Wicked Tuna Recap – “Sharks and Recreation”

Oh, boy! We’re back with another episode of KT’s Wicked Tuna Recap. If you’re new to this, I have no idea how to fish, so I figured recapping this show would be an eye-opening look into the fishing industry. Mostly, though, I’ve learned it just involves a lot of yelling.

On this episode, the narrator tells us there’s only three weeks left to fish, so the yelling will probably get more intense. I mean, he doesn’t say that second part, I just assume it.

Over on HebertBoat (Are we down with calling it Hebort? I want to be), they hook a fish but the shifter cable that lets them drive the boat from outside breaks, so they have to drive from inside. If you guessed this involved more yelling than usual, you’d be right! They get a big fish and then in true fashion, post pictures all over the internet (#fishselfie) Dave C from the Tuna.com is all “that’s poor Captaining!” which I would normally say isn’t a word but I’d totally use that word, so carry on.



Hot Tuna is out at night catching herring, which hasn’t really been explained to me before but now makes sense. Also, every time they catch a herring and accidentally drop it on the deck, the rottweiler eats it. The Hot Tuna is edging into “KT’s Fave Boat” category over the Pinwheel just because of the cute dog alone. They get a random late-night bite (do Tunas have fourthmeal?) and it ends up being a thresher shark, which I guess are the shitbags of the sea, since they can injure you pretty bad and whatnot. The Hot Tuna Doods screech wildly and flail their arms in response, and the dog bravely goes to investigate and almost gets walloped in the process.


Ryan, deckhand of the Hot Tuna, explains that he won’t eat the caught shark. “We have a pact, I don’t eat them, they don’t eat me. So far so good.” GLAD YOU TRUST THEM BROTATO CHIP BUT THEY’D EAT YOU GIVEN THE CHANCE. SHARKS ARE NATURE’S JERKS.



Hold on to your Marlboro Lights, folks, over on the Hard Merchandise they’ve got a fish! Everyone on this reality show has really upped the scream level in the past few weeks. Now everybody’s just randomly yelling whenever they can, like it’s a 5 year old’s birthday party. THE FISH IS UNDER THE BOAT! LET’S SCREAM! IT’S NO LONGER UNDER THE BOAT! YELL MORE! “We need this fish!” If you’re following along at home, I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to take a shot every time they say they need the fish. Of course, saying that means you don’t get the fish, and they get 99.99% done and then the line breaks. Dang.

Meanwhile, on Hebort, Paul is looking at the woes of the Hard Merchandise through binoculars and laughing manically. Dude, douche move. Pretty sure the sea god is gonna fuck you up for that. Like Poseidon or whoever, I don’t know, I’m a fucking atheist.

The shark that the Hot Tuna caught gets shared with Dave and the Hard Merchandise, because I guess last year one of them caught him right in the nipple, so he wanted his revenge. Nipple revenge. Dave is psyched for the freebie shark steaks. “It’s like the veal cutlet of the sea!” I’ll be sure to get that next time I send visiting elderly family members to the Gloucester House for 4PM Friday dinner.

Reenacting Nipplegate: Ocean Edition.

Reenacting Nipplegate: Ocean Edition.

The Tuna.Com is delighting in the cooking of blueberry pancakes when they get a bite on their line. For the first time in awhile watching this show, I audibly chuckled at three grown men running around on a slippery ship deck while simultaneously trying to hold pancake mix and fish.

Tuna pancakes was my nickname in high school.

Tuna pancakes was my nickname in high school.

They catch the fish, and probably make new pancakes that taste less like floor. The Hot Tuna catches a fish, there’s a ton of yelling and barking, some water, and oh god is this over yet? Oh, it is, but not before a cheesy part where the Heberts show up at Bass Pro Shops in this totally staged advertising bit. Faaaantastic. Time for a beer.

Clamsplainer’s Market Basket Update: This shit’s like the Titanic.

It’s been a week since I last wrote about the saga of Market Basket – its long, bitter history of family rivalry, its unbelievable hijinks in the state court system, and how Arthur T Demoulas was unseated.

A lot has happened since I wrote those articles (and a heck of a lot of people read them). And, most surprisingly, a lot hasn’t happened on the Market Basket side of things.

