Here’s a brief collection of my favorite salty tales and potent quotables from my past couple years spent with some hardworking sea-people off the coast of Maine. I have now moved to Wyoming, so such stories will presumably be more cowboy-based soon:
“We were out fishin’ and shootin’ shags and we cleaned one up to give to a buddy tellin’ him it was a duck we got while huntin’. He saw us the next day and said he’d had it for suppah and there were leftovers so he’d made us sandwiches with the rest. I think those sandwiches fell off the ship and were lost to the drink…”
“We’ll be out here when it’s darker than a dungeon.” –referring to the fog, of course.
“Summer people; some ‘er not.”
“Whoa! Look at the sky! It looks like the belly of a spawning Arctic Char!”
While holding a chimney in place on the top of a roof, “Can I let go of this now, do you think?”
“Don’t swat a mosquito until it bites!”
“Do you have screws for this?”
“Does a bear go into the woods?”
A fellow named Dan owned a little sandwich shop and was famous locally for his hot dogs. Two of my rubber-booted barbarian friends recalled the story of why they’d stopped eating Dan’s hot dogs—because they found out that Dan thawed them in the bathtub. They then went on to consider whether Dan would spend time in the bathtub with the hot dogs or whether he’d washed out the tub after his last bath. They all agreed the hot dogs never tasted like soap. After thawing the hot dogs in the tub, Dan would steam the new hot dogs on top of the old ones so they wouldn’t burn, place them on a steamed bun with everything on it—one of the barbarians was quick to point out that relish dribbled right through a steamed bun—and shoveled on several overfull spoonfuls of celery salt. Quite the meal.
My partner Joe and I were greeted ashore our island by one of these rubber-booted barbarians in mid-July:
“Ahoy! It’s the wild rose people!”
“Yes, they’ve finally bloomed!”
“I can smell ‘em!” He said, while hauling traps surrounded in pungent baitfish…