Fish fry at Longfellow

For as long as I can remember I have had an obsession with knives and cutting things. Not in a weird creepy serial killer kind of way but, I like the moment between when a knife slices through your skin and the blood pours out. The delay between the cut and the blood is what fascinates me. That sounded creepy still, huh? Let’s move on.

I’ve been interested in cutting things since I was a kid so when my sixth grade science teacher came into the classroom and announced that we would be dissecting an animal on Friday, I was equal parts excited and grossed out. I had never cut anything open before in my young life and I had no idea what to expect. We were told that Friday’s science project would be a surprise and the suspense only added to my excitement. I had seen the sitcom episodes of the science class dissecting a frog and some showed a baby pig. So I was excited to see which one we would get to cut into. All week, I couldn’t wait to get to science class to see if the teacher would give away what it was we were going to be doing.

Friday finally came and I was so excited. I just knew we were going to be walking into class and finding cold dead frogs on our tables just like in the sitcoms. What I found in class that day was not a frog. Instead, it was a squid. I know right, a squid fam. A SQUID. I knew nothing about squid. Had never seen one before that day. Had no idea what might possibly be inside of it when we cut into it. What I did know was that it looked mushy, slimy, and uninteresting to dissect. As excited as I was to cut something, I didn’t want it to be a squid. While the rest of my classmates had already begun slicing into their’s I stood there just staring at mines. I was in total disbelief that this was what my built up excitement lead to.

My teacher noticed I wasn’t as far along as the rest of the class and came over to my work station to see why I hadn’t started. I couldn’t outright tell her that this was disgusting and there was no way I was gonna touch it with a ten foot pole. I couldn’t stand on top of my desk and scream about the injustice of not being able to cut up a frog or a pig like the kids on T.V. . My mom would have come to the school and whipped my ass had I done something like that and so, I made up some excuse on the spot that she seemed to believe. She stayed at my workstation with me for a while and helped me make my first incision. Again, I wasn’t thrilled but, I knew I really had no choice in the matter unless I wanted to cause a scene that would’ve ended up with my ass being bright red.

Disappointed, I kept up with the rest of class with the dissection. By the end of class, I wasn’t completely shattered anymore that we didn’t cut up a frog, just super irritated and ready to go home. After the biology lesson that was the dissection of the squid she began to give us interesting facts. One of them being that squid could be eaten. Looking down at the mutilated squid on my table I remember thinking to myself why anyone would want to put any parts of this thing in their mouth. It looked like the alien baby that was born in the backseat of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones’ car in Men in Black..

Men in Black

I thought once we finished we’d just go on about the rest of our day and that would be the last that I’d hear of, and see about squid. The science teacher had one more surprise for us though. She told us that as a treat she would be frying the squid’s from class that day and anyone who wanted to sample it should come by her class after last period to try a piece. I wasn’t for this at all. Why would I want to eat this? By this point I was over the entire experience and just ready to be done with the rest of this day so I could go home and watch more t.v. lies.

I went to school with a lot of my cousins and lunch time was when we all got together on the playground to talk about whatever sixth grade problems we had. These problems seemed a lot bigger at the time than they actually were. My cousin Deanna and I were really close and so as soon as the bell rang for lunch I made a beeline to the playground to tell her exactly what happened and how it all went down. Deanna and I had been talking about my excitement about this class all week and while I could tell she could give two shits less about cutting into shit, she was excited for me. Plus, she had to take the same class later in the day so I was basically giving her a heads up on the grossness that was coming for her. I found Deanna by the tether ball court and spilled my guts about everything. She looked at me like I was crazy but she listened.

The rest of my day went by business as usual. After my last class, I went back to the playground to find Deanna. My cousins and I always walked home from school together because my aunt lived right across the street. I searched the playground for what seemed like hours, but was actually minutes to find Deanna. I ran into a few of her friends while I was looking for her and they told me she had gone back inside the building. Determined to find her, I went back inside too. I found her in the home economics room with a bunch of other students standing around our science teacher. She was handing out paper towels with little pieces of fried food on them that looked like chicken. They smelled like chicken.

Fried Squid

So now I’m curious. I knew what it was, but now I’m intrigued because I’d never eaten anything that smelled like chicken that didn’t taste good. I watched as Deanna ate the piece of fried squid and it didn’t seem too bad to her. My teacher handed me a piece of the fried baby alien and now I’m looking at it. If Deanna ate it and didn’t die, it must not be too bad. I took a piece and took the tiniest bite ever. I think I must have only really captured a piece of the breaded batter on that first bite. What I tasted wasn’t half bad and so I put the entire rest of it in my mouth. Why oh why lord did I do that? As soon as I bit down into the rubbery fried mess I regretted my decision. I couldn’t spit it out of my mouth fast enough! Deanna and the rest of the class watched me while I spit and gagged and made a spectacle of myself trying to get the taste of baby alien out of my mouth.

When I looked up Deanna showed me that she hadn’t eaten the squid at all but merely pretended to. She still had the whole thing in her paper towel! I was incensed.

And this ladies and gentlemen is the story of the weirdest thing I’ve ever eaten.

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