As protests continued last week outside all 71 stores, everything seemed frozen in time. The new reality – no produce, a dwindling amount of fresh food and generic brand foods, and few shoppers – was setting in. Nothing was happening. Everybody went elsewhere for food, no one bothered to even see what was left at the Basket. The only fresh faces seemed to be the ones coming to experience what the fuss was about, the ones asking questions, and the ones explaining to their kids what worker strikes were and how they happened. The employees are sticking to their guns – and even upping the game. Cars with posters of Arthur T Demoulas’ face taped to them are driving all over Gloucester, eliciting honks and cheering. The bellwether dog statue at the corner of East Main and Bass Ave is now adorned with a Market Basket uniform and a pro-Artie T sign. In Danvers, dozens of young protesters on Monday braved fierce rainstorms to support their former CEO.

Slightly after the rain. Listen, no one's paying me to go and get wet.

Slightly after the rain. Listen, no one’s paying me to go and get wet.

At the end of last week, the employees’ loyalty and their unorthodox revolt started to hit the national news. Heck, even Robert Reich is writing about the Basket now. This is huge. A non-union workforce walked off the job. They said “fuck it” to the very real threat of cuts in benefits and squeezing of the blue-collar workers, and the also very real threat of raised grocery prices – hitting those who rely on the chain’s low prices to make ends meet. Aside from the Occupy movement, which is obviously a pretty different scenario, this is the only time in any recent history a protest this massive has taken place against a corporation in the US – and it’s COMING ALMOST ENTIRELY FROM INSIDE THE CORPORATION.



The board met this last Friday after Arthur T Demoulas gave the board a buyout offer. But they made no major announcements aside from admitting they got the offer, and sticking with the “get back to work” refrain. This is how inept the board and management is – they’ve completely lost control of the company, they are positively hemorrhaging cash on a daily basis, and their only takeaway from a meeting is calmly asking employees to return to their jobs. Who is on this board, Spongebob Squarepants and a bunch of six year old kids?

Are they fucking HIGH? Do they not understand the depth of the problem facing them right now? This ship is sinking like a stone and they’re acting like it’s a slight delay in the maiden voyage to New York. No, motherfuckers, you hit a fucking iceberg, and you didn’t act in time. It’s been a month since Arthur T was fired and all you did was stay the course and hope that the employees would tire themselves out and return to work. I’ll mention again that one of the current CEOs is Jim Gooch, whose former leadership position was fucking RADIO SHACK. Turning this ship around and bailing water isn’t going to get easier with every nightfall.

It's cool, we cam totes fix this with a couple of stockboys and a pallet of wheat bread.

It’s cool, we cam totes fix this with a couple of stockboys and a pallet of wheat bread.

Market Basket’s PR is abysmal. Known for being one of the few companies that entered 2014 WITHOUT A WEBSITE YES I AM SERIOUS THEY DON’T HAVE A GODDAMN WEBSITE, they are now playing catch-up. What, did they think the Internet was a fucking fad? Literally they survived for decades because some guy bought domain space and scanned the flyer every week. Their opposition – teenagers with twitter, tumblr, vine and facebook, mind you – beat them to the punch by weeks. Their side of the story was everywhere long before the board could even release a statement on why they fired Arthur T Demoulas. You snooze, you lose, or whatever the Urban Dictionary version of that saying is these days.

21/F Looking for someone to destroy the establishment with.

21/F Looking for someone to destroy the establishment with.

The acrimony between Market Basket and pretty much everybody else deepens with every passing day. Their supply chain of dairy, vegetables, meat, etc is now a full-scale disaster – those smaller companies who rely on Market Basket to buy their goods are struggling right now, and they are rightly pissed. Some of them may not survive if this board doesn’t get its head out of its ass and do SOMETHING.

But what is this ineffectual leadership going to do? Fucking fire everyone? Yeah, no. Disaster. Not even just in a logistics sense, but from a PR standpoint, it would be a headache to attempt to hire an entirely new work force for every store. Customers are protesting along with the workers, and the fallout from such a move would be drastic. It would take months for a new workforce to get up to speed, if they could even find enough people willing to work there. Do they think robotic minions grow on trees? Not since we told Monsanto to cut the crap with the robotic minion GMOs.

Is replacing the new CEO team not an option? Don’t look at me, I have tattoos, pink hair, live in relative poverty, and I’m writing a freakin’ blog. I’m not exactly in Harvard Business School here. But with these two dipweasels at the helm, it’s not going well for Market Basket. This shitstorm may not be entirely under their control, but they’re sitting there with stupid looks on their faces just letting it happen with no real solutions.

Should they sell? Their options are running out – any other offers on the table that aren’t related to Arthur T Basket are going to start to fade out once the potential buyer realizes the magnitude of the employee “problem” and how much it’s going to take to right the ship – it’s not a turnkey operation. It’s a mess. Another week or two of stalemate, and everything’s going to be in far worse shape and we can probably all pool our pennies together and buy it ourselves.

