The sea holds many mysteries. And fish. And our mystery this week is, what state stands first in America's never-ending war on the ocean? Why, Massachusetts, of course! How do we know this? Comic books.
Yes, not content to bellow at each other at traffic lights or pummel each other in bars, the men of Massachusetts, or "Massholes" as they are known, have long turned their feisty New England ire towards the sea and everything in it. Let's let this charming promotional comic illustrated by Kurt "Lois Lane" Shaffenberger tell us all about it!
Ol' Cap'n Ne'd will tell you all about his fifty years on the sea. At length. In fact sometimes it's tough to get him to shut up about his fifty years thrilled with joy as he hauled a dripping, smelly net full of squirming sea life into his tiny boat, inches away from a watery grave. Massachusetts men have been pitting themselves against the sea for centuries, facing danger and risk to kill enormous majestic whales, so that America might have oil for its lamps. Throw the rest of the carcass overboard, boys, we just want the oil.
Marge here is becoming a little overwhelmed at how gosh darn romantic the Massachusetts fishing industry has suddenly become.
Kids, we're in the "space age" of fishing! And by that, I mean we have things like radio, also used by astronauts! We also have great new nets made of synthetic fibers that break down into tiny plastic "micropellets" that not only gather in vast trash gyres across the ocean, but in microscopic form bind with oil-based pollutants like PCBs and eventually are ingested by sea life. Which we catch, and which you eat. Tasty!
And don't you worry about the oceans ever running out of fish! There are as many fish in the sea as ever, and with our space-age know-how, we can catch more of them! Somehow those two statements don't seem to fit together, but I won't sit here and listen to a lot of scare talk about "overfishing". Such a thing could never happen, said the fishing industry of 1966.
If you want to shock teens, just tell them that science can now predict HOW and WHERE the fish will be running! They'll be stunned!
You'd be amazed at how seldom the phrase "amazing seafood populations" appears in the actual scientific studies conducted aboard bathyscaphes.
We're using airplanes and sonar and all kinds of fantastic science devices to track down those wily fish! Because there are more of them than ever, the ocean is simply teeming with fish, and that's why they're so hard to find, because there are so many of them. Right, promotional comic?
Look at that picture of plenty of squirming, writhing, floppy fish all flopping around there on the deck in the hot sun, as the boat goes up and down and up and down! Sure makes me hungry! Mmm-mmmm.
I can make $14K a year in the unregulated and unlicensed fishing industry, which is routinely described as "the most dangerous job in America"?? Where do I sign on, Captain? I already have my own steel-soled boots- so when something terrible happens I'll go straight to the bottom! No lingering death for me!
no, seriously, that is a thing they did.
A ship at sea might make a good second home, like Quincy's yacht, that would be a great vacation getaway. A commercial fishing vessel, on the other hand, is filled with farty poker-playing buzz-cut Massholes always changing the radio station and Bob is always standing behind you telling you what card to play. Cut it out Bob.
"Oh boy! Good Old New England Clam Chowder! I haven't had Good Old New England Clam Chowder in five, maybe six hours!"
4000 Massachusetts fishermen in 400 vessels bringing in 300 million pounds of seafood every year, and who do they hire to catch that giant shark? Quint and his leaky old rat-trap of a boat, that's who. That's the last time I spend July 4th in Amity.
Remember to eat at least three seafood meals a week from these delicious Massachusetts fish! Sorry, McDonalds lobster rolls, Santarpio's Pizza, a bottle of Moxie and/or eating an entire jar of Fluffernutter DO NOT COUNT.
I'm a fan of this nautical glossary, first because it felt the need to tell us what an "auction" is, and secondly, that the concept of "a boat with a hole smashed into it" is so central to Massachusetts' fishing industry that it required inclusion.
I'm also a fan of this helpful nautical map for telling us where the unexploded depth charges are. Good to know! If we can keep from getting blown up, or shipwrecked, or trapped in THE DEVIL'S GRAVEYARD, whatever the hell that is, we'll be back in two or three days with fifteen hundred pounds of fish. Hope you're hungry!
PREVIOUS STUPID COMICS
NEXT STUPID COMICS
BACK TO STUPID COMICS INDEX
BACK TO MAIN INDEX