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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
Buzby's Blog
Fish Jelly and Hot Dogs
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By Buzby's Blog
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June 3, 2014 12:01 a.m.
April 1, 2012 12:01 a.m.

As a youngster my son was fortunate to spend time "helping" around the  farm. He loved to do the same things as his Uncle and Grandpa, which included drinking out of the big guys water jugs and eating out of their lunch pails. Since the shop was the grand central station of the farm, it was common for a random water jug and lunch bucket to be sitting around. 
One summer day my brother discovered a bucket of minnows that he'd forgotten in his pickup bed for a few weeks. Busy with other tasks, he put the bucket up on the shop bench so he'd remember to clean it out at the end of the day. Mistaking the minnow bucket for a water jug, my son angled his mouth under the spigot and took a big gulp. When a glob of fish jelly plopped onto his tongue there was much spitting and sputtering. The summer heat had caused the minnows to disintegrate into a cloudy gray gelatinous mass. When my brother emptied the contents of the minnow bucket outside of the shop, there wasn't a minnow to be found. Yuck.
This story does end well. There were two heroes that day. One, my brother who convinced my son he would live and Grandma who fed him homemade molasses cookies and milk to get the taste out of his mouth. (Needless to say, this child still finds the smell of lutefisk particularly revolting.)
But not even drinking out of a minnow bucket would stop my son from jumping at any opportunity to go fishing. This enjoyment of fishing is shared by my entire family. Except me. I am the odd one out. The abstainer. The lone ranger of the shoreline. The kill joy.  Nobody wanted to take me in the boat and I didn't care to join them. I am the Pippy Pukestocking of my family. Even today, all I have to do is look at a lake, a boat, or smell fish and I am instantly nauseous. Count me out of any activity that involves catching or eating fish.


I'd rather have a hot dog please and thank you. Washkish 1969

To the contrary, this picture is evidence that I did catch ONE fish in my lifetime. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that this is the fish that bit my hook and someone else reeled in. My first and only fish ever caught was nabbed during a family fishing trip to Washkish. The seven of us were patiently bobbing around on Red Lake in our little aluminum boat, waiting for some action, when my fishing line jerked and with a great zizzing sound, the reel took off. I squealed. One of my brothers grabbed the rod and reeled Mr. Northern in for me before the rod could be pulled out of my six-year-old hands. Dad grabbed the net, and voila, the rest is history.  And that is my one-time-wonder fish tale.
Now don't think for a minute I'm smiling in this picture because I am proud of my first catch and dreaming of fried fish (gag). No, I was coerced into posing with that stinky, slimey, scaley Northern in my bare hands by a promise that I could have a HOT DOG, and not fish, for supper. I'm pretty sure my ancestors who fished for a living in the fjords of Norway would not be impressed.
  

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