The Whopper

“Do you remember that time we caught that fish,” JJ asked Grampa

“Remind me again,” Grampa replied.

“I think it was a dogfish,”



“Oh yes, I remember that. It was a spur-dog,” said Grampa. “That’s a kind of shark. It was pretty big; it kept thrashing about and trying to bite me. Didn’t we have to use live bait? You don’t catch fish like that using worms. You need something that will attract the shark. You need something that moves in the water. Did we use mackerel; the fish blood brings the sharks? ”

“The shark was too big for that. We caught some small sharks and then used them to catch the bigger ones. That one you’re thinking of was one of the smaller sharks.” said JJ, “We kept catching bigger and bigger sharks until we reeled in a Great White Shark.”

“You can’t catch Great Whites using shark bait. They only come for human flesh, that’s all they eat,” Grampa chuckled. “If it’s the time I’m thinking of, you trailed me behind the boat in  a lifesaver, and I splashed about until the Great White came.”

“You’ve got it, wrong old man,” said JJ, “I held on to the line and swam about until it came. It was me that put my life in danger to catch that shark.”

“That isn’t right,” said Grampa. “You’re such a scrawny thing; a shark wouldn’t go for you. There wouldn’t be enough eating in you. You’d only get caught in the shark’s teeth. You’d be all right for fly fishing. Then I could put you on the end of a line and flick you out over the water back and forth like a maybug. In fact, wasn’t that how I caught the Salmon of Wisdom? You said you didn’t like salmon, so I ate it all myself. That’s why I’m so wise, and you’re not.”

“I remember that. Only, it wasn’t the Salmon of Wisdom; it was the Salmon of Flatulence. Then when the engine on the boat died, you jumped in and propelled us to the shore with wind power. You let go so much gas that Exxon are still drilling there. But you’re right, Great Whites like to eat whales and seals. You need to use blubber as a lure for Great Whites. Maybe it was you? I tied you to a line, and you thrashed around. I threw you a lifesaver to use, but it wouldn’t fit over your derrière.”

“No, that was a different time,” argued Grampa. “That was the time that shark came and smashed the boat to pieces, and we had to swim for the shore. I had to wrestle the shark to keep you safe. You’re not a fast swimmer like me. If I’d swum off, the shark would have got you easy. I punched that shark right on the nose and gouged its eyes out with my thumbs. But, he managed to get a grab on me. That shark got his teeth into my leg. I thought I’d killed it and turned my back on it. I should have been more careful. That’s how I got this limp. There was blood everywhere. I lost so much blood I took that shark and set up a transfusion line. I drained that shark’s blood dry. That’s why I’ve got shark blood running through my veins. That’s why I’m cold blooded now.”

“I think you’re getting confused, old timer. The time I remember, there were two sharks, and I tamed them by scratching them behind the gills. They call me the shark whisperer. Those sharks were tame as kittens after that. We rode on them like they were ponies and made them carry us to land,” said JJ.

“I don’t remember that,” said Grampa. “I remember we got attacked by sharks, and I whistled up my friendly school of dolphins using my secret whistle. They came and butted the sharks in the belly until they swam off. You remember those dolphins, right; Flipper and Flasher, Wave Dancer and Sea Vixen.”

“That’s Santa’s dolphins you’re thinking off; the ones that came and delivered our Christmas presents when we were on holiday in Florida. Santa came on his sea sleigh while the dolphins pulled the sack of presents right up to the beach. They were a bit annoyed because we only had carrots and they wanted tuna. Mom went up to the house and got some fish sticks. They were pretty cool after that.”

“That must have been another time,” said Grampa. “The time I’m thinking of was when we went surfing on the back of the dolphins.”

“That was the same time,” said JJ. “I was hot-dogging it, and you were too scared to even stand up. Then you fell over, and the dolphin flipped you up by the tail. Rudolf the red-nosed dolphin balanced you on his nose like a massive beach ball.’

“No, that wasn’t the time,” said Grampa. “The time I’m thinking of I tied two dolphins to my feet and skated over the sea.”

“Oh that time,” said JJ. “I remember that. That was the time a whale came and swallowed the two of us whole. How long were we in the belly of that whale? Three days, wasn’t it?”

“It wasn’t three days,” said Grampa. “Remember that whale was so huge that inside there was an old pirate ship and we had to fight the skeleton pirates for their gold. You weren’t much help on account of you being a skinny little thing, but I’m the greatest swordsman that ever lived so we were ok. I’ve still got that treasure map somewhere.”

“That’s not right,” said JJ, “The pirates recognized that I was a true descendant of Edward Teach, on account of my manly good looks and the gold medallion that I always wear.  So, the skeleton crew made me their leader. Then we made them fire the cannons at once, and the whale sneezed us out because of all the smoke from the gunpowder. Once we got out, they dropped us off in Hawaii and sailed away. I still get letters from those pirates. Apparently, they’re in South America somewhere.”

“No, I’m thinking of another time,” said Grampa. “I’m thinking of that really big whale. You know, it was really massive. I’m thinking of the space whale; the space whale flies through space eating whole planets and things. Remember, it was so big that it swallowed the whole world. Its giant mouth stretched out across the whole sky, and the Earth bounced along its giant red tongue. The whale is so massive that when it opens its mouth it’s day time and when it closes its mouth it’s night time. When light shines down the blowhole, people think it’s a full moon.”

“Hang on,” said JJ. “People have landed on the moon.”

“That’s faked,” said Grampa. “The Moon landing was faked. You can see the mock-up in Death Valley, out in the desert. I have been there one time in my RV.  The time I’m thinking of, the whole earth was swallowed by a giant space whale, trapping us forever.”

“Right, that time,” said JJ. “I remember now. Tell me again; how did we get out of that one?”


The End


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