the clams finally came
Details concerning the origin of the phrase are fuzzy but when Dave was a sophomore in high school he began writing “The clams are coming” on every surface he came in contact with. Every desk, every bathroom stall and every locker. And next to this he would draw a single clam.
At first anyway.
As the school year progressed he would add a clam now and then. By Christmas break there were four menacing-looking clams surrounding the “The clams are coming.” This gives you a rough idea of his artistic skills. Making a clam look menacing isn’t an easy task.
Looking back on this episode of his life he can honestly say that, to the best of his recollection, there were no sexual connotations or double entendres attached to the clams. This despite the fact that he distinctly remembers a ‘bearded clam’ being used as one of many (and by many I mean over 40,000) euphemisms for the female genitalia. Ironically, his non-sexual clams often times fought for space on desks, bathroom stalls and lockers amidst a cornucopia of crudely drawn and fully aroused dicks.
The memory of the many manifestations of the male penis made him smile as he walked towards the back of his local mega-grocery store. He thought he’d treat himself to a couple lobsters from the seafood section, this despite the fact that he’d spent countless minutes over the years staring at the unfortunate occupants of the tank telling himself that if he lived closer to the ocean there was no doubt in his mind that at some point he would stage a daring midnight crustaceanal robbery and set them free, and was almost upon them when he saw the new tank.
And the new girl behind the tank.
The clam tank.
Mary, the new girl behind the new clam tank.
Just as he was remembering “The clams are coming.” Just as you were about to forget that there is no such word as crustaceanal.
With only a few weeks left in his sophomore year he was drawing a veritable army of clams around his catchphrase. Nobody in his school knew who was drawing all these clams and even more uninteresting was that nobody cared. Not one person. No hysteria at all. Clams lurked in every corner and nobody even mentioned it in passing. He’d even started to spray paint clams on overpasses and deserted storefront windows in the hopes of creating some sense of foreboding about a coming mollusk invasion but with zero luck.
He looked into the new clam tank. At this point it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that it contained clams. He certainly wasn’t surprised, tipped off by the large sign announcing ‘Fresh Clams’ that sat on top of the it. A quick peek into the tank confirmed it. Sitting motionless at the bottom were a dozen clams.
“Can I help you?” inquired the new girl. She was cuter than most of the girls at the store.
The last day of his sophomore year he realized that “The clams are coming” was played out. The clams were, in fact, not coming. They had never been coming and it was time to put them in his past. To move on.
He never drew another clam.
By junior year he was drawing dicks like every other guy.
“Sir?” the new girl persisted. Everything smelled fishy.
He looked back in the tank and saw that the clams were now in four perfect lines of three.
“I… uh……” he stammered and did a doubletake at the tank.
The older clams in the tank shot out their eggs and the more immature clams released their sperm. The water grew cloudy.
The clams had come.
Mary, the new girl behind the new tank, noticed this as well. It was clear she was disgusted.
“I wouldn’t eat these if I were you” she said and made an unpleasant face.
Dave cleared his throat, straightened up to his full height, looked her directly in the eyes and asked “Do you want to hear what I used to draw in high school?”