But half the board hates Arthur T Demoulas. Family values, y’all! Selling the company to him would be the ultimate burn for them. They’d be giving in and he’d be getting what he wanted. And these aren’t exactly the type of folks to put employees, customers, and their supply chain ahead of their own pride. But if the other option is supreme, utter, public failure, selling to Arthur T and taking the huge wad of cash isn’t that bad of an idea, now is it.

I think the Basket might be fucked if nothing happens soon, and that’s tragic. But this is capitalism, baby. If you’re ineffectual these days, you’ll be eaten alive. For decades, Market Basket was anything but ineffectual, but damn if the tide hasn’t turned. You hit the iceberg, now deal with it.

Customers, employees, suppliers and whole communities are looking for the lifeboats here. The board bitching with each other over ancient grudges can’t be the thing between them and survival.

The Clam’s Tournament of Shitty Parking Lots is Over. And the Winner is…


The Winner of the 2014 Tournament of Shitty Parking Lots is… 7/11 Bass Ave!

The battle for shittiest parking lot’s final round between 7/11 and Destino’s ended up neck and neck. By the time voting ended arbitrarily five minutes ago, there were only 3 votes separating the two.

But 7/11 Bass Ave was victorious. Its particular type of bedlam is a horror show for people parking, driving by, or walking or cycling.

It deserves its certificate of shittiness. It should revel in its new distinction. A beam of light should descend upon those backing their R/Vs out into traffic without bothering to check if traffic is clear. A cacophony of horns shall forever be heard echoing through the trees.


Take this, 7/11, and display it proudly. You have conquered all other lots in town. You are the one Shittiest Lot. We salute you.

Guest Post: A (Survival) Guide to Running in Gloucester

by Adam Kuhlmann

Gloucester seems to have a love-hate relationship with its community of distance runners.  On the one hand, the city hosts quite a few road races, including some—like the Fiesta 5K—in which real, honest-to-God townies participate.  On the other hand, Gloucester can treat its runners with a casual disregard, or even outright hostility.  In the six years that I’ve run the city’s streets, I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been heckled from car windows and front porches.  More often than you might think, the heckler was a puckered grandmother bent over a cane.  Perhaps once a week a driver will blast his horn at me for no other reason than the hope that it will involuntarily buckle my knees.  (It works.)  And on one occasion four years ago, I was hit squarely in the chest with a fusillade from a Super Soaker aimed by the passenger of an oncoming pick-up truck. Yet I remain motivated by the city’s natural beauty—coupled with the sweet, sweet endorphins that accompany my efforts—and I would encourage others to join me.  Therefore, I submit the following guide to two of my favorite Gloucester runs.

Sorta like that, yeah

Sorta like that, yeah

 Stage Fort Out-and-Back:  3 miles

 By tracing the seawall along Stacy Boulevard, this jaunt takes in several of Gloucester’s iconic sights.  And in a city that’s lumpier than a cow in Spanx, it is one of the few courses that include a flat stretch of road.  Still, it is not without its hazards:

 The Fisherman at the Wheel Statue 

At the 0.5-mile point in the run, you will encounter a charter bus belching scores of tourists old and Midwestern enough to use the term “score” in its precise, arithmetic sense.  These individuals will shuffle together in packs geometrically arranged to hinder your progress.  As they snap backlit photographs of the Fisherman, they will expect you to avoid their Nikons’ fields of view, forcing you into oncoming traffic.

 The Cut Bridge

Just after you’ve negotiated the geriatric blockade and returned to full speed, you will need to slow down once more.  That’s because, no matter the time of day or year, the Cut Bridge will be up.  It’s possible that this shining exemplar of municipal infrastructure is performing its intended purpose: facilitating the egress of a column of boats helmed by sunburnt men clutching Budweisers.  But, equally likely, the fellow who operates the bridge merely spotted you coming and waited, his finger twitching at the button, until you were steps away from your first unencumbered crossing in months.

He can also summon a Balrog

He can also summon a Balrog

 Stage Fort Park 

Upon entering this leafy sanctuary, the turnaround-point in your run, you will trade exhaust fumes for other dangers.  A pet owner on her way to the dog park will prematurely unleash a hyperactive Schnauzer, allowing it to take out your legs as cleanly as a German midfielder.  Having stanched the blood with your running singlet, you manage to crest the hill, glimpse the choppy Atlantic, and lean into a gale that snaps and tatters the American flag on your left.  Despite the breeze, a baseball game and a dozen family barbecues are underway in the field ahead.  Cars will be parked on the sidewalk; a stifling cloud of DEET and grill smoke will sweep across the road.

