All The Gnus That Give Two Shits

I Just Realized That My Father Never Once Told Me The Truth


And It Took A Story About Horseshoe Crabs To Make Me Realize It

I can’t remember EVER encountering a horseshoe crab while digging for clams in the mud at Oyster Bay on Long Island Sound or bobbing barefoot in the south shore surf. 

Did you know that razor clams hunted in packs and attacked the weak and the stragglers? Or that the spike on the horseshoe crab had more poison in it than a cobra? One summer more than ninety teenagers were killed after stepping on poisonous horseshoe crab spikes.

That made me think about the few times I remembered seeing horseshoe crabs up close.

We had snagged them while drifting for summer flounder in Jones Inlet.

“These things,” he’d say, “Believe me these things can put a hole through your foot you can drive a truck through. The best you can do for these things is kill them.”

I think I was maybe 14 the first time I actually wondered whether it was really a good idea to kill things just because you didn’t like them. It seemed kind of stupid to my teenage self. It seems even stupider as I stumble toward the bin of discarded parts in this great Punch & Judy show of freedumbocracy.

It got to the point where I really questioned the morality of calling an unappetizing fish at the end of the line a bait-stealer, before killing it and throwing its dead welfare queen carcass over the side.

The first time I mentioned these thoughts to my old man, he slapped me and told me not to talk like that, because that’s what good American fathers do to keep this country great.

Oh hell, I didn’t mean to drift on over into Critical Race Theory.

My bad.