I think it’s time we confront the truth. We know very little about flounder.
Yeah, yeah, there are flounder experts among us (you know who you are) (obviously) who know tons of flounder stuff. Like your flounder catchers (not to be confused with Yogi Berra in the rye) who know the difference between a flounder and a flounder impersonator (imfishonator?)
Look, I’m talking about you and me. We know nothing about flounder and it doesn’t seem to bother us until one night the alleged good flounder we ate for dinner — breaded to the nines and slathered in lemon — comes swimming back up the main hatchway to cackle “I’m baaad!”
Unfortunately, bad doesn’t begin to describe the intense metaphishical experience that follows. It opens your eyes along with every other valve, pore, innie, outie or blowhole on the body electric.
An exaggeration? Okay, imagine that someone parks a 1982 Datsun 210 (5-speed) in your stomach. It’s towing a trailer full of loose and very hard to digest racquet ball balls. The blue ones. On leaving your stomach’s parking garage, the Datsun crashes through the toll gate without paying or even saying “Have a good one.”
The trailer comes loose at the intersection of the body’s internal and metaphorical Holland tunnel and the Canal Street subway stop. The Datsun takes the subway north to Columbus circle and changes for the museum of natural history where – long story, short — it crashes into a stuffed moose and all the stuffing comes out.
The trailer, meanwhile, overturns, sending thousands of blue balls bouncing through the Holland tunnel, rolling out the barrel, so to speak, into the Zuider Zee, (aka New Jersey, exit 14C). They surround and overturn the governor, Chris Christie, who selflessly alerts the citizenry with his final word: “Balls!“
Or think of a packed church parking lot emptying out after a service. Everybody in such a hurry to do God’s work. See them cutting off fellow churchgoers, jumping curbs, blazing new shortcuts through the wisteria, turfing the adjacent graveyard, blithely flipping the bird at elderly volunteers directing traffic. Oh, yes. We’re talking myocardial infarctions out the wazoo.
Which, of course, reminds me of Kierkegaard. The nineteenth century Danish pastry chef was best known in his early years for the daring back-slash he inserted into the second letter of his first name (Søren) (I know. Really?). His life and pastry changed profloundly one night when a poorly vetted flounder with a rap sheet, came back up the down spout singing Lil Wayne’s “Something you forgot.”
Kierkegaard began shouting, raving, spewing (lots of spewing) that life was meaningless, absurd and gross. He kept up the rant long after he’d been hosed down, swearing off — and frequently at – fish. His raving gave rise to the term floundering, although today, his idolizing party poopers call his philosophy existentialism. Even so, while shooting marbles one day with the 10-year-old Nietzsche, Kierkegaard rambled on about regurgitationism, and “Revenge of the Flounder.”*
My concern about our societal floundering makes me ponder one of the great questions of life. Who invented the name flounder? Some legendary angler with a name like Tennessee “Buddy Boy” Flounder? Or was it a simple misspellling at the Lost and Flound department down at Bob’s Beer Rental?
Can you see it? A fisherman stops at Bob’s for a cold one. He drops a fish while staggering home. A stolen steamroller steams by and flattens it. Someone tosses it into the Flound box outside Bob’s. When Bob sees it he says “What the hell is this?”
Larry, his assistant, says “Looks like a…wait for it…a flounder. Get it? Flound-er? In the Flound box. Get it?”
Bob, not what you’d call a fun guy, did not get it. Larry – long story short – is now a bouncer at a racquetball ball factory (the blue ones).
*Nietzsche mentions this in his work “Also spake Zarathustra.” It should be noted–and in fact, it is being noted, so get off my back–that handwriting experts believe The Nietster (his mother’s pet name) wrote spanked. This makes some sense when one considers that Zarathustra was Kierkegaard’s pet name for himself and that the Nietster, in his seminal work “Stocks and Bondage,” describes paddling an elderly gentleman who had lost his marbles.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2017, all rights reserved.