Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ictalurus punctatus

Sam did the grocery shopping on Monday, and I asked him to pick up some pollock at the seafood market so I could make fish sticks for the boys. On the drive home he was suspiciously reticent about his purchase until he finally admitted the store had been out of pollock. "That's okay, so you got haddock?" "Mmm, no." "Cod then?" "Well, no." He glanced at me out of the corner of his eye like he fully expected what he revealed next to have me throwing my wedding ring at his head. "I got catfish." "You. Got. WHAT?" Sam went on to explain the unauthorized substitution, toggling between apologetic and defiant. He knows I won’t eat that nasty, bottom-feeding river dog. I grew up in South Florida, and people who live there DO NOT EAT CATFISH. It’s like offering Spam to Nebraskans. Yes, it’s a regional prejudice, but I have actually tasted catfish, and it tastes like dirt.

I have another reason not to like catfish. After the birth of our first son, with whom I labored eighteen hours, Sam went out to a fantastic Cajun restaurant for a celebratory dinner with his parents and my mother. Me, I was stuck in the hospital, with a tar-pooping newborn, eating cafeteria food. After their two-hour feast, Sam brought me a doggie bag from the restaurant, consisting of cold fries and chicken fingers. After downing a couple of bites of really strange-tasting chicken, Sam confessed it wasn’t chicken at all, it was CATFISH! HA-HA-HA! See how good it is? No, in fact, I did not. Some women get expensive jewelry after giving birth. I got leftover deep-fried catfish in a greasy bag.

And last night, thanks to my husband, I got to touch it and feed it to my children. I actually feel guilty that I fed that swimming sewage to my sons. Proving how much he takes after Sam, Gianluca inhaled his fish sticks without noticing a thing. Paolo, who takes after me, choked down two pieces and asked if he could be done with his fish sticks because, for some reason, they just weren’t very good tonight. My precious boy.

Eat me. Mmmm.


Azura said...

Dude, you're crazy. Catfish is the bee's knees! Pass the tartar sauce!

Jason Harx said...

Could be worse, that whitefish stuff that the English eat is pretty damn horrible.