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LAP advisory: In the event of a Sharknado, find the nearest catfish noodler

Yes, Minnesota, even you have reason to fear a Sharknado.

Yes, Minnesota, even you have reason to fear a Sharknado.

We all know it’s only a matter of time before “The Big One” hits the West Coast, probably somewhere in California first because, let’s face it, they get everything first. The aftershocks will then spread north along Oregon’s coastline, which is exactly where I happen to live. I’ve prepared myself for The Big One as best I can but the truth is: How much can you really prepare for a Sharknado?

Earthquake.
Tsunami.
Volcano.

No problemo.

But you’re going to need more than a survival kit of granola bars and toilet paper when faced with a giant tornado full of hungry Great White sharks. Although the toilet paper will probably come in handy.

What you need is someone who knows how to handle aggressive fish. Someone who isn’t afraid to reach inside its gaping jaws and show it who’s boss. Someone who routinely seeks out their underwater burrows, fearlessly reaches inside and drags them to the surface by the the throat. Occasionally while sober.

Because we here at Long Awkward Pause care deeply about our readers (everyone else is shark bait in our opinion), I was put in charge of conducting an extensive search for the people you’ll want to make friends with before the impending Sharknado comes to your area. After spending time with Alaskan halibut fishermen, crabbers in Maine and Japanese sushi chefs, none compare to Oklahoma catfish “noodlers” when it comes to bare-handing aggressive water predators.

As I discovered, the Deep South contains people who use themselves as bait for catfish roughly the size of an Airstream travel trailer. Generally speaking, these people are not intoxicated or medicated. No. These folks WANT to hunt catfish by sticking their bare hands into underwater burrows, knowing full well it could be the hiding place of a cottonmouth, snapping turtle or Donald Sterling. Who better to have with you in the event of a Sharkado?

Sometimes, noodling takes teamwork.

Sometimes, noodling takes teamwork.

To fully appreciate this aggressive style of catting known as “noodling,” you must keep a couple of things in mind. First, some catfish can weigh as much as 100 pounds. Fish biologists have documented enormous mouth radiuses, which is done by carefully extending the mouth to its largest capacity, measuring it on all sides, then comparing it to a scale reference provided by Mick Jagger.

The other thing you have to remember is that the South’s most successful “noodlers” — those who have achieved celebrity by the sheer volume of catfish they’ve landed with their bare hands — generally have names like “Uncle Stubby,” “Button-Nosed Jim” and “Three-Finger Jack.” These men not only offer themselves for the sake of the sport, buy vow to keep doing so, even if it becomes necessary for someone to physically insert them into a catfish lair headfirst once they’ve lost all their appendages. It’s this kind of dedication that inspires people like myself to at least consider taking a risk and, despite the danger, order a fried catfish dinner that might contain a missing digit from “Three-Finger Jack.”

And this is how he got the nickname "Button-nosed Jack."

And this is how he got the nickname “Button-nosed Jim.”

To better understand this sport, I tried contacting several “noodlers” by phone to discuss what it takes to be successful. One thing I learned right away was to make sure the person you are calling is indeed a “noodler” before addressing them as such. This is especially true if you accidentally transpose the number and call someone who is, at that very moment, running late for an anger management class.

As it stands, I have yet to talk with an actual “noodler,” many of whom were in Pauls Valley, Okla., last month for the 15th annual Okie Noodling Tournament, which is held in Wacker Park.

Yes, I said “noodling” in “Wacker Park,” which proves some jokes just write themselves.

With the premier of Sharknado 2 set to make landfall July 30, and the threat of a real-life Sharknado (or even Jellyfish-nado for that matter) growing by the minute, we hope this special report has been helpful.

On a side note, we’d also suggest staying out of Wacker Park unless there’s a tournament going on.

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About Ned's Blog (35 Articles)
I've been a journalist and humor columnist at the Siuslaw News for 16 years. I'm also a volunteer firefighter. If the newspaper ever burns down, I will have some explaining to do. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

28 Comments on LAP advisory: In the event of a Sharknado, find the nearest catfish noodler

  1. A noodling tournament in Wacker Park? Well, this is just wackadoodle! COME ON!!!!

    Like

  2. Do these Wacker park noodling “championships” take place during daylight hours, or are these nocturnal games?

    Like

  3. Being someone who’s lived in the south for entirely too long, and having done extensive research into that species of male known as the ‘southern redneck’ I can tell you that it’s the heat. It has boiled their brains and left them slightly intoxicated at all times. This makes them do stupid things and explains why their last words are usually ‘hey y’all, watch this!” They are a never ending source of entertainment.
    ; )

    Like

  4. I’m sure there Great White shark noodlers as well, it’s just they probably don’t live long enough to give an interview.

    Like

  5. Noodling in Wacker Parker. Perfect. I’ve never heard of this noodling. I knew there was a reason I didn’t like catfish. They’re my least favorite fish. Their whiskers freak me out. I think they’re actually mutant fish.

    Like

  6. I’m disappointed, I thought at least you would drive down south and actually try noodling. If you can run into a smoke filled building not being able to see and save people, what harm is there putting your hand in the murky water?

    Like

  7. Hey, Whacker Park works better than Masturbator Park. Just wanted to toss that out there.

    Like

  8. I’d like to see the dump that fish takes after digesting Button-nosed Jim.

    Like

  9. Funny that you guys used my picture and edited it!!! So please some props would greatly be appreciated!!! Heath “Noodlin Ninja” Jordan

    Liked by 1 person

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