Thursday, May 17, 2007

A Fish Story

(Sept. 7, 2007)

Weird thing, a patient from Texas decided he was homesick for fishing. He got all rigged up Huck Finn style, dug out a worm from the ground, and went over to the Japanese Garden. He caught himself a fish. Big muddy brown Koi. At least he didn't catch any of the really gorgeous ones in the pond...caught one that came from the generation that was born there. Regression to the mean tends to do that: the pretty variations are flukes, sports. It's the brown ones, throwbacks to the original river carp that were bred to make Koi, that wear basic survival coloration.

Needless to say, the staff were horrified.

He wanted the staff in the cafeteria to fry it up and make hush puppies and french fries to go with it.

Just before he got out his knife to behead and gut it, I got to him.

"Sir...ever go fishing for Catfish?"

"Yep. Like Bass more, but Catfish will do."

"Umm...when you brought your Catfish home, you didn't clean it and cook it right away if it was still alive, right?

"Yeah, gotta get the mud out of their system."

"OK. Carp are like that too, and that's what you just caught."


"You have to let them swim around in clear water a few days, feed them cornflakes, get them to crap all that mud out of their system. Does that sound like something you can do here?"


"The fish looks like he's still alive. Why don't you put him back in the water where he belongs. I'll see what I can do about getting you a fish dinner."

The guy agreed, and we both took the fish back to the Japanese Garden pond. The fish splashed the guy on the way back in. I guess it's anthropomorphising, but it was like a final "screw you, pal" gesture on behalf of the fish to the guy who made him miserable.

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