Excerpt from a Larger Thought

Posted on January 23, 2004 by Jenna

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Apple trees are not fish. If they were fish, they would live underwater. They would have interesting survival adaptations. Since they have many branches, they would most likely swim like an octopus. An apple tree fish would look upside down from a surface person’s perspective. It would keep its branches underneath it and swish them through the water. Its roots would stick up. It would only invert and use its roots for swimming in an emergency. It’s not clear why a fish would need to grow apples. It’s possible that they would be luminescent organs that would help the apple tree fish see. Or they would be used, as in the surface world, for mating. The female apple tree fish would shake off the apples. Then the male apple tree fish would fertilize them. This would probably involve aquatic bees. Apple trees are not fish. So apple trees will end.

Bookshelves are also not fish. This is because fish can’t read. There’s no need for fish to have other, special fish to store their books on. If fish could read, then the fish-bookshelffish relationship would be symbiotic. The reading fish would eat little tiny fish and plankton. They would digest them. Then they would extrude the resulting mess into the bookshelves’ mouth. This is because bookshelves cannot hunt. In exchange for food, the bookshelffish would protect the reader fish’s books from predators. When a plagiarism shark snuck up, the bookshelffish would rattle its shelves and emit a great cloud of ink, scaring the shark away. Bookshelves are not fish, so bookshelves have bookends.

Despair is not a fish. Despair does not live underwater. This means that hope is a fish. Hope swims. Hope darts this way and that. Hope is an elusive fish. No one can eat it. It shall not end. If despair were a fish, then no one would want to eat it. Sharks would look at it and then go away. “That’s a despair fish,” they’d say. “That’s too bitter.” That’s just silly; so as long as there are fish, everything else has hope.

Cereal is not a fish. No one bothers to make fish whose only purpose is to be eaten by other fish. Except aquariums and pet shops. They don’t count, since they’re not a natural part of the great cycle of life.

It’s really not very hard to think of things that are not fish. It’s harder if you limit yourself to organic things that live in water, though. Sharks are not fish. Dolphins are not fish. Whales are not fish. Vice-President Cheney is not a fish. It’s not clear whether he lives in water. The television does not show him as underwater, but that could be the liberal bias of the media. It’s possible that we finally have an aquatic Vice-President and the liberal media actually edits the film to ensure that no one knows. If he would just wear a swimsuit more often, it would be easier to tell.

Anemones are not fish. They have no fins and they do not pursue their lives in a fish-like manner. It’s possible that they are simply deviant fish. It seems more likely that they’re an entirely different classification. If all of the anemones and aquatic Vice-Presidents in the world linked hands, they could form an anemone Cheney of love. But they have no hands. That’s why they weep.

Anemones have no hands. They have no feet. Sea cucumbers can invert themselves, shooting their internal organs into the sea. Orca command a fearsome arsenal of nuclear weapons. Seals can balance balls on their nose. Anemones don’t even have hands. But they do have something. A special something. They keep it secret. They don’t tell people about it. It’s something every anemone learns about before they’re born.

In that place before birth, they see a visitor; and it gives them the thing that they have; and it whispers, “Hold this safe. Do not let it go. Do not use it until the sky turns red and the sea turns black and it seems all hope is lost.”

They wait for that day; for that hour; for the hour of the anemone to come. In that moment, only anemones, fish, and the ocean itself will survive. Silent will be the halls of humanity, for humanity is not a fish. No more shall be the elephants, for elephants are not fish. The lions shall not roar on the African plains, for lions are not fish. Unless they’re lionfish. It seems odd that there should be lionfish, but there are.

So many things will end.

Banks are not fish. You can’t make a deposit in a fish. You can’t withdraw from a fish. There aren’t any tellers in a fish. If they were fish, people would go to open a checking account and they’d drown, screaming in their minds about the injustice of it all. But banks are not fish. So banks will end.

(continued at the start of this entry)