Survivor's Tale: An Interview With Richard the Penis Fish

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In case you've been waiting around for a really stupid article, your wait is over. And a gratuitous shot at Dr. Alex Berezow. Just for the hell of it. Happy holidays!

Unless you live in a cave you probably know by now that earlier in the week thousands of dead fat innkeeper worms washed up on the shore at Drakes Bay, California. "Fat innkeeper worms" does not exactly roll off the tongue, so it is not at all surprising that there a sobriquet for this strange sea-dwelling creature – the "penis fish." If you really use your imagination you might even see some resemblance to the real thing:



(Left) Urechis unicinctus, aka the fat innkeeper worm, which by an astounding coincidence, became known as the "penis fish." (Right) A whole bunch of dead ones washed up at Bodega Beach in central California. It's a pretty good bet that the name of that place is gonna change. Feel free to offer suggestions. I'll start - Lake Flaccid. Photos: CNN

Now, if you've read my articles in the past, you already know that:

  1. There is more to this story.
  2. It will wander perilously close to the "censorship line."
  3. It will wander perilously far from the "in good taste" line.

Marge Bloom. She did the best she could.

But you'll read it anyhow if only to see what the lunatic is going to come up with. 

First, a word about my organization. At ACSH, the story is rarely the story. We dig deep to examine the science behind the story, either explaining it better than the media (not hard) or exposing the tricks and flawed science that routinely escape even science writers at major newspapers. We go below the surface. Just like I had to do to get this exclusive interview. 

The J-Man. All suited up and ready for some investigative journalism.

And it's a damn good thing I did. Otherwise, I would have missed the unique opportunity to speak with Richard Fisch, one of the fortuitous survivors of the cyclone that frightened most of his colleagues into panicking and rushing en masse toward a certain death on the beach. Not unlike Knick fans filing into Madison Square Garden. (At least the fish died a quick death.)

Mr. Fisch is still badly shaken from his brush with death, but he kindly took the time to speak with me about his ordeal and life in general.

JB: Richard, thank you so much for agreeing to speak with me during such a difficult time. Both of my readers and I are extremely grateful for this opportunity. May I call you Dick?

RF: No, you may not! When I was in school (first and only pun alert) do you know how many flounders would yell "look - a dick!" (as if that was especially clever) every time I swam by? It grew old fast. And it wasn't just me.  Do you think my friend William enjoyed being called "Willy?" Did Rod welcome becoming "The Rod?" And after Phil became Phyllis it was tough enough coping with the emotional trauma of the sex change operation, only to find out all that she was now "Phallus." Even Mr. Johnson, the swimming coach, wasn't speared spared. The entire reef could hear these taunts and it hurt. Kindly show some sensitivity here!

JB: I'm SO sorry! I had no idea that the other fish would bait you like this. 

RF: Don't worry about it. Others had it worse. I still feel for the blowfish. 

JB: Until this incident, most people had never heard of a penis fish. Can you give our readers an idea of what life is like?

RF: Well, living life buried in mud or sand has its plusses and minuses. It can get mighty lonely. Fortunately, both males and females have the ability to produce both sperm and eggs. Just like married human couples, we never have sex – with each other. But this trait does have its advantages. We possess the machinery that allows us to perform a very unusual biological function. In fact, according to Wikipedia, we are responsible for the age-old expression "Go f........

JB. Hold on!!! Richard, let me stop you right there. Although we (1) at ACSH don't shy away from the use of colorful language when appropriate (2), we do not use that particular word. 

RF: Oh, s###. I'm really sorry. When you spend 99% of your life buried in the mud, social norms tend to get a bit rusty.

JB: No problem. Aside from this, what do you do for entertainment? 

RF: Actually, my life is busier than you might think. Man-grooming takes up quite a bit of time. I'm training to compete in a 10-meter marathon, and 5G has really helped our cell coverage, even though some of the Luddites in the Penis Fish community are concerned about penis cancer, which would, of course, affect 100% of our bodies.

JB: Didn't you read Alex Berezow's recent article debunking 5G scares?

RF: Of course. Some of my friends think the two of us look alike.

Dr. Alex Berezow (Right). Richard the Penis Fish (Left). Or is it the other way around?

JB: You're right! The resemblance is uncanny!

RF: And it gets better. Just found out that the "Real Housewives" series has run out of cities and is now doing a pilot called "Real Penis Fish of the California Sea Bottom." I think it's a splendid idea. We are far more attractive, intelligent, and interesting than the women on those shows, and we have scruples too. You'll never catch one penis fish stabbing another in the back!"

JB: But you don't have backs.

RF: See!

The set of "Real Penis Fish of the California Sea Bottom." Another fine addition to American culture. Original photo: Bravo

JB: In addition to self-fornication and the upcoming "Real Penis" series what brings you joy?

RF: I love music. Did you ever hear a tuna fart? A perfect E-flat every time, with vibrato. Of course, you know that sound travels well underwater, so it's almost as though the tuna is personally serenading me. So beautiful! It would send shivers up my spine if I had one. Some of the others prefer Barry Manilow but in my opinion, he couldn't even open for the tuna on tour. If I had the ability to puke Barry might just do the job.

JB: Speaking of puking, can you tell us about your diet. Do you eat healthy? 

RF: We sure do! We secrete a mucus that traps plankton and bacteria. Then we suck the mucus back in with all the yummies that stuck to it! Delicious and healthy. No GMOs, preservatives, or gluten.

JB: Sounds like a Whole Food's diet, no?

RF: No way. That's a bunch of overpriced garbage. Even we worms know better than to eat that s...

JB: Whoa! Richard, we talked about this before. Please watch your language. 

RF: Sorry, man.

JB: One more question and then I'll let you get back to your busy day. Thousands of your friends died when the storm stirred up the water. How did you survive?

RF (turns red): Well, I was, um, doing that biological thing we talked about before. So I buried myself extra deep so the neighbors wouldn't hear any... sounds. Just dumb luck, I guess. 

JB: Thank you so much for sharing that deeply personal moment with me. 

RF: No problem. You seem like a good guy. If you want to borrow my worm porn collection let me know.

JB: Maybe some other time. 



(1) We = me.

(2) It's never appropriate.