Freezer Full of Meat And Booze: An 8-Day Amity Island Diet


Show me the way to better abs and increased energy

Amity Island, like Brigadoon or King Arthur’s Avalon, is a place out of time that is powered by summer dollars and magical realism. But an Islander’s gotta eat — and not some license plate he found in a river.

As has been proven with exhaustive scholarship, we cannot rely on police reports or flyers on Town Hall walls to nail down exact times on Amity (which, as you know, means “friendship”), but we can kick our way to shore with this hearty 8-day diet.

Falstaff Beer And A Cigarette


Soon neither of us will be able to walk or dress ourselves, Chrissie

If Brody’s police report was true (and it wasn’t), Tom enjoyed this casual ripaste close to midnight on July 1, 1974. Chasing Chrissie Watkins down the dunes, Tom doesn’t make it too far, and passes out. But that was just a palate cleanser, because the next day:

Coffee And Crabs


Oh, you’ll get it back.

Even though the season hasn’t even started yet, Brody rushes out of his home with his wife’s coffee mug to find Chrissie’s partially denuded remains being gobbled by crabs.


Crabs know a boating accident when they see one.

“I want my cup back,” nags Ellen Brody.

“You’ll get it,” replies the Prufrocked Chief, probably wishing he was a Chrissie-denuding crab.

Brandy And A Freezer Full of Meat


Let’s toast to Pippet.

It’s been a tough day what with all that chalkboard scratching, so Ellen brings her husband a heavy snifter of Brandy.

“You wanna get drunk and fool around?” she says.

“Oh yeah,” Brody replies, hoping to do some denuding of his own.


3,000 bucks buys an awful lot of roast.

Meanwhile, Charlie steals his wife’s Holiday Roast for our first substantial meal, more than ample fuel for the strenuous days ahead. When you put your hook into this chunk of flesh, your friends will say, “He’s taking it he’s taking it he’s taking it he’s taking it.”

Water, Red And White Wine, And Leftovers


Make sure to drink in a non-frenzied manner this weekend.

We still need to bulk up for our shark hunt, so today we’ll begin with a palate-cleansing styrofoam cup full of water as Hooper narrates Chrissie’s injuries. Because he is a scientist, Hooper probably knows the reason not to smoke in the autopsy room, though it is lost on us.


I didn’t know what you were having.

Then we’ll finish the day with some hefty, inappropriately dispensed glasses of wine quaffed around a table full of lasagna leftovers.

“You want to let that breathe for — ? Nothing,” says Hooper, who is in sharks.

Coffee (Ice Cream) And Cigarettes


Good luck playing with your cars in here, Michael.

After the leftovers, let’s have a nice dessert. Michael’s birthday-week trauma at the pond has left him in shock, but he recovers enough for some ice creamMeanwhile, Vaughn takes advantage of the fact that it’s the 1970s in Massachusetts by lighting up in a goddamn hospital.


I can smoke anywhere—I’m the Mayor of Shark City.



I call this a Fat PBY.

Quint has told Brody that Hooper can be taken on the Orca for ballast, and what better way to jettison the week’s fatty foods than with Quint’s mariner moonshine?

“Don’t drink that,” says Brody to Hooper, whose insides are like a kiddie scissor class cut it up for a paper doll, or whatever Quint said, being drunk already.

Narragansett, Compressed Air, Chum, Cod, And Cigarettes


Drink enough of these, you’ll eat a rocking chair.

That first day at sea can take a lot out of landlubbers, so the savvy shark fisherman makes sure to vary his diet. Have plenty of ‘Gansett on hand in crushable cans and chase that with some compressed air – just don’t fool around with it or it will blow up. Balance that with a bucket full of chum and a paper plate of cod and you’re gonna need a bigger boat to take your ass home.

Iranian Caviar, Pate De Fois Gras, And A Case of Apricot Brandy


Chum some of this shit, Chum.

Just because Quint is dead doesn’t mean his payment has to go to waste. Presumably the Town of Amity is off the hook for the $10,000 Quint demanded, but you can still enjoy the late Captain’s culinary spoils. Dine in front of a color TV while chewing on a sheepshank, and you’ll be all ready for “Jaws 2.”

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Two Days on Amity

JAWS Alex Kintner and Brody

Soon your whole body will be pruned, Alex

It’s Chief Brody’s first summer and he is still on the steep end of the learning curve. He doesn’t know you need a resolution by the Board of Selectmen to close the beaches, he’s unclear that he has to inform the Coast Guard when someone is gobbled by a shark, and he is prone to megalomaniacal power grabs when drunk, declaring “I can do anything; I’m Chief of Police.”

JAWS Coroner's Report

Let Polly do the spelling

Faced with the washed up, crab-nibbled body of Chrissie Watkins, Brody fills out a police report. He writes that Watkins died on July 1, 1974 and was discovered the next day (a Monday and Tuesday, respectively, according to something called The Calendar).

Brody fills out the report while on the phone with Amity’s coroner, who tells him Chrissie died of a shark attack. But Brody, despite his commanding exterior, is clearly flustered: he abbreviates Chrissie’s race to “COC,” misspells “Coroner,” and confuses a.m. with p.m. Later, under pressure from the money-hungry mayor, the coroner retracts his original verdict and says it was probably a boat propeller instead.

JAWS Barracuda

We’ll have to amend our reports

“We’ll have to amend our reports,” says the coroner. Yeah, and run a spell check while you’re at it.

