Blobfish and ice cream


Against my better judgement, I am going to the beach. Don’t get me wrong – I love the ocean, and I’ll be going there with my family and friends. It will be great.

Except, at some point during the week, I will have to take off my shirt.

I can only pray that there will be no witnesses.

If I were rich, I would have a private beach, or – better yet – a private island, where I could go shirtless with dignity. If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it, does it make a sound? I don’t know, but if I take off my shirt on a public beach and someone sees it, you can bet THEY’LL make a sound; it will be a noise somewhere between an involuntary gag and an outright, terrified scream.

Guys like me are why they invented wetsuits, because they cover the torso. Supposedly they do that to keep your core temperature warm.


I can pretty much guarantee that the inventor of wetsuits was on the north side of forty with a few too many double cheeseburgers under his belt.

To make matters worse, I have no tan between my neck and my toes. Only my head has color, mostly because it got a nasty sunburn from sitting in the sun for a couple of hours without sunscreen. It is now more red than brown.

When I disrobe I will look like a vanilla ice cream cone with a cherry on top.

It is as if I were a deep-sea creature – you know the kind – the ones that never see sunlight. Here’s one:

(NOAA/Photo by S. Humphreys, Australian Museum)

It is called a psychrolutes microporos, but all the scientists just call it a blobfish. According to NOAA, the blobfish belongs to a group of fish called – tragically – fatheads, and are, “…just a mass of pale, jelly-like flesh with puffy, loose skin, a big nose, and beady, staring eyes.” Jeez, give the guy a break.

The little fella was born that way. It’s not his fault. I can really identify with him.

In fact, I think we could be buds, if he spoke English. Do you know the first thing I would ask him if we could actually communicate?

I would ask him if he had a private island I could borrow.


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