis had hired me that very morning. Oops, getting off course again....

That's it for now and I'll continue this riveting entry later. It gets more interesting from here....well, at least I think that it does, bear with me and try to control your enthusiasm.

to be continued....

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Overflow of the Brain

Was Terry Francona dropped on his head during this offseason? Bellhorn batting leadoff? I don’t care if it’s for only one game.There is no excuse for that.

I was just flipping around the TV channels, came upon the “100 Greatest Americans” show on the Discovery Channel, saw a picture of Hillary Clinton, immediately checked my calendar to see if it was April 1st, saw that it wasn’t, kept on flipping.

Mental note: sunblock isn’t for wusses anymore

This not-drinking thing isn’t so bad. You just have to huff more spray paint, that’s all.

Good god! Mrs. Cod just came down with some white shit all over her face andscared the crap out of me. I thought that I had wandered into aMom’s-for-Mime’s meeting.

I signed up to be an organ donor the last time that I renewed my driver’s license. Shouldn’t I have an asterisk next to my name? It could state that it would be a waste of time and money to go rooting around inside of me. It’s not like they are going to find something useful, anyways.

Bface and I once shot Wheel Gun Bob’s jacket with a shotgun,a .44 magnum and a .40 caliber Glock….just ‘cause. Bob didn’t pull a single trigger just so he could honestly tell the wife that he didn’t do anything to it.
“It must have been those damn moths.” Yeah…if they were six feet wide with teeth like Billy. (Yes, I know…..only 4 people will get that joke)

If it ever got out that some cultures in Japan have the men sew a half-marble into the tip of their schlong's so that the women receive maximum pleasure while having sex, there would be a mass exodus of women from this country.

While tuna fishing a while back with two friends, we hooked 4 Blue Sharks at once. Then within minutes, a giant tuna took the fifth line. With only three guys on the boat to tend to them, we definitely had our hands full.
Now understand, these were hand-lines so that when a fish took one you had to grab it immediately or it would empty the basket.
We had one guy on the bow fighting a shark yelling to me, my other buddy was wrestling with a monster (close to 300lb) Blue Shark next to me on the stern and I was yarning in two at once. Then right next to me, I hear a “POW” (we tie the lines off to the boat with 200lb test twine and when a fish breaks it, it sounds like a gunshot) and the line starts going out so fast that it arcs up over my head.
I immediately thought to myself, “That’s no shark” and tied off my two sharks pretty quick, grabbed the line with the tuna on it and off we went.
To make a long story short, after some serious tangles we finally got the bastard in and it was, by far, THE prettiest tuna that I had ever caught. It had some beautiful colors to it but I think that the $27.00 a pound that we got for it helped a little bit in that assessment. Also, catching a fish that brings you just shy of $9,000 for a days work makes re-rigging all of the lines a lot less painful.

I want to be Clint Eastwood when I grow up.

I just saw that Valtrex ad for the umpteenth time tonight where some chick is talking about her, ugh, herpes “outbreaks”. Can we please pass a law limiting all tampon, yeast infection and herpes ads to the Lifetime Channel? Would anyone be against this? I’d be willing to compromise and limita ll of those limp-dick ads to ESPN. I think that we could take a giant step towards creating world peace by doing this.

For the most part, I was one of those guys who didn’t do stupid shit for women back when I was dating. Whenever they started trying to get me to do stuff or started acting all needy and shit, I’d tell them to hit the road. But….and that is a big “but” (yeah, yeah, insert joke here), God is getting me back by bringing Emmy-Cod into my life. I do more stupid, emasculating things in a week for and with her than I have done in my entire life. And you know what? I don’t care. I love every minute of it.

I just talked to the Codfather who was on his way home from a fishing trip in Maine. He caught 5 fishing 4 days, only one of which was a keeper and it wasn’t even the species that he was gunning for. One day, he also shorted out his brand new $40,000 pickup truck while jumpstarting the boat whose battery had died after they left the emergency bilge pump running the day before when it was needed because they had forgotten to put the drain-plug in the boat and almost sunk within walking distance of land. Is there any doubt at all about the identity of my biological father?

