I must thank my brother-in-law and newspaper columnist Burt Cole for providing the prompt for this post, as he recently shared a funny story about unwillingly sharing his pants with a garter snake while picking beans in the garden. So here is my "skinny dipping under duress" fish story.
Once, when I was a teen, I caught a 8-inch (or so, no time to measure!) fish up my swimsuit during a swim in Lake Erie. How might this happen, you ask? Well, in a wild, wavy session of body surfing in the lake, one is sure to get pebbles in places the sun doesn't shine. And so I sometimes I would swim out to shoulder-depth water and pull out the suit's leg openings a bit to discreetly free myself of them. Well, don'tcha know -- one time, just as I was out there pulling my secret little maneuver, a big wave came along and, whoosh!, so does a fish, right up my swimsuit! Being a lifeguard, I knew I shouldn't scream -- I certainly didn't need the added attention. But I do believe I may have squeeled just a little as I slapped my hand along my side, trying to get the thing to stop wriggling on the other side of that Speedo. Eww, eww, eww.
There was no way to get rid of that thing except to peel off my swimsuit, which is what I did, in deeper water, with only one hand, as the other was still planted firmly on that fish until I could actually let him go. Good thing I can tread water with no hands.... I guess I was so cool about the whole drama that no one believed me when I got back to shore. Not until I showed them all the shiny scales on the inside of my swimsuit when I got back home.