Dead Fish in a Box

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

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Location: United States

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Say What?!

I forgot to tell y'all about one of the most eyebrow-raising moments of my past weekend. There was a company specializing in bachelor parties advertizing on the radio; you know Hummer limos, party busses, etc. Then they mentioned "Interactive inflatables". Am I the only one that thinks that sounds dirty? So I waited until everyone in the office was out to lunch and I googled it up. Here's what I found.

Notes from the Mid-West

I have just returned from seeing my people in the upper Midwest. From a strict racial perspective, I have tons of people back there. Seriously, there are a lot of white folks in Wisconsin & Minnesota. In the three days I spent in Eau Claire, WI I saw a grand total of one (1) minority. I know race can be a sensitive subject, and while I am a sensitive Fishpimp, I am also a sociologist by training, and in all my travels (which are respectable) I have never encountered an all-Caucasian hotel staff like the one I was served by in America’s Dairy Land. Not to mention the seemingly ubiquitous mullets.

I was back there for the wedding of one of Mrs. Fishpimp’s cousins. The following is a selection of other observations made the past weekend.

It was too cold to run the batting machines, but not cold enough to close the minigolf course – I shot a 5-over par 49 to win the son-in-law open title.

People in Wisconsin refuse to smoke cigars, but love their Winstons. I love having a good cigar at a wedding, but I hate smoking alone, so I tend pick up a 10-pack of mini-macanudos. I don’t usually have a hard time finding takers, but apparently in Wisconsin the cigar smokers are about as rare as the minorities. But there was no shortage of smokers at this wedding – which brings me to my next observation – Most churches in Seattle don’t have industrial-sized ash cans at the doors, but they sure do in Eau Claire. I shouldn’t be surprised; I must be too accustomed to life in the nearly-smoke-free Pacific Northwest.
Here’s another one for you: Anyone who’s every been in a wedding has been told “Don’t lock you knees!” This weekend we found out why. Here’s the story I got from my one-armed physician of a father-in-law: Standing up there in a thick polyester suit, surrounded by candles & lights, trying to stand still and contain one’s emotions causes havoc on one’s body. Blood vessels dilate to get more blood to the extremities, taking heat away from the body’s core. The dilated circulatory system drops the body’s blood pressure, and all that standing means gravity impedes blood flow to the brain – causing the affected person to faint. It has nothing to do with locking one’s knees. Keeping one’s knees unlocked has more to do with damage control than anything else. Here’s what happened: The groom’s kid brother fainted during the ceremony. With locked knees he fell like old growth timber, landing face first on the cement floor, fracturing his jaw in two places, knocking out 3 teeth, and opening up a two-inch gash on his chin. Had his knees been loose he would have just collapsed on himself and would probably be suiting up for baseball practice this afternoon, rather than testing new recipes for hot dish* puree. Don’t lock your knees, people.

* Hot dish = casserole

One more note on Wisconsin weddings: the song that brought the most people to the reception dance floor: “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” I sure didn’t see that one coming. I guess the Cheeseheads have a thing for Judy Garland.

After the wedding we all headed back to Minnesota where the Aunt & Uncle live. The town they reside in is remarkable – it’s 15 minutes from everywhere – the zoo, the Minnesota Institute of the Arts, the science museum, the airport, the good coffee place, but most importantly, it’s 15 minutes from the Mall of America.
Yesterday, while drinking coffee and eating hot dish the family deliberated on what the days activities should consist of. I suggested the M.O.A. I was gently rebuked; we don’t go to malls at home, we surely don’t want to go to one on vacation. Fortunately for me and my morbid M.O.A. fascination, Minnesota is closed on Mondays – or so it seemed – all of the institutions listed above (minus the coffee shop & airport) are closed on Mondays. So we went to the Mall, and it rocked! I caught myself quoting Jake & Elwood blues, saying things like “There’s a lot of space in this mall” and “This place has everything!” Here are my observations on the Mall of America:

· Magnets are really cheap – sometime I write to y’all about my fetish for refrigerator magnets.
· Any mall that has roller-coasters & a Lego land is worth at least one trip.
· I wanted to buy every single thing in the Lake Wobegone Store – sometime I will write to y’all about my obsession with Scandinavian humor – but I will tell you this: I had a very difficult time leaving without a bag of the Ole & Lena Fortune Cookies, however I did purchase the Minnesota Hot Dish Cookbook – when in Rome…
· My final observation: with all the white folks there I’m pretty sure the Mall of America is not affiliated with the School of the Americas.