Several years ago, Mrs. Cod, Billy (our roommate at the time), his girlfriend “Chocolate Thunder” (she had thighs like Daryl Dawkins) and I were all sitting on our couch and watching a movie when we heard a muffled cry coming from the kitchen. After hitting mute, hearing nothing further, we went back to watching our flick.
There it was again! Another muffled cry. What the hell could that be? Hey, has anyone seen Son of Cod? Son of Cod?
More muffled cries coming from somewhere. I’ll check later, this movie is getting good and I just got my blanket tucked in around me just the way I like it.
Well, not knowing must have been too much to bear for Mrs. Cod because she sprang off the couch and went into full “Mom-mode.”
Seeing as how she was 7 months pregnant at the time, using any adjective besides “waddled” to describe how she was doing something shows that she thought it to be a fairly urgent situation.
After what seemed like seconds to me, and was probably minutes, she burst out into laughter from some other room, but quickly muffled it and came loping back into the living room….or so she tells me, I was watching the movie and couldn’t be bothered.
Some time later, I noticed a repetitive and irritating noise coming from somewhere else in the house. Oops! The irritating noise was just Mrs. Cod trying to get my attention.
Apparently, she is fluent in sign language because I could see her gesturing and moving her lips, but I couldn’t hear her voice. Right about now would be a good time to turn down the tv and see what is going on.
Wait until you see Son of Cod. It’s hysterical.
(realizing that I'm not in trouble, I go back to "husband mode) Yeah, that’s great. Can I start the movie now? (More cries)
I then immediately heard a bunch of banging and crashing coming from the kitchen. I looked at Mrs.Cod, saw a smirk on her face and called out to Son of Cod and told him to “comehere.” Now the banging and crashing was getting closer.
By now, we were all looking towards the hallway with intense curiosity waiting to see what was upsetting the boy. None of us got up, but hell, I had stopped the movie. What more do you want me to do? The wife and I already had a replacement for him on order. (I was busy clearing a space on the mantle for my “Father of the Year” trophy anyways, and I couldn’t be bothered)
Well, he eventually came stumbling around the corner into the hallway where I could finally see him and I immediately saw what was ailing the poor lad. He had somehow gotten an empty 12 pack container of diet coke stuck on his head….and it was damn funny!
Of course, we all immediately burst into laughter, which didn’t help the matter one bit. He was crying and bouncing off each wall like when after a Christmas party, Wheel Gun Bob thought that his neighbor’s “Santa and his Reindeer” display was “all you could mate.” You should have seen how they wrote that one up in the Police Log.
He was stumbling down the hall and grabbing at his box-encased-head with both hands while simultaneously bouncing from wall-to-wall and crying. All you could see was a boy’s body with a box of diet coke for a head. (Thank god that he got his mother’s looks or I would have had to kept the box on)
Well, after making him stumble the last few steps purely for comedy sake, I intentionally stuck out my foot so he would trip over it, I could safely catch him and I could release him from his cardboard prison before he whacked his head on something and hurt more than his 5 year old pride.
After prying the box off of his head, he made it perfectly clear that he didn’t appreciate our actions…or lack thereof. I don't know what he was so upset about. There was no emergency room visit and when you have kids, that’s what you have to base success and/or failure on.

Now, is there any doubt as to who his biological father is?

- Cod

ps- A contest is now underway for the best example of Wheel Gun Bob's police log entry for that fateful night's escapades...please use the "comments" section to submit your entry.... The lucky winner will win an 8'10" autographed photo of the incident while in progress (courtesy of Portsmouth Police Department)

Thursday, June 02, 2005

The Cod God Be Sicketh-Part 4

This is the last installation of The Cod God Be Sicketh. It’s a bit long, but bear with me.

Monday 5/23 The Light at the end of the tunnel

Today started off kind of sucky. Last night they put my morphine on an automatic drip so I wouldn’t have to wake up in pain, press my button a few times and then go back to sleep. It was a sound theory but the result was me waking up feeling like shit. I was dizzy, had a headache and just generally felt like terrible all over almost like I had the flu. It took almost 3 hours to snap out of it and start feeling up to my normal level of shitty-ness. Mental note: we won’t be doing that again tonight.

The day did begin to look up when my new doctor (my doctor’s office rotates who does rounds every week) came in. I had known her for some time stemming back to one time when my daughter was ill and she was the attending physician at the hospital and I was impressed with her. Her only drawback was that she looked like a giant hippie scarecrow.

She came in bearing good news. If, and that’s a big if, I could tolerate a more advanced liquid diet today I could try real food tomorrow and then possibly go home.

Hey, I was all for it. Bring on the shitty soup and some disgusting plain cream of wheat! Yeehaw! It sounds like filet mignon to me right about now.

