By Harvey Tobkes

Early in our marriage Anita’s father John, asked me if I cared to join him and his Masonic lodge brothers on a fishing outing. He asked me this while we were having dinner at his home. Anita and her mom thought it would be a good idea and offered to cook us all a wonderful fish dinner when we brought home the catch.

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Sounded good to me, so I agreed and very early Sunday morning, John and I went out on Long Island Sound in quest of our fish dinner. The Captain greeted us and said that all week long, the boats were coming back with lots of fish and that porgies were running and easy to catch.

I would say we were a little unlucky, because between us we only caught 3 porgies, and to be generous they were not of a large size, but just about adequate. We begged, borrowed and did not steal 3 others from a sympathetic high ranking lodge Master, and triumphantly trekked home with the bounty.

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I must admit that Anita and her mom kept their promise. We had white wine, delicious bread with a tarama spread, a wonderful feta cheese salad and a platter of fish that was truly an epicurean delight.

While digging in to the sweet flesh of my porgy, I felt stupid for feeling they were inadequate and I even remarked that it was strange, but the fish on my plate looked much larger than it did on my hook. I supposed it had something to do with the broiling or grilling process, which made the fish expand, and I remember saying, “Wow! There’s nothing better than fresh caught fish.”

About 10 years later, Anita and her mom finally let the cat out of the bag. You see, when we gave them fresh caught slimy, smelly fish with sharp scaly bodies, they were not about to go through scaling, gutting, cleaning those puny specimens. Nope! Off they went to the fish market and luckily were able to find porgies on sale and ready to cook. They were even able to improve on the size.

And the moral of the story is – men are so gullible and easy for a smart woman to fool… didn’t Delilah deceive Samson after he revealed the secret of his strength?

Anyway, John and I were in blissful state that night, and while we were duped (and didn’t know it) our stomachs were still thankful.

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