My wife and I were driving past the Worthington Dairy Queen this afternoon. It was a lovely spring day and many families were congregating outside the walk-up window. There was one little girl, probably four or five, holding her daddy’s hand. She was wearing a gauzy tutu dress of a deep pink color.
I pointed her out to my wife and said:
“She looks like a shrimp.”
“Yes, she does,” Kit agreed. “She’d better not go to Toledo.”
That little exchange makes sense if you go back thirty years and one marriage ago. I was working as a balloon delivery guy and my highly gullible co-worker asked what my first wife and I had done that weekend. I told her that we had attended the Midwest Shrimp Clubbing Jamboree.
“You see,” I started, “I have this friend in Toledo. He really loves seafood and he has a lot of money. So, he paved about a half-acre of his property in concrete, put a foot tall wall around it and filled it with salt water.
“Then, he stocked the pond with about a million shrimp. Right next to that he set up big cauldrons of boiling water and picnic tables stocked with all the condiments. He also got in a whole bunch of long sticks from the lumberyard.
He invited everyone he knew, gave them clubs, and let them eat all that they could stun.”
I must have been highly convincing, because, when we picked up my first wife from her job, she asked:
“Did you enjoy going shrimp-clubbing.”
The terse but cruel response explains why that job, or that marriage, didn’t last much longer.