|Himself in the distance,|
before the vicious attack.
It was The Great Vicious Fish Attack of 2012, a day which will live in infamy. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Ask not for whom the bell tolls and call me Ishmael.
To be fair, if the fish were telling his side of the story, it would be The Great Vicious Human Attack of 2012, but it's not my fault fish have no internet access. Or fingers.
Himself and I were swimming around innocently in the Gulf of Mexico in Sarasota, Florida. Which is not Mexico, just to be clear.
We were still close to shore, relishing the after shock of cold water as it began to feel warm and embracing. As I swam out further, I looked back at Himself and saw him standing in about 5 feet of water, holding something under the surface.
Me: "Did you just catch a fish with your hands?"
I have to admit, I felt a rush of love and pride for Himself and his manliness at that moment. The primal part of my brain kicked in and I felt pretty satisfied that I had picked such a mighty hunter and good mate. I wanted to bear his children.
I swam over to him as he held up a dark, wriggly thing out of the water, then threw it back in.
Himself: "Ow! It bit me!"
Maybe it was a good idea to remain childless.
Me: "What was it?"
Himself: "Some kind of vicious fish. It bit me!"
It was swimming slowly in circles in front of us, unperturbed by our presence and kind of confused looking.
Me: "Did it have teeth? Let me see your hand."
There were no marks on his hand. He said the bite felt more like pressure than anything sharp. But vicious pressure.
We looked back at the fish for a closer look and now he didn't seem confused; he was swimming with purpose toward Himself. The vicious fish was about 5
He poked his head out of the water and swam right at Himself, like he wanted revenge. Himself danced out of his way and I swam back to shore to get the camera.
At this point you may be thinking I'm cold-hearted to leave Himself in danger while I went to get the tools to document his disembowelment. But even though the fish was obviously targeting Himself, he was doing it slowly. And I still had confidence in Himself's manliness, despite the fact that he screamed like a girl when he got bit.
Plus, I knew it would make a great blog post.
And he was the cutest vicious fish I had ever seen! With little round, tiger-striped eyes and a wispy beard, sticking his head out of the water as if to get a closer look at his prey.
I wanted to video it, but the camera isn't waterproof and the waves were splashing up, so I snapped a few shots, swam back to shore and put it up and ran back to the water.
Himself had led it toward the beach and the waves pushed the fish onto the sand.
Me: "You can't leave him there, he'll die!"
Himself: "He bit me!"
Me: *evil stare*
Himself: "Oh, all right."
Himself waited for the next wave to come over the beached, flopping fish and then pushed it towards the open water, while it was still disoriented. Then we got out of the water before the fish could get his bearings and lock onto Himself again, ready for mortal combat.
The vicious fish that Himself fought with mightily, is a Gulf Toadfish. Male toadfish have special swim bladder muscles that are used to make noises (like a toad) to attract a mate. Ours didn't make any noise. Himself most likely was attacked by a girl toadfish.
A vicious one.