Tami Knight: Blawg #6, The Fish

Posted on: January 18, 2008


The thing with all this shit we do is, but for the people doing it, it wouldn't happen. Okay so that sounds about as stupid as saying 'huh huh iffit wuzznt fer people there'd be no people huhh huh' and then maybe all the animals would be a lot happier but also perhaps not the crocodiles, bears, cougars and - my fave - the komodo dragon c'os people are nice crunchy quesadillas for those critters.

People make the stories. People are the stories. Sure sometimes they also lie like rugs, hiding truth like a rat in the wall. You hear that scratching tellin' you something's wrong and maybe not only bad but bad and wrong but if you care bad enough you poison the fuckers. But I'm not here to discuss how to poison rats or liars. Thissiz the thing: getting together with friends old and new at a film festival means tellin' stories. Be it revisitin' old beloved stories and trottin' them out for a new audience or remembering a story long lost, cross-referencing one story with another ("That was YOU? No, shit.") and heaping a big pinch of hyperbole or bullshit onto a good story to make it a great story. It's a story and it needs to be told.

I heard a great fish story today. I heard it at the top of a chairlift which is a curious place to hear a fish tale but, hey, stories are like boogers, they don't exactly pick a time to be told... or is that tell a time to pick. Ummm.....I'm getting off-track. Back to the story.

It's a fish story c'os it involves a fish but it's not a fish story c'os it doesn't involve a fish ever-enlargening as the tale is told. The angler in question was fishin' in New Guinea and I assume not in headhunter territory; he was fishin' in a mangrove swamp. Now I don't do any anglin' unless you consider anglin' for scotch and chocolate when my stash has run out so I can't say if fishin' in a mangrove swamp is lunacy. Anyway, in this fish tale our angler cast his line and the fly caught in a mangrove leaf, well above the zone of underwaterness where the fish hang out.

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Shit!

But then, from underwater, an angler fish shot a stream of water at the fly. Hungry was he for fly. The fly dislodged from the leaf, splished into the swamp and......yep, you guessed it, our intrepid angler caught himself an angler fish. "Ooooh," he said holding his hands a distance apart "...like this."

I have another fish tale also not my own story but related to me by the chap to whom it happened. This chap, a different chap from the mangrove swamp, was sitting by Kingcome Inlet. He and his climbing partner had just come out of the mountains from a weeks-long alpine adventure and they were now by the saltchuck waiting for the Beaver to arrive. They had chartered the aircraft to meet them here at this spot at the outset of the trip. As they waited and watched and wondered if they should have had the aircraft come a day later so they could visit the First Nations village of Kingcome Inlet - renowned for it's beautiful setting and it's little white church. But, that would have to wait for another trip. As the boys sat there, they watched a sizeable ( this big ! ) salmon in the shallows as it swam lazily but then... what?! The fish had swum between two pylons and had become stuck by it's gills. Try as it might, the fish couldn't get out. And it was ebb tide. As they contemplated freeing the fish and what that might entail, a pickup truck happened by. A First Nations chap poked his head out of the window. "Wanna come over to the village and see it ? "

"Thanks... but we are waitin' for a flight."

"Ooh... don't worry 'bout that, I called those guys and told'em to come in tomorrow to getchya. So....whattabout it ? " The boys looked at each other and then at the fish. "Mind if we bring you some dinner?"

So, yeah...it's the stories. Let's keep tellin' em.

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