Chapter Four: You Want Clam Snouts with That?
Ed the Bait Shop Guy says we need clam snouts for bait because this is what the fish like best. At first I am thinking that good ole Ed is having a little fun with us landlubbers. And anyway, I had my suspicions as to whether clams have actual snouts!
But Ed went over to the cooler and got us a package of frozen clam snouts in a pint plastic tub, thus proving that he was not pulling our legs because there it was printed right on the container “CLAM SNOUTS.” And then he told us we would need to SKIN THEM first. “Is that really necessary?” I ask, thinking there is no way I’m skinning any clam snouts on my vacation. But according to Ed, you really should skin the clam snouts. And he should know.
At the counter I see they have rubberized gloves for sale so I buy a pair. Now I don’t have to actually TOUCH the clam snouts when I skin them! IF I skin them. But at the time of purchase I do not know that the person behind the counter has given me TWO LEFT HAND GLOVES. So I can only use one, and will end up going back to the shop later to get the matching right glove.
When I go back, Ed and the colorful collection of old salts who hang out all day at the bait shop find the two left hand gloves story very amusing, and Ed is kind enough to give us a new sinker for free because – though we do not admit the specifics to him – “we” lost the other one before we even got to the dock while practicing casting on the lawn and getting our hook caught on the neighbor’s lawn chair, or maybe it was the deck, and pulling really really hard so the sinker breaks off below the threading hole or whatever it’s called. I do not have it in me to go check the neighbor’s lawn chair or deck for damage, and there is no one there right now anyway thank God, but I have been assured by a trustworthy source – my son – that there was no damage done.
So the kids finally have their fishing poles in the water and are forced to wear life preservers by the marina so I didn’t have to worry about them for a few minutes before they got bored and began to complain of heat exhaustion.
Time to skin some clam snouts!
The stench was horrendous. I’m thinking, “I can’t believe I’m standing here in the hot sun skinning clam snouts on my vacation.” Then I begin to wonder just how warped my mind had become when I visualized the little clam snouts as participants in a circumcision ritual!
Ok, have YOU ever seen a clam snout? You would not admit it if you saw them because of wanting not to be thought crude. But that’s what they look like. I’m sorry. That’s just how my mind works sometimes. Or maybe it was the sun.