Wednesday, May 8, 2013

hawaii | the poop fish

WARNING: In case you didn't deduce it from the title, this post is about poop. Leave it to me to de-romanticize my fairy tale Hawaiian wedding with this shitty story...

On Saturday, Larry and I arrived on the windward side of Oahu for a week of vacation. It was two days before our wedding.

After a day of driving and checking things out, we were hungry! We stopped at a steakhouse across from the beach, grabbed seats at the bar, and ordered cocktails as we perused the dinner menu. It was a steakhouse after all, so ordering steak was a given. The fish of the day was Walu - we'd never heard of it, and eager to try something local and Hawaiian, we ordered that, too.

We split the portions of fish and steak between us so that we could each have surf & turf. The steak was good, but the fish was AMAZING. Buttery and unctuous, the Walu's tender white meat was the best fish we'd ever tasted. We couldn't get over how delicious it was as we savored the last bites. We ordered a second round of cocktails and dessert, paid our bill, and headed back to our new digs with full and satisfied bellies.

Back at the apartment, I decided to google Walu on my phone to learn more about this delicious fish.

Me: Uh oh...
Larry: What?
Me: Walu is the Hawaiian name for Butterfish...or ESCOLAR.
Us: Ohhhhh Myyyyyy Godddddd, we ate the pooooooop fiiiiiiiiish!!!!!!!

Yes, the poop fish. Let's rewind a decade or so, shall we? When Larry and I were first dating and getting interested in food and cooking, we heard about a fish called Escolar. Consumption of this fish was known to cause (hope you're not eating lunch right now)...diarrhea. As if a case of the shits wasn't bad enough on its own, this fish did not just cause ordinary diarrhea, NO, eating this fish resulted in (seriously, put down your sandwich!)...explosive oily orange diarrhea. I remember Larry e-mailed me an article at work about the "side effects" of consuming Escolar that had me in tears at my desk. I've searched the internet far and wide to try and include a link to the article in this blog post, but even after googling such unfortunate terms as "diarrhea fish", was unable to find it. You'll just have to take my word for it - this article was a riot. It included the story of a man who had eaten Escolar at a restaurant for dinner and the next day he ruined his dress pants AND HIS OFFICE CHAIR AT WORK due to the aforementioned explosive oily orange diarrhea.

Can you even imagine? I mean whhhhyyyyyyy would anyone serve or eat such a thing? Larry and I lived in fear of accidently being served The Fish That Makes You Shit Your Pants. We memorized the names Escolar and Butterfish and vowed to avoid The Poop Fish at all costs. And we were successful for nearly a decade...until we failed...36 HOURS BEFORE OUR WEDDING. Let me repeat that: WE ATE THE POOP FISH 36 HOURS BEFORE OUR WEDDING.

Now you know why we were freaking out. I mean here I was worrying about getting sunburned before my wedding...the possibility of crapping myself had never even entered the realm of my pre-wedding concerns. Rain on my wedding day? Sure. Tripping on my dress? Yep. SHITTING my dress? Oh, hell NO.

So here we were, 36 hours before our wedding, and just the knowledge that we had consumed the poop fish was making my stomach start to hurt. We googled for more information. We had split the serving of Escolar, so we estimated we had each only consumed three ounces. Typically, a serving of six ounces or less did not usually result in the unpleasant side effects. Usually. Huh. Usually is not a reassuring enough term when you're going to put on A WHITE DRESS in less than two days.

Still, maybe we would be spared. Maybe we would get lucky. And by lucky, I wasn't referring to the wedding night, I was referring to avoiding explosive oily orange diarrhea on THE DAY WE PLEDGED OUR LIVES TO EACH OTHER. "I do." *Toot!*

Yes, this story is TMI. I'm quite certain I would not be telling it if it did not have a happy ending. We were spared. We got lucky. Neither of us experienced a single side effect (other than anxiety and dread) from consuming the poop fish. Our wedding day was gorgeous and went off without a hitch and most importantly, without any gastrointestinal distress...

So let this story be a public service announcement to the rest of you: Avoid eating Walu, Waloo, Butterfish, or Escolar and save your office chair, your pants, your wedding dress, and your dignity!


Karin said...

Bwahahahaha! Oh man, I did not know this, but now I will definitely keep my eyes open for this fish. Thanks for the PSA. ;)

littlegreenfieldbook veronika said...

omg I wish I had known this six months ago when I ate butterfish the night before a long road trip. Luckily nothing *bad* happened. Gulp.

Jillian said...

Hahaha! I am loving this Hawaii series and this post was hilarious. You keep me laughing!