Sunday, June 18, 2006

Euell Gibbons Meets The Pismo Clam!

Here is another sterling moment from Stalking The Blue-Eyed Scallop, Euell Gibbons, David McKay Co., Inc., New York, 1964:

"At first bite I became a full-fledged convert to the Cult of Pismophagists...It is just a clam, but a clam refined to the absolute ultimate. The Pismo Clam is so good, and was once so plentiful, that it largely crowded other clams off the California markets...To hear of the way this vast wealth of clams was squandered is enough to make one weep. There are stories of local farmers gathering these clams, by the wagon load, by opening furrows across the beach at ebb tide with horse-drawn turning plows...Many a wagonload went back to the farms to fatten the pigs and chickens." (pg 192)

Evidently Gibbons, as tireless a collector of local color as he was a clam-digger, NEVER MADE THE CONNECTION between this story and the lemminglike mass suicides of thousands of barnyard animals along the Coast during that era. Of course, they were unlikely to realize that these animals were not crazed by lead poisoning or something similar and they were not, indeed, committing suicide. They had simply been SUCCESSFULLY RECRUITED, and it was their time to enter the sea en masse. If you call that "squandering" the Pismo Clams, Euell, that's all well and good. I have to disagree.

What a panic we could cause if we still did it this way. Look around you, ladies: teenaged girls are no longer allowed to walk the block and a half to church, even with pepper spray and a Rottweiler, because Mom and Dad think there is a serial killer waiting behind every tree. Imagine if they realized that their meatless Fridays could cause them to lose the entire brood. Picture those headlines. NATION'S YOUTH SLAUGHTERED BY GORTON'S FISHERMAN. FILM AT ELEVEN.

Well, I can dream, can't I?


Blogger Ur-spo said...

makes complete sense to me

2:22 PM  

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