ISSUE 19

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  There are a lot of fish in the sea. They say this after someone performs open-heart surgery on your emotions with a rusty spoon, as if facts about fish will help. Thanks a lot Mr. Discovery Channel. But what does their advice mean? Is it a catch-and-release sort of thing, or do you whack someone with a rock until they stop flopping around? 
  It’s also unclear whether you’re the fish, which is not a flattering comparison, or the fisherman, which means you smell funny, can withstand very long periods of boredom, and have a capacity for brief, extreme violence. It’s like stalking or clubbing a seal.
  But yes, in a technical sense, there are a lot of fish in the sea, whether you’re fishing or a fish. There’s also a hell of a lot of water, just miles upon miles upon miles of empty loneliness. You could say, “There’s vast quantities of water… just, you know, in general,” and then when your friend looks confused, simply smile and nod like a dementia patient watching Jeopardy.
  Even in all that emptiness, however, most fish are the wrong fish, the ones that didn’t make it into One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish—or did. From the looks of it, Dr. Seuss scraped far past the standard goldfish you find at Petco. Especially that blue fish, he just doesn’t look right, like he’s waiting for the right moment to take your credit cards and buy fifteen-hundred pounds of fish food, a two-hundred-gallon tank, and three buxom blue fish prostitutes. And all without hands. 
  The right fish are all hiding under rocks, but good luck finding them BECAUSE THEY’RE UNDER A ROCK—unless, of course, you’re a tuna because there are twenty thousand brain-dead tuna swimming in one congealed, humid hellhole, kind of like Omaha. But what if you’re a blue whale? There were only twenty left the last time Green Peace checked—though they did just send an underpaid intern to stand off the coast of Oregon and yell, “WHALE.”
​ And that’s just not fair. There’s a very small market for creatures with 300,000 pounds of blubber, a hole in the head, and burgeoning vocal talents—“burgeoning” because the singing isn’t great. It’s enough to attract a submarine, wherever that gets you, and for the blue whale a giant metal submersible with no clear place to impregnate doesn’t get them very far.
   
  A whale’s loneliness would make a good song for some hipster band though, and the song could have lots of post-modern, confusing applications about the nature of love and decency and nuclear proliferation and how some whale’s willy gets blown off by a Russian typhoon-class submarine. They could call it, "No Dick" in a witty nod to any literature majors out there.
 And what about the kraken? Talk about a misunderstood creature. We never see past the obvious fact that she hates ships and shipwreck victims and pirates and other fish and probably whales, but get that giant squid thing into a psychiatrist’s office and man, the emotional burdens she is dealing with… It’s no small wonder she can’t get a date.  
  The rest of us outside the office can only wonder: Is there an ex-Mr. Kraken in the picture? Did Ms. Kraken eat him in a feminist rebellion against the patriarchy? Are krakens Marxists? Because if they are, the wheels of progress are tentacle-y and filled with death, and we are all so totally screwed. Or at least the people near the sea are, and they are anyways if the CO2 levels keep rising. So maybe climate change… is… the kraken. Cosmic.      See it’s all about love—fishing, whales, water, Ms. Kraken, climate change… all of it. But in the end, fish are idiots. Anything you don’t feel bad about putting in a bowl for five years does not have the capacity to maintain a relationship. And if you’re comparing yourself to a fish, then you need to see the kraken’s psychiatrist. Soon.

          
​Check out a vacation to Mordor.
It's really hot this time of year.