Dead Fish in a Box

The chronicles of a suburban fishpimp trying to keep it rural.

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Location: United States

Thursday, July 29, 2004


We’re a funny bunch, we fishpimps. We’re more synchronized than a sorority house at the wrong time of the month. When someone goes out and gets the new stainless steel barbecue from Costco, we all have to go get the new stainless steel barbecue from Costco. Seriously, I think this office single-handedly keeps the local Costco in business.

But we’re not limited to the warehouse stores. We like to support all facets of our economy. Right now everyone is into sunflower seeds. Every other desk in the building has an open drawer with a bag of David brand seeds. The purchasing office disposed of any form of discretion and just put a big bowl out on the central filing cabinet. I think they’re popular because everyone is working off the previous fad: Kodiak brand chewing tobacco.

Or it could be trying to curb the appetite – we tend to visit the same restaurant until we’re sick of it. Fist it was the Barney’s for hot pastrami sandwiches, then the Casa Corona for tacos, then the Philly Ya’ Belly for cheesesteaks, then John’s Wok for Asian fusion, then K’s deli for soup. Currently we are without a central dining destination, I’ll keep you posted.

We’re also streaky about our espresso. There are eleven (11) espresso shops between the freeway and the fishhouse. Eleven in a 3 mile stretch; 30% of which are Starbucks outlets. Ridiculous. We’re currently frequenting the closest Starbucks, but our loyalty can be bought, well, perhaps “bought” is the wrong word. The only reason we frequented the last place is because the barista looked (and dressed ) like a porn star - seriously, she even let one of the guys take pictures of her putting the “steam” in steamed milk (the trouble started when the pics started popping up on the internal network.) Unfortunately, the coffee was terrible.

Then there was the Top Tattoo epoch. No fewer than 12 of my cohorts here made the trek down to this little tatty-shack just over the county line to “get some ink done”. I shouldn’t be surprised by this, I wrote a paper in college titled “Piercing and Tattooing in America”, I found that very few people go alone to get a tattoo – safety in numbers, I guess.

Then there were Ford Rangers. I bought a Ranger the week after I started here. I drove it to work the next day. Later that morning I heard someone shout “Hey, who’s got the new Ranger?!”
“It’s mine. Why do you ask?” says I, thoroughly confused by the attention drawn by my new, but economically prudent pick-up truck.
“Welcome to the club!”
“Huh? Club?”
“The Ranger club, dude! We all got one; Me, Simon, E-man, Jared, Rich, Harry, Rob the driver, we all got ‘em!”

I had no idea I was so hip to the fishhouse vogue.

I also had no idea that it was possible to use “fishhouse” and “vogue” in the same sentence.

OK – I realize that this post isn’t all that funny, so I’ll leave you with the latest Simonism:

“Hey – we’ve got work to do! We’re all high-fivin’ each other around here when maybe we should only be four-finger high-fivin.”

Here’s a big four-finger-high-five goin' out to y’all – out.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Alternative Transportation - Update

Bike commuting has been a blast so far. It's just a skosh under 13 miles door to door, with one big plus: it's all down hill on the way home. I've been riding twice a week and, unbelievably, it has finally allowed me a way to arrive home smelling like something other than dead fish!

Thursday, however, the ride was a bit, shall we say, "challenging". It was 95 freakin' degrees out, so I popped into REI and bought a bandana to keep the sweat out of the eyes. As I was leaving the store in Lynnwood I almost got hit by a car. About a mile later the rear tire was feeling a bit splashy, so I got out my handy-dandy CO2 tire inflator to pump up the tire, only to realize that I had a puncture (that's biker cool-guy slang for a hole in the innertube). I swapped the tube out only to realize that I was out of CO2, and as Simon would say (see 4/14/04 post), was up the creek with out a pump. I began hiking back up the street to Gart Sports for a little air when I was nearly struck by a second vehicle (this time I was right in the middle of a crosswalk!)

Those jokers a Gart know about as much about bikes as I know about the fluvial geomorphology of Wet Beaver Creek, AZ.  I wasted an hour there looking for products they did not carry, and service they could not perform - the bike tech didn't know the difference between shrader and presta valves - that's akin to a computer tech not knowing the difference between Macintosh and Microsoft, or a Fishpimp not knowing the difference between Salmon and Halibut. Outrageous.

So I hiked back up to REI about a 1/2 mile further up the road and almost got hit by a 3rd car. What's up with drivers in Lynnwood anyway? Apparently, they do not understand what the parallel white lines perpendicular to their direction of travel indicate (That would be a crosswalk for those Lynnwoodite readers, it means don't run over the people walking between the lines!).

