Monday morning just as I was about to toss my computer over my desk out of frustration, I got a message from Perry: “What are you up to later? I think a few of us are going shrimping. It would be really cool for your blog.” Thinking this was an excellent item I could check off on my Southerner’s bucket list, I enthusiastically told him I wanted to go.
After work, I went home and started making cookies. You see, anytime someone does something nice for me, I bake for them. I just can’t help it – it’s 100% my way of showing appreciation. While the obligatory chocolate chip cookies baked, we made arrangements for me to be picked up at Patriot’s Point. Soon enough, Perry told me they were on their way along with a text saying, “Hope you like guys.” Bah. Silly Perry.
After walking from a dark parking lot down a pier long enough to be kidnapped and never seen again, I was ready to be on the darn boat. I sat down, was handed a beer, and told by Cord, “Hold on, Tina. Here we go.” Just a few minutes later, we tied up with more boyz on another boat. 7 boyz + Xtina. There was so much ridiculousness on this boat: Natural Light beer, flashlight headbands, waterproof overalls, gigantic nets, stinky bait, and of course, camo. In case you haven’t gotten a mental image yet, let me provide you with two:
Captain Cord, Master Shrimper
I immediately begged Thomas to borrow his flashlight headband. Such a Fall 2010 trend. Plus it’s totally functional – I used it to pick a baby fish out of the bucket!
I threw the fish back into the ocean and yelled, “Woohoo, I saved its life!” Perry looked at me funny and said, “Um, yeah, for about 5 seconds until a shark eats it.” Eeeeep.
The first time they cast the net, they got a few shrimpies. Don’t they look funny with their heads still on?
I felt it completely necessary to pick one of them up to play with. Their eyes kind of glow in the dark and they wiggle around a lot.
Slowly but surely, the bucket filled up, and I was anxious for my turn to catch some.
Using a smaller net than the guys, Perry taught me how to properly cast it. This isn’t easy. First, you have to loop a string around your wrist. Then you pick up the net and fold it in half. Now for the gross part – you have to put the outer edge of the net in your teeth while holding the other side with your opposite hand. Cord said that when I cast the net, I needed to pretend I was throwing a “hoop skirt” so that it would fall completely laid out in a circle. Who the hell wears a hoop skirt?
I obeyed all the rules, and tossed it in. I immediately heard a “Oooh she taco’ed.” What? When you “taco” the net, it forms the shape of a taco as it lands in the water, instead of a perfect circle. Oops. Apparently it’s not always a bad thing, because on my first try I caught three shrimpies! Annnddd we weren’t even near the poles. I was a natural. And very proud!
Amazingly gross, I know. I cast the net over and over until I had enough shrimp to fill up the tupperware that previously held baked goods.
If you’re not easily grossed out, continue reading. If you are, byebye and so sorry. Before taking the shrimp home, I had to remove their heads. Having grown up with 3 brothers, I am not usually grossed out by blood, guts, or weird animals. But this just seemed mean. Somehow after convincing me they were half-dead anyway, I gave it a try. You have to hold the antenna and pinch off the head under the joint. Totally gross, but after that, they look just like the skrimps you see in the grocery store!
As odd as this adventure was, I had so much fun and can’t wait to go again. I actually looked into buying a pink cast net this morning, but apparently bright colors can scare the bait. Damn. Guess lime green is out too.
This was a successful check off my bucket list. The South is so special. I really think I was meant to live here, too…after all, my first boyfriend wore camo!! Haha. Doesn’t he look like a little shit!
Happy Tuesday! Feel free to send me some recipes to use up my shrimp!