Dealer Outlook

Trade Only Dealer Outlook Blog

Don’t fling the fish, says PETA

Whenever I need a few laughs to brighten up a day when the fishing is slow and the sky is overcast, I just think about PETA. You remember them — the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals — the group noted for wanting all fish to be renamed “sea kittens?”

Perhaps I’m just more sensitive to PETA than others. I once got a letter, as manager of the Cleveland Boat Show, telling me I should immediately cease hiring the famous “Twiggy, the Water Skiing Squirrel” to appear at the show. “Squirrels don’t like water,” the letter read, “and obviously this squirrel is not being treated well!” It was signed by a lady with the dubious title of “Case Worker for Animals in Entertainment.”

I must admit it made me think. Let’s see: Twiggy swims like a fish – so much for the water claim. Moreover, her contract says she only skis if her special pool is comfortably heated to about 80 degrees. In addition, she must have at least two hours to rest and play between shows. She travels and has the run of her own 40-foot Class A motor home. She sleeps in a hat of her choosing. She dines on oatmeal that must be sprinkled with sugar and designer nuts. Yup, I concluded, there was a nut in this alright, and it wasn’t Twiggy!

Which leads me to my latest laugh – PETA’s letter condemning the popular Mullet Toss competition at the 13th annual Mullet Smoke-Off fundraiser for community improvements on Terra Ceia Island near Bradenton, Fla. Tampa Bay Times reporter Jeff Klinkenberg recently noted PETA vice president Trace Reiman wrote: “If it would be wrong to make a game out of tossing dead kittens or puppies into a toilet, then it’s wrong to do it with fish. Terra Ceia could easily toss horseshoes, bean bags or bounce balls instead of the bodies of animals pulled from their homes and suffocated.”

The response by the organizers: Let the mullet fly! After all, Terra Ceia Island (Pop. 1,000) is where the mullet has been celebrated for generations. In fact, the mullet is celebrated at festivals all over Florida. Why, Terra Ceia babies “cut their teeth on juicy mullet filets rather than Zweibacks,” wrote Klinkenberg.

Mullet are honored with T-shirts, cook-offs, dinners and competitions, like this mullet toss that tests a competitor’s strength and accuracy flinging the little slimy beauties. There are various targets from 25 feet to 45 feet away. The toilet is farthest out and landing your mullet in it gets 100 points. Said one competitor: “I never practice. It’s better that you just drink some beer and go out there!” His name is Read Heath and he’s reportedly the best “fish flinger” in west-central Florida.

Mullet are typically fried or smoked and served with an ice cold beverage. They’ve fed Floridians for generations. So, it was no surprise that the organizers of the festival, the Terra Ceia Village Improvement Association, voted 98-0 to ignore PETA and continue to fling the fish. Go figure!

Hope this gives you a chuckle, today, too.


12 comments on “Don’t fling the fish, says PETA

  1. Van

    The last time I looked, this is a “free country” and if PETA members don’t like waterskiing squirrels or mullet tossing contests, don’t watch or participate. It would be nice if PETA would stop trying to push their opinions on everyone else.

  2. Joefactor

    I always enjoy it when you write about PETA. The last time I posted a comment that PETA had a woman painted up like a big cat and had her in a dog crate on a busy corner here in Tulsa. I would bet they like Jimmy Houston since he kisses his fish before he releases them .

  3. enginecom

    Democrats the lot of them that want you to confirm to their standards. Republicans would just not participate if the activity was not their thing. If we only voted in that manner we could remove all traces of these people and their oppressive requiests.

  4. Dudley

    The alternative PETA, People Eating Tasty Animals, which is more to my liking, lost a lawsuit for ownership of the domain name, but can be found at
    Have a look and enjoy!

  5. Jim

    I am totally against animals suffering and you don’t have to be a Democrat to stand up for them. Go toss a ball or something else.

  6. GeorgeM

    First I’d like to thank Norm for taking the high road in his article. Instead of insulting all people who are compassionate towards animals he simply made fun of a couple of instances he found amusing. Kudos Norm. You’re more professional than most. Now, “Van”, if we all followed your philosophy, the the pro-life crowd needs to just not “participate” in abortions and stop pushing their beliefs on the rest of the “free country”. And “enginecom”, it’s not enough for your laid back Republicans to not participate in gay marriage. They want a Constitutional ammendment banning it. Life would be so much easier if we all shared the same beliefs. It would be like a whole country of people cruising around in Sea Rays. Not that there’s anything wrong with Sea Rays.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments Policy.