What The F…ish?!?

This week’s WTF?!? moment occurred when I ran across an article that mentioned fish pedicures.

Now, I pride myself on my ability to successfully distinguish a fish from a human in 9 out of 10 cases, via the simple observation that fish generally have no toes.  So when I discovered that fish pedicures were apparently a “thing”, I was gobsmacked.  I figured it must require extreme skill and outstanding manual dexterity (or perhaps some recreational pharmaceutical products) to locate and subsequently groom fish toes.

I was ’way off base, of course; but the reality is almost as worrisome:  It seems that a ‘fish pedicure’ is actually done to human toes.  The to-be-pedicured foot is submerged in a basin containing hungry carnivorous fish, which tidily nibble away all the dead skin.

My mature and well-thought-out response to this revelation was “EEEEEUWWWW!!!” immediately followed by, “There is NO F(ish)ING WAY I’d do that!”  Which might actually be a sensible reaction, since it turns out that a woman lost all her toenails as a result of a fish pedicure.  That doesn’t surprise me in the least.  What amazes me is that anybody thought it was a good idea in the first place.

I mean, seriously:  Hungry carnivorous fish.  Human toes.  What could possibly go wrong?

But maybe I’m just showing my plebeian roots.  I grew up on a prairie farm, and in summer we swam in our backyard dugout.  Leeches would attach themselves to any exposed skin and suck our blood if we stood still for even a few seconds; and just in case that’s not enough to give you nightmares, there was also some kind of water bug whose sadistic specialty was to get inside one’s bathing suit and inflict an agonizing bite on whatever they found there.  (Remember, bathing suits cover all the tender bits.  Just sayin’.)

I’ve mistrusted aquatic critters ever since; and now I have one more reason.

So the next fish that comes near me had better be sliced and served with a side of wasabi.  Or pan-fried in butter; I’m not picky as long my teeth are sinking into the fish and not the other way around.

Brrr!  *dons steel-toed boots, just in case*

Book 14 update:  I’m already on Chapter 3, woohoo!  And I just wrote a scene that may turn me off Gummi Bears forever.  Such are the hazards of living inside my brain. *sigh*

23 thoughts on “What The F…ish?!?

  1. I remember growing up in Iowa….swimming in the lakes…leeches and fish nibbles on various parts of your body….never thought much of it as a kid…it just was what it was and we didn’t know any different….fast forward to knowing any different and I refuse to swim in anything that I can’t see the bottom…ugh sticking toes into it intentionally….is someone just out of physical experiences that they resort to that??


    • I dunno; I don’t think I’d ever be that desperate for physical experiences. But now that you mention it, I do remember the sensation of minnows nibbling at me in the pond; and that didn’t bother me a bit – I thought it was kind of cute. But then again, minnows don’t have much for teeth…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh I’m curious what could put you off gummi bears????? And I’m betting you won’t tell, and I’m going to have to wait ages for book 14.

    Oh I lover book 13. I took my time reading it, loved curling up with old friends for a catch up. I love my brains ability to fall asleep and make me dream of being snuggled in hellhounds arms, even if he is a big a commitment phobe as I am.
    Im so happy being single though I do wish I could find my own hellhound to snuggle with occasionally


    • I’m so glad you loved Book 13! And you’ve nailed it exactly: When you’re both commitment-phobic, everything’s perfect. 😉 I wish I could control the direction of my dreams the way you do. Any time I dream, it’s weird random shit that makes me think, “WHAAAAAT?!?!?” when I wake up.

      And nope, I’m not telling anything more about the Gummi Bears. But I think you’ll laugh when you finally get to read it!


  3. They used to do this in the UK, to make it worse the tanks were in the window so people walking past would be able to watch you.
    I’ve never been tempted to do it, I always wondered if it would be possible for the fish to think oh we don’t like her feet and swim to the other end of the tank.


    • Bahahaha!!! The ultimate humiliation. That’s another reason why I don’t want a pedicure: I keep imagining the technicians recoiling in horror when they see my prehensile toes for the first time. 😉


    • You’re braver than I am! I got the impression from the article that they weren’t absolutely certain it was the fish pedicure that made the woman’s toenails fall off; but I’d be afraid to take the chance anyway. I just don’t trust fish that much. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks (?!) for the education…I shudder to think of all the possible side effects of this, as well as the whole “ick” factor of all these critters. I recently moved to central Florida where I now have to avoid armadillos! When waking my dogs, these things are pretty fearless until we’re about 5 feet away. I learned that they can carry leprosy! How come their ears and nose don’t fall off? Yikes!
    Can’t wait for the next book. Any title hints?


    • Leprosy?!? Good Lord. I’ve always thought armadillos were cute, but apparently they have hidden depths. I’ve never seen one up close, and now I don’t particularly want to.

      Regarding Book 14, well… I’m a bit of a freak: I never know what the title will be until I’ve written the whole book. I guess that’s because I’m a ‘pantser’ (as in ‘fly-by-the-seat-of’) instead of a plotter. I always have my major plot points figured out before I start writing, and I know where I want the character arcs to end up; but all the details just happen naturally as I write. I get so many surprises along the way that I’ve given up trying to pick a title until the whole story has unfolded. So I’m afraid it’ll be a while before Book 14 gets a title… 😉


  5. Nope. Nope. Nope. Aaaaaaand NOPE.

    Didn’t like the thought of it the first time I heard of it, and still don’t! And it’s not that I had a traumatic experience either. I think some of us are just born this way 😀


  6. I’ve seen pictures of those pedicures. Creeps me out. I don’t even go for a regular pedicure (though perhaps I should), so one of those types is definitely not on the table for me. Shudder.


  7. I have never been bitten by a fish, but Blue Claw crabs used to bite a toe occasionally. It hurt! So did getting stung by jellyfish, but it would pass in an hour or so. Now it’s just insects that try and suck the life out of me.


    • The thought of a jellyfish sting just horrifies me. I’ve been bitten by all manner of critters in my life, but for some reason jellyfish stings seem worse than all of those put together. Maybe it’s because the first time I ever heard of jellyfish was when I was kid on a family vacation to the Florida Keys, and just as we arrived at the beach for our VERY FIRST SWIM, somebody got stung by a jellyfish. It was very long ago and I can’t remember the details (probably because my parents kept me drugged on Dramamine for the whole trip); but I do recall the agonized screaming of the victim. And also the home remedy of pissing on the bite. Yikes, major childhood trauma. Even now when I see a dead jellyfish washed up on the beach, I give it a wide berth.


  8. I just did a quick bit of research (like almost 20 seconds) and discovered that 10 states in the US ban this practice and there are a number of sources questioning the safety of this – CNN reports a women lost her toenails after this “procedure.” Personally, I avoid water on my body that is not in a bathtub, shower, or highly treated pool.


    • Yep, I’ve gotten pretty squeamish about untreated water sources, too. I used to love swimming in a glassy-still lake at sunset but I haven’t done that for years; mostly because there aren’t too many lakes anymore that aren’t overrun with people. But I have to admit that it’s partly because I keep imagining what kind of critter might be nibbling at my heels. Or other portions of my anatomy.

      Liked by 1 person

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