Re: NANFA-- Natives in the class room

Christopher Scharpf (
Thu, 14 Sep 2000 09:37:56 -0400

Dave Neely mused...

>I took an ichthyology class ... and it's all been downhill from
>there... credit cards maxed out from buying fish books, cars ragged out from
>driving all over the country collecting fishes, buying more bloodworms/week
>than groceries, etc. Look what ichthyology has done for others: Copeland
>drowned, Rafinesque died destitute and slightly crazy, Cope died destitute
>and alone (with syphillus), Jordan became a college president (yeech!),
>Hubbs got kicked out of UM for 'nocturnal ornithology,' etc... Somewhere I
>hear they are starting a 12-step program for recovering ichthyophiles. Don't
>start that evil downward slide! Run away while you still have a chance and
>become a doctor or lawyer or something useful to society...

Hilarious, Dave! You should write an essay, "How Ichthyology Ruined Me."

Also, what's this "nocturnal ornithology"? My interest is piqued.

A funny, unrelated story: Your name came up last weekend when I was snorkeling
for snail darters with Ed Scott and Casper Cox in the French Broad River. As you
know, Ed is a devout sculpin hater (and chief chef of sculpin kabobs). We joked
that you see every sculpin specimen as a potential new species. Then I came up
with the ultimate way to get back at Ed Scott for his anti-sculpinism: Name a
species after him! When I said the words "Cottus edscotti" he recoiled like a
salt-covered slug. "No!" he said. "I'd rather die!"

Speaking of sculpin kabobs, Ed regaled us with stories from Dave Etnier's annual
"Dead Animal Party," in which attendees bring edible dishes made from rarely
eaten animals. This years Ed's planning to bring greenside darter nuggets and
redhorse meat patties.

Ed also told us of the live ammoceote he was challenged into eating. It got
caught in his throat on the way down and he thought he was gonna vomit. Then he
could feel it slither slowly down his eosophagus. He wondered how long it lived
before the stomach acids did their business.

Chris Scharpf

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