Brody isn’t allowed to close the beaches, so he watches Alex Kintner and Pippet the Dog get devoured in the shallow water. Later, Mrs. Kintner posts a flyer on the Town Hall bulletin board saying that a shark killed her boy on Sunday, June 29. According to the very same calendar used by governments and airports worldwide, June 29, 1974 fell on a Saturday.

JAWS Mrs. Kintner's Flyer

Mrs. Kintner is under a lot of stress

While June 29, 1975 (1975 was the year “Jaws” was released) was a Sunday, it’s clear that someone is going to need to amend both his reports and Time Itself.

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Mating mates: Just a theory I happen to agree with

The mates of Ben Gardner and Quint are seen briefly, say nothing, and disappear. But not in the jaws of a Great White Shark; into the arms of each other. How else to get out from under the shadow cast by their masters? Continue reading

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“Unfriendly Waters”: Occupy Amity Island Edition

Like any American classic, “Unfriendly Waters” finds different meanings for each new generation. Occupy Amity Island protesters have embraced it for its theme of speaking truth to Amity’s corporate interests who would rather see the beaches open and making money, even at the expense of bathers who may be injured.

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July 2: So long, Ben Gardner

Things happen fast on Amity Island. What else is there to do but get drunk and fool around?

Shortly after Chrissie’s partially denuded remains are found, Brody has Polly print up “Beaches Closed” signs, there is a town meeting at which Vaughn and the town merchants shoot Brody down and keep the beaches open, Alex Kintner and Pippet are killed, and thrill seekers from as far away as Connecticut and New Jersey come to collect the $3,000 bounty Mrs. Kintner has placed on the shark’s head, snout, beak, whatever.

We think Ben Gardner died on July 2.

As stated before, the movie lists Alex’s death on June 29 and Chrissie’s on July 1 or 2, which can’t be right. Brody’s police report on Chrissie’s death states July 1, but she couldn’t have died after Alex. Someone will have to amend his report.

Who could have known that technology would one day exist that would allow someone like me to advance the film frame by frame?

Most likely Chrissie died in the late 20’s of June, and Alex died on June 29. That way Mrs. Kintner’s slap of Brody is justified (“I’m sorry, Martin. She’s wrong”/”No, she’s not”) as well as her statement that she “just found out a girl got killed here last week and you knew it.”

Anyway, Ben Gardner is played by the late Martha’s Vineyard native Craig Kingsbury, who was acknowledged as a special salty mariner consultant to Robert Shaw’s Quint. It is Gardner who greets Hooper at the dock with:

Hope you’re not going out with those nuts, are ya?

…but who himself is seen soliloquizing on the open water in the midst of those same nuts:

Wait’ll we get them silly bastards down on that rockpile: there’ll be some fun; they’ll wish their fathers had never met their mothers when they start taking their bottoms out and start slammin’ into them rocks, boy. Get away from there, ya goddamn fool, you! What’s the matter with you? You wanna swamp us, ya crazy son of a bitch?

After the chaos of the day, Hooper persuades Brody—who, after all, can do anything because he is Chief of Police—to cut open the tiger shark caught by local yahoos. The pair then head off by Hooperboat to a place somewhere between Cape Scott and South Beach because, as Hooper says (despite the fact that Alex Kintner and Pippet died in broad daylight), “he’s a night feeder.”

It is then they find Ben Gardner’s boat, a shark tooth wedged in the hull, and Ben Gardner’s eyeless skull.

It is the next morning when a shaken but galvanized Brody and Hooper confront Vaughn, who informs them that “tomorrow’s the Fourth of July; it’s gonna be the best summer we ever had.”

Just not for Ben Gardner.

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“Herbie, Mate, Please make me laugh”

The All That Jaws land vehicle recently ran over an already-run-over skunk in the pleasant Atwater Village section of Los Angeles, and we couldn’t help but think of a certain Boatswain’s Mate, a baseball player from Cleveland named Herbie.

The skunk had been cut in half.

On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player, bosun’s mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up and down in the water, just like a kind of top. Upended. Well… he’d been bitten in half below the waist. — Quint

While the lyrics to “Show Me the Way to Indianapolis” show a healthy respect and loyalty to the Indianapolis Speech, I enjoy that the sole liberty taken was that the youthful Quint originally approached Herbie to be cheered up after the sharks came crusin’.

  • Show Me the Way to Indianapolis

    See also: Fogelfoot

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    Shark coughs up Obama’s birth certificate

    “Call Dave Axelrod in New York,” says Amity newspaper editor Meadows to his windswept assistant. “Tell him he owes me a favor.”

    Born in New York, Dave Axelrod later moved west to attend the University of Chicago. He stayed in the city, eventually becoming a political columnist for the Chicago Tribune and an early strategist for Barack Obama. Today he is the president’s chief strategist.

    What favor did Axelrod owe Meadows? We can only speculate. Perhaps it is merely a coincidence that, a generation later, Obama kept the Gulf beaches open following the BP oil spill.

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    “Unfriendly Waters” at Taix

    This is the song Phil Ochs would have sung had he been cast as Matt Hooper.

    Recorded live at Taix in March, 2011.

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    “I just died in the book”

    Matt Hooper resurfaces at the end of the movie “Jaws,” having hidden in some underwater shrubbery when his anti-shark cage said goodbye and farewell. But in the book, Hooper had to die Continue reading

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    Drinking to our appendices: appendix

    “He was looking at his appendix scar,” Jaws screenwriter Carl Gottlieb recently told us. Continue reading

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