I spent the summer of '94 in Alaska.
One day there my friends took me salmon fishing.

I started off ambivalent. I waded into the river up to my waist (hip waiters, freezing water) and tossed the line in. It floated downstream. I pulled it out and tossed it upstream. Repeat.

For hours.

And I sat there as my friends pulled out fish after fish. It was like they were avoiding me, the little bastards. Plunk. Drift. Plunk. Drift. After a few hours of this, I really, really, wanted to catch a fish.

And finally the line went taught. And I reeled like my friend showed me. And my friends cheered. And I pulled that sucker in until it went shooting outta the water. My friend Dave was there with the net. He scooped it up and handed it to me with that "you know what you must do" look in his eye.

See, we'd talked about this. After you pull a fish outta the water you really must kill it. I mean, you could run a line through it and leave it roped to a branch in the river and let it die slowly, or you can just do the deed. It seemed to me, intellectually, that quick and painless would be the best way to go.

With one hand I held the gasping fish down on the riverbank. With the other I found a suitable rock. I raised it high. I apologized to the fish, quietly, so my friends wouldn't hear.

The rock came down ... and bounced of the fish.

The fish kept flopping, looking at me with desperation. My intellect wasn't quite prepared for this. You can't just kind of try to kill something. You have to really want to kill it.

The rock came down again. There was a little blood. The fish was still moving. Quick and painless was taking a little longer than I thought it would. Finally, after a last whack, the fish stopped moving.

I tied the fish to a branch and let it drift in the river and smoked a cigarette. A little death for a little death, I suppose.

I cleaned the fish, chopping out the bits that it wouldn't be needing anymore, and we took our haul back to Dave's house.

And after all that, yes, oh yes, did I eat that fish. And it was the best tasting meal I've ever had.

– Derek