What's a couple of hours?
August 28, 2002 12:32 PM   Subscribe

What's a couple of hours? Some men fishing made a gruesome discovery - a human head. The men placed it in a garbage bag. Then they kept right on fishing: "We didn't want to come in right away… It'd been out there awhile."
posted by ao4047 (40 comments total)
 
"Now, had it been a freshly severed head, it would have been a different story," said Trabulsy, noting he would have motored in quickly in that case. "But this had been out there for who knows how long."

Yeah, okay. I'm down with that. No reason to waste a perfectly good fishing trip. No, wait. That's horrible. You know...I don't know what I would have done.
posted by ColdChef at 12:38 PM on August 28, 2002


It's the old Drag George joke.

"A guy comes home after golf one Sunday afternoon, falls asleep on the couch, and doesn't wake up until about 9 PM. His wife asks why he is so tired. "Well, You remember George, my golfing buddy? He died today, on the fourth green."

"That's terrible," she says. "It sure was," he says, "For the next 14 holes it was drive, drag George, chip, drag George, putt, drag George..."
posted by GaelFC at 12:41 PM on August 28, 2002


"A delay in reporting like this makes the search effort much more difficult," Russell said. "Every hour of delay significantly increases the size of the likely search area and decreases the chance of locating those in distress.''

Especially when the distressed are missing their heads.
posted by Witty at 12:41 PM on August 28, 2002


Anyone who has seen/read The Tin Drum knows what I'm thinking right now.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:44 PM on August 28, 2002


According to that little punk from Jerry Maguire, the average head weighs 8 pounds. Given that this is less than 1/10 the weight of an average human catch, according to Florida Fishing regulations they should have thrown it back.
posted by Stan Chin at 12:45 PM on August 28, 2002


Gives Fish Heads a whole new meaning.
posted by tittergrrl at 12:45 PM on August 28, 2002


More proof that it's Raymond Carver's world; we just live in it. "So much water so close to home."
posted by keswick at 12:45 PM on August 28, 2002


It is not like the head could have been re-attached.

Found 22 miles out to sea, likely in later stages of decomposition, it is a safe bet to say that 5 hours more or less on when the head was turned in was not critical to the investigation.

Personally though, I may have had some problems enjoying a good fishing day with someone's head sitting in my vessel.
posted by Addiction at 12:47 PM on August 28, 2002


PinkST: I haven't seen the movie, but that scene in the book literally almost gagged me. I never, ever, will eat eels.
posted by Ufez Jones at 12:49 PM on August 28, 2002


Not to be outdone, Maine represents with a catch of a whole coffin dredged up from sea.

At least they had the brains to use the radio.
And, Stan Chin, I guess the fishing regulations in Maine differ radically from Florida's, because they did 'throw it back'.

Raymond Carver would have been proud. As maybe Altman is, a la Short Cuts.
posted by Busithoth at 12:53 PM on August 28, 2002


Indeed, Keswick. I was just trying to place why that story sounded so familiar. Now I've got a mad Carver jones, so to speak.
posted by mikrophon at 12:55 PM on August 28, 2002


Personally though, I may have had some problems enjoying a good fishing day with someone's head sitting in my vessel.


You and me both... But the article did say that of the 3 guys, one was a medic in the Army, and another worked for a funeral home, so I guess they're used to dead bodies. Makes you wonder about #3 though, he's reported as a CPA...
posted by ehintz at 12:55 PM on August 28, 2002


I don't know what I would have done.

When I read "some men fishing," I was thinking commercial fisherman, who presumably have work to do. As for people just out for the day fooling around, it's a different question.

A) Either way, I'm sure the head didn't mind.
B) If I did fish, which I don't, I think I would have taken finding a severed head as a sign that it wasn't going to be a very good day, and gone back home.

p.s. I know many people who love it, but I've never understood fishing. If you don't catch anything, you're a failure. If you do, you've proved that you're smarter than a fish.
posted by LeLiLo at 1:00 PM on August 28, 2002


22 miles out seems kinda far. I don't think it's that terrible that they stayed out for the rest of the day. It's not like this head was in any immediate danger.

I don't think I could've spent 5 hours with a severed, bloated, decomposing head - then again, fish guts and worms are gross too. Remind me to never go fishing.
posted by MsVader at 1:01 PM on August 28, 2002


Lelilo: Fishing is an end unto itself. What or how much you catch, is inconsequential. It's a Zen kinda thing...
posted by TCMITS at 1:03 PM on August 28, 2002


PST, I am from Oklahoma, where The Tin Drum was too obscene for us innocent souls to watch, so, do I dare ask what was in it?

on preview: after reading Ufez, I dunno if I wanna know, even if I can see it now. heh.
posted by thatothrgirl at 1:06 PM on August 28, 2002


thatothrgirl: You don't wanna know. You really, really don't.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:11 PM on August 28, 2002




And to think if they ran out of lures, they could have used strips of it for bait.
posted by adampsyche at 1:23 PM on August 28, 2002


My first thought was what? it's not like they were using the head for bait, trolling the waters with the head attached to a bobber thingy behind the boat.
posted by cowboy_sally at 1:28 PM on August 28, 2002


darn you, adampsyche.
posted by cowboy_sally at 1:28 PM on August 28, 2002


Thank you, cowboy_sally, for confirming that there is at least one other member as deranged as I am.
posted by adampsyche at 1:33 PM on August 28, 2002


B) If I did fish, which I don't, I think I would have taken finding a severed head as a sign that it wasn't going to be a very good day, and gone back home.