  Back Shore Loop:  6.5 miles

 Up for a more ambitious workout?  Take this trip around the perimeter of East Gloucester, which boasts some of Cape Ann’s most impressive homes and finest vistas.  Don’t let the splendor distract you, however, as this route is similarly fraught with peril:

 Rogers Street

Leaving behind the hurly-burly of downtown, you’ll soon pass The Crow’s Nest, where a spirited crowd of morning drinkers will cadge you for a cigarette and colorfully enumerate your best physical features.  Proceeding east, you’ll run a gauntlet of light and telephone poles, favored roosts of the best-fed seagulls in New England.  Just when you think you’ve escaped unscathed, probability will catch up with you, and an alpha gull overhead will loose a stream of partially digested clams.  It will strike your shoulder with the force and visual effect of an open can of paint.

Yes there was a movie and yes Neil Diamond did the soundtrack. The 70's were terrible.

Yes there was a movie and yes Neil Diamond did the soundtrack. The 70’s were terrible.

 Niles Beach

 As you thread your way past East Main’s quaint storefronts, the sidewalk will disappear and the shoulder will crumble osteoporotically.  Consequently, you will be winged by the sideview mirror of an Aston Martin late for a tee time at Bass Rocks Golf Club.  The road will dip precipitously toward the sandy expanse of Niles Beach, and as the grade eases, your heart will stop.  With his mother busy stowing a 40-quart cooler in the back of her Tahoe, a toddler in a sagging bathing suit has waddled into traffic.  Fortunately, the traffic is composed entirely of out-of-state vehicles inching past while the occupants attempt to decipher the parking protocol of this resident-only beach.

Safer for kids than the Niles parking lot

Safer for kids than the Niles parking lot

Bass Rocks 

Rounding the bend onto Atlantic Road, you will confront a succession of homes whose vast grounds are crawling with landscapers, despite the fact that the owners haven’t been seen since last Memorial Day.  Riding lawnmowers will be parked at crazy angles along the roadbed, jostling for room against walkers, cyclists, and the sodden easels and broad-brimmed hats of novice watercolor painters.  On the rocks below, a wedding photographer is violently arguing with a striper fisherman who refuses to yield his perch to a throng of bridesmaids passing around a magnum of spumante.  You should stop and ask for a quick swig to celebrate having survived another run in Gloucester.          

Camper Fan Outspoken

Our new readers (and God help you for choosing The Clam as an information source, by the way) should know that The Clam swings between a few different modes: “Clamsplainers” that help cut through the treacle of issues of interest to those connected to our beloved city of Gloucester; general tomfoolery like our horrible parking lot contest, Wiked Tuna Recaps and reviews; occasional general-use content like drone videos and, on most Sundays, we hang up our snark guns and feature something amazing about this place we call home.

“You are how you camped,” is our motto. For all its informality,camp is a profoundly formative experience for kids. After a year of being measured, tracked and evaluated against standards it’s critical for them to just be handed a bunch of cool stuff and told to go nuts. And more importantly, not by a formal teacher, but more likely by an awesome high school sophomore in sunglasses who’s going to show them the ropes, make sure they have a good time keep an eye out so they don’t maim themselves. Behind all this are dedicated adults (often teachers in their summer alter-egos) who are making the whole thing work and bringing down the fun/learning.

Gloucester has incredible camps. Just incredible. We punch way over our weight in great things for kids to do during the summer generally at low cost (with plenty of scholarships available). I attribute this to a point I’ve made before that Gloucester favors those who would be considered “weirdos” in the outside world, but are critical to the camping experience. If your population does not support the kind of person who is skilled and knowledgeable in a topic area, but who will also don a Dr. Seuss hat and oversize sunglasses to sing Weird Al songs, or who has too much self respect to do the “chin puppet” routine, you’ll never have good camps. And we got both. Boy do we ever.

Critical job skills

Critical job skills

We’re going to shout-out the camps our own kids have been too, but this is by no means supposed to serve as a list of what’s going on. For that get a copy of “A Kids’ Guide to Cape Ann” which is available in places who have brochures. Sadly, I think their website is down at the moment. Call the Chamber of Commerce at 978.283.1601, they’ll have it. It’s great.