"Welcome to REI, how are you doing today, sir?"

"Terrible, thanks for asking." says I, figuring that being covered in sweat and bike grease while pushing a bike with a flat tire would have tipped her off, but she just had to ask. And it got worse still when the bike tech over-inflated my tube and it burst. So I got a Cliff Bar for dinner while they put a 3rd tube on my wheel. when he finnished he handed me the box for the tube and tells me to have them ring it up in front. Ring it up?!?! You're the bonehead who destroyed my good tube in the first place! Unfortunatly, by that time it was nearly 7:30, and I just wanted to get home to my dogs and leftover cassarole.  I paid for it.

Anyway, it is my hope that I exorcized all my bad bike Karma, my bike Yin, and that I should be riding my bicycle Yang for months to come.

In other words I'll have Yang up the Ying.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Pod Lounger
I'd like to tell you all about my main Cambodian, Sokhim. He's the guy who makes all us sales guys look good. He's the James Brown of Seafood - the hardest working man in the fishbiz. I'm not kidding - he's freakin' relentless. Last December, when we picked up a ton of new business from a major retailer, and I was freaking out, not knowing how on Earth we were going to be able to manage all those phone calls, he stepped up and made it happen. In fact, most days he had it all cleaned up two hours early!

He's the prototypical young Asian male: He eats the Pho, idolizes Ichiro, wears the baggies, and he drives a soup'd-up Honda. He's always looking for new ways to pimp his ride. He's also got a thing for the I-pod - I-pod ads up on his desk, religiously surfing the I-pod fan-sites (hence his nickname - Pod Lounger), hoarding away his cash-money (so the girlfriend couldn't trace it) for weeks to buy one, then driving 50 miles to go pick it up.

But down at the Apple store in Seattle he was PROFILED! That's right my peoples, denied service 'cause he's brown! It is an OUTRAGE! Then again, it happens every day. I can hear the profiling when he's on the phone selling the fish. Several times a week I hear this coming from Sokie's cubicle:

"Hi, this is Sokhim at the House of Fish...Sokhim...S-O-K-H-I-M...S-O-K- what? Yes, that really is my name...your sorry?...What do you mean it's weird, that's my name!"

Poor Sokajawea.

Where is the love?
Where is the justice?
Where's Johnnie Cochran when you really need him?!

Mayby he should just change his name to Paul.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Simon & the Baron

Before I get into today's topic I 'd like to pass along the latest Simonism. Regarding a coworker's dislocated shoulder:

"Those take 6 months to heal, and that's on a good day!"

On to today's subject: The Baron. The Baron is Simon's favorite target. He's sanctimonious, corpulent, and barely literate - last year he sent out "Mary Christmas" cards, sparking a rash of Happy Fourth of Julie and Happy Esther jokes. He's also a known tax evader.

We call him the Baron not because he owns huge tracts of land, but for his resemblance to a baron of beef. For those of you not schooled in the butchery arts, a "baron" is essentially the entire hind leg of a cow. Actually, upon reflection, you could say he's got huge tracts of land. His other nicknames include: Pancho Grande, Tubb-o, Big Boy, and Biscuit (he handles Red Lobster and always returns from sales calls with a bag of cheese biscuits)

Simon loves crackin' on the Baron. Any time he gets stressed out he'll rip into the Big boy for instant relief. In fact, so many of Simon's quotables are in regard to the Baron that we created a separate "Baron" section on the list of Simonisms. They make up about 20% of the entire document which is fast approaching 9 pages. Here is a selection of my favorites:

"The Democrats had Bill Clinton, ABC had Pee-wee Herman, and we have the Big Boy."

"You just want someone to do your job while you eat candy."

"One Vicodin? You'd need like 15! Body mass - you'd need an Elephant dose"

"The Baron is back... Or the Baron got back... is that how is goes?"

"If he keeled over in here we'd need 3 stretchers to carry him out!"

"Big Boy! Remember our rule: Don't talk!"

"Baron, you ruined Snohomish County!"

"Do you hear an echo in here? These walls are haunted, and there's nothing worse than a fat ghost."

"Big Boy! Put on your sports bra and lets head downtown!"

"Baron, did you see the video of the prisoners in Iraq? It'll be worse for you."

"Baron, tomorrow I want to see your high school diploma, and not that one you bought off the internet."

"Baron, don't go outside, they might think you're the Ark, you think your accounts are hard? Just wait until you have to swim to shore with 2 of everything."

And my personal favorite, broadcast over P.A. system to all the offices, and through the entire warehouse: