Thursday, March 23, 2006

True Giraffe Stories: Fish Punching

(No fish were harmed in the typing of this blog story.)

I remembered another story from BITD and thought I should write about it before it too is lost forever. This story involves two sports/activities in which I have very little experience. Snorkeling and Boxing. But my lack of experience did not prevent me from entertaining myself by combining the two into an obscure and seldom-performed sport: Fish Punching.

It’s a pretty simple story, actually. During the summer of senior year in high school, my family vacationed in Hawaii for two weeks. We went with our old neighbors, who have a son my age. He and I did typical Hawaii vacation things--hike, kayak, bike ride, beach, pool, and snorkel.

Now snorkeling is kinda cool. It’s not that cool. I mean, it doesn’t suck, but it gets old after a while. Especially when you have a crappy rental mask that leaks or fogs up and a snorkel that likes to force you to swallow saltwater. A week later I went SCUBA diving, which is way better. Anyways, back to fish punching.

The coolest thing I learned about snorkeling was that fish like bread. They love the stuff. It’s like underwater crack or something. We took a loaf of bread from the kitchen, ditched the twist-tie, and took the bag into the ocean with us. We were in eight feet of semi calm water, twenty feet from the shore, and no fish were around. It was kind of a bummer, until we got out the bread. We kept it in the bag and took out one slice at a time to prevent the fish from stealing the whole loaf at once. (And be warned, they will, the bastards.)

While underwater, we crumbled the slice into little flecks and within ten seconds, fifty fish were swimming all over us to get the flecks. The fish came from nowhere. (I think this is why fish tank food is in flecks as well, rather than balls or donut-shaped. Something about the flecks.) Now understand that here I am, feeding the fish. Breaking bread with the fish, if you will. And three or four fish start pecking at my hand/the bag of bread. And they wouldn’t go away. I compare this situation to the velociraptor scenes in Jurassic Park. They look prehistoric, but they’re smart and they work in teams. The fish knew where the bread was stored and were determined to get it.

So maybe I panicked, maybe I got a little water down my snorkel. Whatever the reason, I punched a medium-sized fish that was trying to get the bag. He kinda flinched, shook it off, and went back at the bag. And that’s where fish punching began--that brave, determined fish. I then tried punching the fish that were going after the bread flecks. It wasn’t necessarily hard to hit a fish, because it was like a school of fifty was swimming in my face when the flecks were flying, but one-on-one, mono-a-mono, the fish can dodge a jab. Maybe they can sense it coming, or feel it in the water, but the buggers are quick.

Now I haven’t mentioned my friend/old neighbor’s name in this story because I don’t want to unrightfully incriminate him for something he did not do. I honestly cannot remember if he did or did not punch a fish. I did. I punched a couple of them. I don’t even know if it’s illegal, but I did it. And it was a long time ago. I feel I’ve matured since then. I haven’t done it since. And you might argue that I haven’t had the opportunity, but I have. I was on vacation in Mexico two years later with the same families, and did not punch one fish.

I now wonder what would have happened if we ventured into deeper water and used larger foods, like a sheet cake or pizza. Like would dolphins come out of nowhere and swim with us? I’m not saying I want to punch a dolphin. I’m just saying it’d be cool to swim with dolphins. But be warned dolphins--Do not try to steal the pizza out of the bag!

1 comment:

messa said...

Giraffe is my hero.