Ok, Huzzah time, people. Add your own in the comments or make suggestions for a round two:

Y Sailing Camp

You knew the Internet would get weird when we googled "aquatic people"

You knew the Internet would get weird when we googled “aquatic people”

Do you want your kids to be those salty folks who traverse docks with ease, competently grab the helm of any boat and know all kinds of useful knots? My kids transition between the terrestrial and the aquatic the same way most of us go from hallway to the kitchen, with no effort whatsoever. Also they will thrill our summer guests when we’re out boating with random little tidbits of harbor knowledge such as, “Dad, there are rocks over there and if you go that way you are going to kill us all.” Also there is pirate day and they use super soakers. All this for $150 a week, which is what they would rack up in Netflix if they were home anyway.

High School Sailing Camp

Taking the sailing to the next level, this camp focuses on racing. I see these kids doing all kinds of advanced stuff and I see them hanging off the boats on lines and doing all that wack-looking sailor craziness you think you’d only see in rich summer ports like Kennebunkport or the Hamptons. The Amazing Rebecca did this camp earlier in the summer and though she said she enjoys the super-soaker and pirate thing a bit more, she learned a ton. If we ever have to go to a post-petroleum society, Gloucester kids are all set to dominate the seas between the sailing and buccaneering skills they get during the summers.

Or as high priests in an up-and-coming religious movement

Or as high priests in an up-and-coming religious movement

Art Haven Camp

How great is that place, btw? Listing all the cool crap they do isn’t even worth it, but let’s just say that we jump at any chance to get our kids there. They had a Harry Potter week. They do scavenger hunts. They make their own board games. I fully expected this to be a popsicle-stick and macrame experience, but this thing is oh-so-much more. For older kids there are sessions like videography, cartooning and something called “Building a Better Lobster Trap” which I don’t know what it is but I want to do myself. I am grateful every time I go past Art Haven and the Hive that these folks set up shop in Gloucester.

Project Adventure Camp

My redhaired son is active in the same way one might describe a purely theoretical subatomic particle. The other day he came home stinking of low tide mud, bug bitten, sandy and he dumped a pile of coal onto the foyer in the house and said, “we cornered the obsidian market.” I don’t know what the hell is going on out there on Ram Island, but as far as I can tell one of the councilors is running a Minecraft-like trading system involving natural resources the kids have to go and find while running them ragged all over the place. Huzzah to you, sir. Again, Huzzah. The world owes you a great debt. This camp is generally incredible and there is nothing like sending your kid off in a rowing dory in the morning to start your day. General Huzzahs to all involved.

Minecraft joke

Minecraft joke

O’Maley Middle School Drama Camp

Think for a second, what could get a kid to willfully go into a middle school during the summer? The Drama Camp at O’Maley, is what. A drama program focused on kids in 4th grade and up, it’s an extension of the off-the-hook greatness that is the O’Maley drama program responsible for such recent hits as Fame, The Little Mermaid, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and forthcoming Equus early next year. Or Alice in Wonderland. They’re trying to decide between the two. Kids sing, dance, play drama games, all that. Wow, it’s good and when you go see a production at North Shore Music Theater and say to yourself, “Hey, the Gloucester kids are pretty much as good as these guys,” you’ll realize what a great job they do.

Maritime Heritage Center

Plankton Safari. An amazing program these guys do and coincidentally the name of a band I played bass for in college. “Build your own underwater robot” is another. Coastal sailing on the Ardelle, marine-based art with Art Haven. Seriously, folks, how many of us went to daycamp and learned to dissect a squid? Very few, I’m guessing. Think about it though, where else do you find programs like this? At the Museum of Science, in Cambridge at MIT and Gloucester. Suck it, everywhere else.

What I'm picturing

What I’m picturing


We’re going to do a whole future NSS on Rick Doucette. Literally. We’re going to sit on him and write it, and he’ll probably be fine with that, that’s how great that guy is. This camp has transcended a summer kid storage solution to pillar of the community.  I don’t even know where to start with this camp. Send your kid to this thing and you will hear unending stories about the pool, the waterslide, Olympic week, , they will come home with no end of masks, shells and beach glass necklaces, tell you about piracy (again with the piracy), show you medals for events you never knew existed. The whole thing, from the staff to the kids form an alternate community of support for so many people that I don’t know how to express its value to us. ALL the camps from the Y, the aforementioned sailing to the downtown camps to the adventure camps are all incredible.

You don't need to know what's going on here to know it's awesome. (photo Jen Amero)

You don’t need to know what’s going on here to know it’s awesome. (photo Jen Amero)

Ok, that’s a highly truncated list I could put together to still get this thing out by noon. Give me yours in the comments.