Do they all look the same to you?

Check out this link & take the quiz.

See if you can do better than my Asian co-worker; he only got 7/18 right.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Slam some Clam

Part of our service here at The Fishpimp is providing you, the reader, with seafood knowledge. Know this: Here is the best sauteed clam recipe ever!

Bad Weather

Next time you’re perusing your local grocers weekly ad circular take a look at the seafood section. You will notice a disclaimer for the fresh specials: “availability subject to weather and fishing conditions.” Seafood is the one category in the store that does not always come from a farm or a factory. The people love their fish to be wild, but they don’t know why. I think they must have romantic some notion of salty old fishermen in yellow rain slickers, following in the traditions of their forefathers, braving furious gales, battling leviathans, & resisting the songs of the sirens to reap the fruits of the sea; all so they can eat fish sticks.

The people don’t understand that fishermen are (somewhat) human; they have a sense of their own mortality. Most understand that going out into the ocean when it’s blowing it good way to swamp their boat, lose all the fish they might have caught, drown, and generally f*&% up their whole day. The ones that do go out when the weather is bad often become reminders of why the old timers stay in port & get drunk when the barometer drops. Remember that movie “The Perfect Storm”? Based on a true story.

The people don’t care about weather; they want their fish by golly! I can’t tell you the number of times people have whined “But it’s so sunny & beautiful outside!” They don’t understand that the high-pressure ridge that makes the skies blue over Seattle also whips up the seas on the other side – that’s the side with the fish, by the way. Every drive across the SR 520 bridge and notice the water on the upwind side is really choppy, but the down-wind side is placid & smooth? It’s kinda like that.

The most egregious offender of my meteorological sensibilities was a corporate buyer in the Midwest. We had a rockfish ad on with his chain and the weather had turned sour off the coast. I told him there would be no rockfish “due to weather and fishing conditions”

“But the weather is fine outside!”

So I drew him this picture to illustrate:

Click photo to see larger view

Monday, April 04, 2005

Beating the Baron

It’s kind of like beating a dead horse, except that the Baron’s physique is more reminiscent of a beanbag chair than a horse; that and the fact that he’s not dead. The Baron is one of our favorite targets around here – I’ve detailed his persecution before (see 7/13/04 post), but it’s been a while, so I figured it’s time for an update. Simon, who provides the inspiration for this site, is particularly fond of him – here are some of the latest shots fired from the management cubicle:

Baron, did you get a haircut? How are you going to work the comb-over?
Baron, I saw you on the TV last night. You were in Thailand during the tsunami. The wave came in, the wave went out, and you were the only thing that didn’t move.
· Baron, I heard Harry is having Santa Claus at his house on 12/23; are you moonlighting?
-I’m not roly-poly enough- Baron
· -Not roly enough? That’s a lie. Not poly enough? That’s a lie. Not jolly enough? That’s a lie – I see you shaking hands every day!
· Did you get some Mexican food Big Boy? You must have, there’s none left for me!
‘Hey, I ate light’ – Baron
Ate light? You mean you ate with the lights on so you could see your food!
· Baron, you’re so luck you lower my stress – or you’d be out in the warehouse making boxes and your belly would be getting caught in the stapler!
· You’re just like John Kerry, but when you flip-flop the whole world shakes!!!

The Baron, who starts every morning with a bananna and yogurt, also sports a Ron Jeremy-esque mustache which has caused his officemates to draw comparisons between the Baron and a certain aquatic mammal found in Florida. Simon was quick to pick up on that one:

· Baron, I went to Florida and saw a manatee, with that little mustache, it looked like you, then it started eating a banana and I thought I was back in Seattle!
· Baron, you’ve been to Disneyland, but you’ve never been to Disneyworld, why is that? Isn’t it because you’re endangered and they wouldn’t let you leave Florida?

At one point the Baron was targeting the Columbia Tower Club. The CTC is on the top floor of the Bank of America building. Formerly known as the Columbia Tower, it is the tallest building in Seattle, and caused Simon to offer my new favorite Simonism:

I’m worried about going up in the Columbia Tower with him. I’m worried it’ll lean – It’ll be the Columbia Tower of Pisa!