Just so you know, this is what my food consisted of this day…

Breakfast- chicken broth, lime jello and coffee….the only problem(s) being that I don’t drink coffee and I can’t stand lime jello, so it was one steamy cup of salty water that smelled like sweat (insert joke here)

Lunch- I got to order this one from a special and boy, did I go all out! More salty chicken sperm water, surprisingly tasty chocolate pudding and an Italian Ice….I bet this is how Trump eats

Dinner- Boy-oh-boy was I going all out on this one!…cream of chicken soup, cream of wheat, more pudding and two 8oz diet cokes…well, diet shasta’s..nothing but the finest for me, don’t you know

After surviving that assault on my taste buds and barring an unforeseen disaster like Friday’s escapades, I should be pissing and moaning from my own bed at this time tomorrow.

You can almost see the excitement building on Missy’s face…or maybe it’s horror. I think I just saw her slip the doc a fifty-spot to keep me in for a few more days, but I can’t be too sure.

Well, time to go off to bed and get one more day closer to breaking out of this joint.

Tuesday 5/24 Freedom!

Today may be the day, baby.

After a restless night of sleep despite 10mg of Ambien, some Atavan and copious amounts of morphine, I awoke at first light. (Ok, I lied about the morphine. At this point I was trying to use as little as possible so it wouldn’t look like I needed it for pain. I didn’t want to give them any excuse to keep me around any longer than absolutely necessary. I actually had a 12-hour stretch without using any at all, so that was good.) Unfortunately, first light was around 4:30am and the cafeteria didn’t open until 7am.

After unsuccessfully trying to trade some of my unused morphine for a donut, it quickly dawned upon me that I wasn’t as special as had they led me to believe. I was actually going to have to wait until 7am like everyone else! What gives? I’m special, dammit! My mommy told me so. So what if it’s the little-yellow-school-bus kind of special? When you’ve lived my life, you have to take whatever you can get.

Anyways, I had to sit back, relax and wait for the bewitching hour. Unfortunately, the hours between 4 and 6am are the worst couple hours of TV programming known to man. After sitting there and flipping through the channels a few times, I came to the conclusion that I wasn’t going to be getting very much relief by continuing to do so. So, I shut the TV off and sat there staring at the clock for what seemed like hours (it was actually more like 3 minutes).

Speaking of time dragging, I swear that they must slow down all of the clocks in hospitals. Well, at least this hospital that I am being held prisoner in. 90% of my stay consisted of suffering through seconds that seemed like minutes and minutes that seemed like hours. Whether it was while waiting for pain relief, some food, or waiting for my jackass doctors to come in, it all crawled along like Doug Mirabelli trying to leg out an infield hit.

Anyways, I waited with baited breath (and morning breath) for the magic clock on the wall to strike 7am so I could order up some slop, scarf it down and bounce on up outta here, yo.

Around 6:30, I dug up the menu from under the pile of shit that had accumulated on my nightstand beside the bed. Now, being the graceful ballerina-type that I am, I immediately

knocked everything all over the place (including the phone) and woke up all of the old bastards within a 100-foot radius. I almost felt bad there for a minute, but then I figured that they had kept me up by snuffling and snorting all week and were due some retribution. All’s fair in love and tipping shit over in hospitals, right?

Back to breakfast…

After some deep meditation, soul-searching, and listening to what my heart was telling me…




Heh. I almost got through some of that weird new age; touchy-feely crap for a joke but even in jest my stomach couldn’t take it.

What really happened was that I had chosen a cinnamon and raisin bagel because it was easy on the stomach and I didn’t want to have any complications like the infamous “scrambled eggs incident” of ’05. Not only that, but the doctor had said that the sooner that I ate something while having no complications, the sooner that I could hightail it out of this hellhole….and I was all for that.

When the bagel arrived, I jumped on that bastard like David Wells on a greasy pork chop. It was dry, slightly burned, and tough as hell. At one point I thought that it must be some sort of misplaced medical waste or that a janitor must have lost his rag mop and it had found its way onto my plate.

Anyways, I sucked it up, powered my way through that culinary disaster and sat back waiting for the warden to process my parole papers.

To my surprise, she loped in (the new doc is a biggun) a little bit before 9am. After a few quick words, she gave me the green light to take off…after she processed some papers. There’s always a catch.

After she galloped off to (presumably) process my papers, I eagerly phoned Mrs. Cod at The Cod Estates to have her send the chauffeur over to pick me up. But to my surprise…no answer.

I don’t think that Mrs. Cod had properly thought this through. She knew that I was getting paroled today, but she wasn’t answering the phone. You don’t mess with a man’s freedom, dammit!

I called back.

Still, no answer.

I was getting a bit perturbed at this point. I may have mumbled something to the effect of being slightly disappointed that she wasn’t answering the telephone. Some people two floors down claim that they may have heard a colorful word or two emanating from my room, but I think that they had me confused with some other raving lunatic in a Red Sox hat.

