this last Friday it was the Grunion Run! i had seen it once before when i was little on Malibu beach but i’d forgotten the fishy fantasticalness of it all. it was a small turn-out, grunion wise, because often the Grunion Run can look like this. joey and i went with our friends Zoe and Jake (siblings) to Venice beach to watch the grunion perform their mating magic show.
Grunion, i believe, are in the smelt family and each spring and summer is the time when they spawn in the sand. they are fish, but they lay their eggs out of the water. very odd and intriguing to watch, hence the hoards of drunk revelers cheering on this fish porn, if you will…
how it works: the female grunion takes the wave of her choice in and up onto the shore, then she quickly gets to work digging a deep hole with her tail. she inserts herself in the hole and lays her eggs, the male grunions then clamor to wrap themselves around the female and release their milt, yup, i said milt, and let it run town the female’s body and fertilize her eggs. the female then squiggles like her life depends on it, cuz it does, out of her whole and flops around, like a fish, waiting for the next wave to bring her back out to sea…. sexy?
the upside, was the excitement of spotting a grunion and then being able to get really close to her and observe this fish out of water. but the downsides were some of the obnoxious people, including the one child in his underwear and skull cap who insisted on yanking the females out of their holes and putting them in the pet gerbil container he’d brought with him, with absolutely no respect or appreciation for what the fish were attempting to do. i am not a murderer, nor do i have any murderous tendencies, but i wanted to kill this child! the next best thing, to flinging him out into the ocean, was to tell him, “you know, that is illegal, we might have to call the police to come and arrest you.” ( Zoe thought it was hilarious that i said “might”) to which he grumbled, “i’m gonna put them back, geez.”…..oh, so your goal is meaningless torture, where are your f*ing parents!??
there was also a guy who claimed to be the grunion awareness do-gooder man, but he picked up a female and squeezed her little tummy so her eggs came out (photo above). it was sad and upsetting, but maybe i missed the memo that he was a licensed fish gyno…….that’s what she said.