Thoughts from the Pot: Death by Honeymoon

“Thoughts from the Pot” are the random musings of a husband. The thoughts and opinions presented below are not necessarily those of the host of this blog. Thank you for your understanding.

Some people hate fish. I am not one of those people. It’s in my genes; I was bred into a life of fish loving; not in a carnal nature, but edible. My mother’s side of the family is all Norwegian, and we are a proud people.

My wife is one of those people who hates fish, and I pity her. She lacks the essential amino acids, found only in seafood, Omega 4 through 25. And you can tell, there is a certain something missing from her demeanor that subtly says, “I wish that I enjoyed life more; I wish that I liked seafood.”

There was a time in my life that my love of fish got me into a world of hurt.

I was a happy young man, enjoying my honeymoon, which consisted of driving down the west coast and meeting old friends at Disneyland; a beautifully conceived and artistically executed plan that was almost destroyed by the dangers of fish. I was just a mere whelp, only twenty years old unaware of protocol and the intrinsic truth of marriage… if you stink, you will not get any.

My wife and I were enjoying each others company immensely; there was a giddy anticipation of the life ahead of us, and the propensity to think that something was funny even before it was said. The sun shined brighter, the rain tasted sweeter; the smell of the ocean (which is also the smell of fish) reached our sense of smell filtered only by pine trees, and the vistas we looked out on were never blurred by tears. It was the time in my life that Vonnegut describes in Slaughterhouse-5 when he says “everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”

This was all about to change. Fish.

This is the point in the movie where people are yelling at the screen, “Don’t go in there! Don’t do it! Oh he did it, this is gonna be bad. I can feel it.”

Nearing the end of our honeymoon, we decided to stop for dinner at a local Thai food restaurant called “Thai BBQ.” It was aptly named because it was a place where people from Thailand cooked food over open flame.

We walked in to the restaurant, past the ubiquitous fish tanks, and were seated by our tiny waitress who somehow remembered us even though we hadn’t been there in at least a year. It was amazing, but I know her secret. Fish makes you smart. It’s a well-known fact, Sunny Jim, look it up. Our sense of euphoria told us that we were actually wealthy so we ordered expensive drinks, and I was feeling adventurous so I veered away from my usual favorite, which was called… Thai BBQ. Half of a chicken licked by golden flame and smothered in a light tangy sauce that I poured over my rice and tasted good enough to drink and bury my face in and rub all over my upper torso.

I decided not to get the deliciously sauced Thai BBQ. I decided not to get it because I have some misplaced idea of “Adventure.” My idea of adventure is not pitting myself against Mother Nature and pushing myself to my absolute limits. My idea of adventure is ordering something that sounds a little crazy from the menu, and hoping that my life changing gamble pays off. I live on the edge. I wear aviator sunglasses. I wear them at night because my future is so bright. If I have one piece of advice it is this: Never ever gamble with fish balls when your honeymoon is on the line.

Take heed.


I ordered the appropriately named “Fish Balls,” from the menu, maybe I was feeling saucy with my new-found freedoms, or maybe {this is probably more likely} I am at heart an eight year old boy. The idea of eating something so ethnocentrically named excited me.

What I was expecting: meatballs made with fish over a bed of rice.

What I got: meatballs made with fish over a bed of rice.

The problem: The meatballs were the size of my face.

There were two of them sitting like giant balls of dung placed by a drug fried dung beetle who wasn’t exactly sure where he was or what he was doing but he was just hoping that instinct would take over. They brought my giant fish balls out to me on a plate, dwarfed by these monstrosities of Asian food gone horribly American. I know that one of these things would feed an entire household of people. So not only did they expect this fat American to eat an entire fish ball, but they expected that I would eat two. TWO!

I looked incredulously at our incredibly intelligent fish-eating waitress and smiled. This was perfect! Every kind of seafood that I enjoyed from fish to shellfish was minced up, rolled into a ball, and glory of all American glories it was deep…fat…fried. I was excited. I was going to enjoy this. It was delicious.

I was able to eat half of one fish ball and in that one-half of a fish ball I think I consumed by weight the same amount of fish as the annual consumption of lutefisk by people living in Luxembourg. I ignorantly assume that there are not that many people clamoring for Lutefisk in Luxembourg, but what I was trying to say was that I ate a lot of fish.

We headed back to our hotel and I put my leftovers in our tiny hotel provided refrigerator. I don’t know why they called this particular model a refrigerator, it definitely didn’t refridge anything. There was barely any fridging going on in the first place. It was an arctic 52 degrees in that little fridge. I placed my delicious fish balls into said cold box and off we went.

We quickly left the area, found our friends and began enjoying ourselves to the fullest. My mind was on life, love, and the pursuit of happiness, so I never even imagined what would happen to the several pounds of fried crustacean and fish bits in our woefully inept hotel refrigerator.