Amen to that, brotha.
posted by internook at 1:42 PM on August 28, 2002


What's a couple of hours?

The first (and last) time I went fishing I ended up with 2nd and 3rd degree burns on both legs, from the knees down. My brothers and I were casting lines in a local lake, and I had been sitting on a huge rock, feet dangling in the water all afternoon. Big mistake. Later that evening, my ankles had swollen up to the size of watermelons, and the skin on my legs was like blackened barbequed chicken skin. I couldn't walk normally for about 3 weeks afterwards. To this day there are still small patches on my legs where the hair will not grow. Like I said, that was my last time fishing
posted by debralee at 1:43 PM on August 28, 2002


*smacks forehead*
*mumbles* must not click on links with little letters */mumbles*
posted by thatothrgirl at 1:50 PM on August 28, 2002


blackened barbequed chicken skin

Mmmmm....

How did that happen?
posted by adampsyche at 1:51 PM on August 28, 2002


Pretty soon I can delete my Ogrish bookmark and just come to MeFi!
posted by HTuttle at 1:51 PM on August 28, 2002


My guess is that the water intensified the sun's rays, ergo the severity of the sunburn. As for why I ended up sporting barbequed chicken skin legs for those weeks... umm, dunno.
posted by debralee at 1:56 PM on August 28, 2002


This reminded me of a story told to me by the oldest resident of my hometown (sadly deceased), to be taken with a grain of salt:

As a young man, he worked for the railroad. One late fall morning, a woman was hit by a train in the neighboring town; I guess the combo of the near-freezing temps and the sudden impact caused her head to get stuck to the wheels of the train. It was carried thus into our town. He signaled the train to stop and he pried the head loose. He put it up on the signal box for the next train engineer to pick up on his way through.

He told me She was pretty, too. And real cold.
posted by cowboy_sally at 2:01 PM on August 28, 2002


cowboy_sally, that sounds like the setup for one of those silly campfire morality jokes/tales. I'm waiting for the punchline..."So, keep your head out of someone elses caboose" or such.
posted by HTuttle at 2:16 PM on August 28, 2002


To this day I still wonder what he meant by "and real cold."
posted by cowboy_sally at 2:25 PM on August 28, 2002


To this day I still wonder what he meant by "and real cold."

We've apparently moved from Carver to Bukowski.
posted by Kafkaesque at 2:39 PM on August 28, 2002


Lots of bodies are found by fisherman. A few years ago fisherman were finding a dismembered corpse thrown into several seperate trash bags. Different fisherman found different parts over the course of about four days. To me, that's a committed ground level environmentalist when you pick a trash bag out of a lake knowing it may contain human remains. One fisherman was quoted on the news, stating that they feared it might be body parts, but "hell, even if it's just trash, you can't just let it float around in a perfectly good lake".

And debralee, most sport fisherman nowadays are slathered in SPF 3800 every where not protected by the big goofy hat and long pants. Lots of sun damage over the years has built quite the culture of avoidance of ol' Sol. Some even wear sun gloves.

The best is when you get the reflective surface of the water to burn those spots that never see the sun, like the inner part of your earlobes. Yes, it did hurt horribly.
posted by dglynn at 3:03 PM on August 28, 2002


What, their cell phone didn't work?

B) If I did fish, which I don't, I think I would have taken finding a severed head as a sign that it wasn't going to be a very good day, and gone back home.

How does finding a human head predict the fishing results for the day? Makes no sense.
posted by rushmc at 4:10 PM on August 28, 2002


What, their cell phone didn't work?

22 miles out puts you pretty much out of cell range.
posted by Nauip at 4:26 PM on August 28, 2002


For something interesting, check out this song by Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly, "Everything's Turning to White" - about a group of men who go out fishing, find the body of a young girl who's been raped and murdered, and wedge it between rocks while they go on fishing for the weekend, only reporting the find when they come home.
posted by Jimbob at 8:02 PM on August 28, 2002


Jimbob - looks like that song is about the Carver short story referenced above. Great story, part of a great film (the also-previously-referenced Short Cuts), and probably a great song.
posted by UKnowForKids at 9:30 PM on August 28, 2002


You and me both... But the article did say that of the 3 guys, one was a medic in the Army, and another worked for a funeral home, so I guess they're used to dead bodies. Makes you wonder about #3 though, he's reported as a CPA...

Yeah, well, put yourself in his position. Your buddy reels in a human head. He looks at your other buddy, they both shrug and he tosses the head in the bait bucket. Now: how do you say, "OK, I want to go in now." without feeling like a pussy?

PS, my wife says, "You throw a severed head in the bait bucket and I'm done fishing."
posted by hob at 10:02 PM on August 28, 2002


What's that in the water, a head?

I got nothing.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:17 PM on August 28, 2002


Every hour of delay significantly increases the size of the likely search area and decreases the chance of locating those in distress.

"What I want out of each and every one of you is a hard target search of every gas station, residence, warehouse, farmhouse, henhouse, outhouse and doghouse in that area." [.wav]
posted by kirkaracha at 11:46 PM on August 28, 2002


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