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Show and Tell: Sebastes


Show and Tell: The Arctic skate
Redmond O'Hanlon Writer
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The Arctic skate, and we caught quite a lot of those. And they're... you get a good price for these, in Shetland and Orkney. Because, if you imagine it. You know you're beautiful, you know you're a beautiful girl, and you're living on your croft, your farm, and there are no boys around. I mean, there aren't. But two crofts over, quite a few acres away, there is this handsome young guy and you really fancy him. There's nothing else to fancy. And what are you going to do, because he's got a 1947... he's got a grey Ferguson that he polishes every day, and he tends to the farm. And he probably... he's also got a Massey-Harris, and so that's his pride and joy. That's all he thinks about, and he oils them. So what you do is you buy some of these and you make a soup. A soupe de poisson, only it's not quite. It's a soup and look how fertile this guy is. How potent. You cut off both penises, has two penises, wow, how useful that would be. And you chop them up and you make a fish soup. And you've invited him to supper. And he's not that bright, but you're not after intelligence, are you?

And only when he's eaten all of his soup do you tell him that it was made entirely from the penises of Arctic skates. He may not twig at once, but eventually he's going to think, what have I...? And that's it, you've done it. And these poor bloody tractors just rust away. Wonderful things. When I did biology at school, we were told these were claspers, to hold the female. I mean, ridiculous. No, they're the real thing.

British author Redmond O’Hanlon writes about his journeys into some of the wildest places in the world. His travels have taken him into the jungles of the Congo and the Amazon, he has faced some of the toughest tribes alive today, and has sailed in the hurricane season on a trawler in the North Atlantic. In all of this, he explores the extremes of human existence with passion, wit and erudition.

Listeners: Christopher Sykes

Christopher Sykes is a London-based television producer and director who has made a number of documentary films for BBC TV, Channel 4 and PBS.

Tags: Shetland and Orkney, Northeast Atlantic, Wyville-Thomson Ridge

Duration: 2 minutes, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: July - September 2008

Date story went live: 01 November 2017