While out rekindling old friendships the inevitable began to happen. The fish balls started to haunt me. In hindsight I should have realized what was happening and tried to take care of it. My skin would all of a sudden get clammy, but I was pretty wound up back then and I do have a propensity to sweat, so I didn’t really notice. I kept burping, but again that is not that rare and there was a lovely evening breeze that never let any idea of what was happening in my bowels reach my clever nose.

The night came to a close and we headed back to our hotel. The night was still young so my wife and I were looking forward to a long evening of whatever people on their honeymoon do in strange hotels. TeeHee. TeeHeeHee.

We slid our card, and opened the door into hell. There was a green mist that curled out of the fridge and lay along the floor, like smoke, but it clung to the floor as if it was trying to get back into the pits of hell. I panicked. I cried. I spoke in tongues. “The power of Christ compels you!” My wife was able to pry loose from my full body boa constrictor grip and she promptly threw the now demon filled fish balls into the area least populated by humanity. They quickly burst into flame and disappeared in a cloud of acrid green. We opened the windows, turned on the bathroom fan and got the AC wall unit pumping full blast. The smell lingered but it was no longer strong enough to kill. After the demons were exorcised there was another deeper problem.


For the next three days the fish ball dragon would traverse the wastelands of my digestive system to spew its venom from my mouth. My belches were so astoundingly smelly that small animals would die every time I was near. I felt bad about the household pets and the little birds. I love little birds. I received several offers from exterminators, but I turned them all down. My dear wife now knew what true marital suffering was. The stench that emanated from my mouth was so hurtful and noxious that she almost flew home and left me in the car to stew in my fish ball juices.

I understood. I almost passed out every time I burped.  I don’t know what happened to my insides after that, they eventually calmed down and my wife came out of hiding. Our relationship, although stalled at the beginning, blossomed and became something special. I don’t really eat that much fish any more, I’m kind of afraid it. Who knows what will happen. I don’t look forward to the prospect of these things going sideways again.

{Did you miss Part 1Part 2Part 3 or Part 4? If you haven’t already, I would encourage you to sign up to have my posts delivered to your inbox or subscribe in a reader. You do not want to miss what’s coming!}

29 thoughts on “Thoughts from the Pot: Death by Honeymoon

  1. Oh. My. I laughed until I cried! “never ever gamble with fish balls when your honeymoon is on the line.” very good advice! My sister is getting married this summer.. I will pass on that nugget of wisdom! :)

  2. Can I just say that this whole post made me want to vomit?! Josh’s writing was as vivid as the chapter in the {false} memoir “A Million Little Pieces” where he talks about an excruciating trip to the dentist sans drugs.

    I LOVE fish. But, fish balls? Okay, just the name of that is completely disgusting. And, if that restaurant still exists, remind me to never go there again!

  3. Now that’s the way you write… like a man. I am proud of you dude. I know I shouldn’t be, but I am. Great story… and where in the world is 52 degrees considered refrigeration? LOL.

    Thanks for the Friday laugh. Enjoyed it!

  4. This WAS HYSTERICAL. I was actually afraid of how it was going to end. What a way to start a friday morning laughing at the computer.
    Keep it up… comedy might be a hidden gift.

  5. Too funny Josh. I wish you could have shared this wisdom with Jonathan, who only this month figured out that ordering everything with bleu cheese is not conducive to an evening of continued romance.

  6. That is a great story. I don’t know that I would have ordered them, but I definitely would have laughed at anything called ‘fish balls.’ :)

    1. I’m glad you liked it! I may have exaggerated that part. I was much more courageous than I conveyed. At some point I had a sword and a flame thrower. The word “Vanquish” comes to mind.

  7. I really don’t know what to say.

    For the last 3 years I have given my heart and soul… I actually sold my Ricky Henderson rookie card and mowed all my neighbors yards and even fed all their pets, even when the neighbors were not gone on vacation… all to save enough money for the launch of my great idea.

    Fish balls.

    That was my great idea. I have packaging. I have billboards. I have infomercials. All lined up, paid for, and starting next Monday.

    And now I find out some little Thai restaurant in California already thought of them? Where were their patent papers when I paid that high-priced fish parts lawyer to research my idea?

    And then you go and publish this story, which now everyone will read and know that fish balls were not original with me.

    Do you know how many fish I had to catch to get this much inventory for this launch? And do you know how long we had to fight the FDA to get approval for the actual fish content to be as low as 65%?

    Can’t you just go back to being a husband sitting on the pot?

    1. High-priced fish parts lawyer?! I want that job! The business card alone would be one of the greatest things I have ever seen!

      Can you imagine the tension filled court room drama? “That Yellowfin Tuna Bladder is GUILTY! You can’t handle the truth!”

    1. His twitter handle is @IngloriousPastr. He doesn’t tweet too often, but usually is funny when he does. :) You can connect with him on Facebook though.

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