Third call….jackpot!

Apparently, Mrs. Cod was enjoying a leisurely nap along with Emmy-Cod. Well, I call it a nap, she calls it sleeping.

Anyways, I passed along the good news that I was getting out and asked her to hustle her butt over to the hospital as quickly as possible. She asked what the rush was (what the rush was? You spend as much time as I have spent in the hospital over the course of my life and you’ll understand why I hate them so much and can’t wait until the moment that I can leave from the second that I step into one) and I said that it was because the doctor had already left to do my paperwork and she just had to be almost done. She agreed, we hung up and I started to get ready. I got dressed while a nurse had to ask me yet more questions and fill out even more paperwork…

Sign here. Initial this. Hop on one leg. Stand on your head. Who was the 1st player to hit 40hr and steal 40 bases? What color belt should you wear with a blue suit?

While I was finishing up that nonsense (it was Jose Canseco, by the way) Mrs. and Ms Cod came rolling in to drag my sorry ass home. I was ready to go, but still no doc. With nothing else to do but wait, Mrs. Cod wandered off to get a coffee and Ms Cod got comfortable with me and watched some TV…for a while.

Now, I had mentioned earlier how time goes slow in this hospital, but damn….it was much worse this time. I was sans all IV’s and hospital garb while just sitting there looking at the clock every 3 seconds. Every poor nurse that wandered by my now-untethered ass was unceremoniously interrogated as to the whereabouts of my Big Bird-like doctor…

Me- (to some chick walking by) Hey, where the hell are my papers and/or doctor?

Nurse- (looking confused) um…what?

Me- have you seen my doctor?

Nurse- uh, I’m not sure

Me- what do you mean you’re not sure?!?

(looking for security) I’m not sure, I don't work on this floor

Me- (all huffy and puffy) well, do you think that you could find her?

Nurse- Sir, please, I’m just visiting a friend right now

Me- So? You are a nurse, aren’t you?

Nurse- Sir, I’m just passing through

Me- Well, I’ve been waiting for…HEY! Come back here!!

Well, maybe I didn’t say all those things and I wasn’t that much of a dick, but it sure would have felt nice. I know, I’m getting soft in my old age. (no, not in that way Bob…they have a magic little pill for that now)

Ole Doc-Sea biscuit came trotting in at 11am, a tidy two hours after she went off to fill out my paperwork. Someone must have given her a fresh feedbag of oats or a nice carrot to chew on and she got distracted for a while.

After grabbing my papers and trying to boogity-boogity-boogity (that’s for you NASCAR fans) my ass out of there, she informs me that she’ll give me the rest of my paperwork after the nutritionist comes in to talk to me about what my diet should be at home. Fuck me, back to the bed and crappy sitcom reruns.

Another half hour passes and the nutritionist wanders in to tell me the keys to a long and happy life. Her pearls of wisdom about what my diet should be (that I just had to wait for) were to stay away from fats and eat lots of fruits and vegetables.


The Dali Llama and Ghandi have never spoken more powerful words.

Well, that’s 5 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back.

Mr. Ed then scurried in with the rest of my paperwork and a fistful of prescriptions. The Cod Gal took her cue and went out to pull the car around because it was pouring rain outside and she was parked across the parking lot.

After staring blankly at Mr. Ed trying to get at the peanut butter on the roof of his (her) mouth for a few minutes, I think that I heard those magic words.

Can it be?

Am I really free to go?

I am?


Let’s jet, little Ms Cod. We have a car waiting outside.

After hopping on the elevator and half-running outside, I get out there and I can’t see my car. All I see is Mrs. Cod standing in front of a black and white Dodge sedan.

I flash her a quizzical look, then we load up my stuff and drive away in silence.

After several minutes…

Me- What happened to the Cod-mobile. The caddy. Where’s the fuckin’ caddy?

Mrs. Cod- I traded it..

Me-You traded it? You traded the Cod-mobile? For what?

Mrs. Cod- A microphone.

Me-…ok, I can see that.

We then stop in traffic at the Memorial Bridge where a barge is starting to go under and the bridge is going up to make room for it.

Mrs. Cod- You don’t like it?

Me- (slowly turning to look at her) No, I don’t like it.

Mrs. Cod- Ok.

She then shoots out around the car in front of us, floors it and jumps the now-open bridge.

After successfully landing on the other side of the bridge…

Me- It’s got good pick-up.

Actually, Mrs. Cod drove our minivan the few miles home and I stretched out on the couch.

The End.

- Cod

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