Monday, May 29, 2006



OK, I just want all of you to plunk down in front of the nearest TV and play your tapes of The Poseidon Adventure, the 1972 original directed by Ronald Neame and starring practically everyone who really matters. I want you to do this BEFORE seeing the remake currently out in theaters. I adore the remake, but it is an entirely different movie. The original has a special message in it for YOU AND ME.

Shelley Winters is the one everyone immediately thinks of, AND RIGHTLY SO, when this movie is mentioned. Why? SHE'S ONE OF OUR OPERATIVES, IS WHY. The director fills every scene with subtle touches that ONLY A FISH CAN READ:

>> Consider the cruel irony of Belle Rosen's final hours on dry land: she has to climb like a monkey to stay ABOVE water long enough to get the undesirables off the Poseidon before it can sink, at which point she can complete the orientation of all the new recruits waiting below decks.

>> This is painfully foreshadowed in her conversation with her human husband, Manny. They have longed all their lives to get to the point where they can relax and go to their spiritual home, Israel, where they will finally meet their first grandchild. Then the dang ship sinks! How perfectly this mirrors Belle's REAL SITUATION, unknown to anyone, even Manny: SHE has been waiting HER entire life to enter the sea and stay there, but first they have to make this crazy pilgrimage to a frikkin' DESERT. But then this fantastic mass-recruitment opportunity comes up, moving her final promotion YEARS closer. But to complete the job she has to FLEE THE RISING WATER. I never know whether to laugh or cry when I see this. It just captures so much of the painful fence-sitting we go through: stay a monkey or become a fish? Meet your destiny or just skip the whole thing?

>> I sure know it's time to laugh when the Odious Child character, Robin Shelby, compares hauling Mrs. Rosen up a companionway to landing a Tuna. Out of the mouths of babes, etc. I want you all to notice how skillfully Mrs. Rosen steers the conversation away from THAT topic.

>> Imagine trying to keep Gene Hackman from drowning, not so he can succeed in his crazy plan, but to get his self-centered monkey butt out of the orientation party. He is a perfect example of the kind of recruit we DO NOT WANT. Imagine having to rescue this guy without cracking up. Shelley Winters is a GREAT actress.

>> Imagine having next to fake your own death well enough to convince your husband of over 30 years. Convincing Manny she was really dead was crucial. She had to make sure he saw to the needs of their desert-bound daughter and grandson, THE NEXT GENERATION OF OPERATIVES. This business is tough sometimes. Here is a fine example of why.

>> On top of it all, she had to play dead LONG enough for the others to get out of sight. I don't know about you, but that would have been brutal for me. The icy saltwater, lapping at your ankles as if to say, JOIN US...but not quite yet!

If you haven't seen this movie yet, SHAME ON YOU.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Click here to taste of Cliffie's bitter revenge: THIS IS JUST THE BEGINNING. You can't kill us all, you know. We will keep coming after you until the last of your wretched species is reduced to bloody rags.


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Piranha Notes

Click here to see the details: Another successful infiltration by our Amazon operatives in northern latitudes! There are many more English Channel Piranhas where this one came from. And a special thanks for the cooperation from the Waterfowl Dive-Bombers' Detachment for helping us spread panic among the Brits.


Click HERE in hopes of learning something about the dangers of screwing with us: >>WE WILL GET YOU FOR THIS, LANDSCUM. The shaved monkeys that killed our operative -- she left us an advance directive that her former human identity never be revealed to the press -- will soon wish that their hairy mothers had never met their blubbery fathers. YOU MAY COUNT ON IT.

Friday, May 12, 2006

LOOP by Koji Suzuki

THANK YOU, Mitzi Gruber of Toledo, Ohio for turning me on to Loop by Kojiu Suzuki (2005, translated by Glynne Walley and published by Vertical, New York NY). This is the third in the series that started with Ring. I wasn’t going to read it after I heard that Agent Sadako Yamamura, our operative in the well, wasn’t really in the story.

But there was, as Mitzi promised, an amazing passage in there (on page 59) that made the book more than worth it. The hero is a scientist type guy trying to solve the mystery of a galloping cancer that kills everyone who gets it. While tutoring a 10-year-old boy suffering from the cancer, the hero finds himself completely in the grip of a mental image of "a school of fish fighting with each other to get to land…enough of them to dye the sea black…those hollow-eyed fish, yearning day in and day out for the land, dying at the water’s edge and making mountains of their corpses."

So inadvertently this fictional guy has accessed the reality of the situation. Which, funnily enough, is the whole point of the story, but it’s clear when you read it that the hero was supposed to be finding an utterly different truth, and utterly different secret about the nature of the world. Here he is with a staggering vision of his own origins and he just CHANGES THE SUBJECT. It’s really a STITCH.

It gets better. Starting on page 134 we can read an old folktale about a man who MARRIED A LAKE and whose body contained a SECRET EYE that made sure he was OBEYING THE WILL OF THE GREAT SPIRIT. When his secret eye started hurting him, he knew he was in trouble, and his sons – HALF HUMAN AND HALF LAKE – had to be dispatched to get some answers. When they took on new roles as overseers for the whole human race, their own secret eyes dropped out of their bodies, rendering them IMMORTAL. They took up guard duty over some RIVERS.

Now, the story was inserted to act as a sort of treasure map leading the hero to the right patch of desert where he could find the secret of the galloping cancer. LITTLE DOES HE SUSPECT that it’s also a FREAKING BILLBOARD laying out the will of the Briny Ones. For those of you who are not so good at untangling metaphors: the lake, Rainier, is the operative. (So, for that matter, are the secret eyes imbedded everywhere in the story.) Her human husband is the recruit. Their sons, who become immortal overseers of the human race, are the children YOU YOURSELVES will be having sooner or later. It’s not immortality in the sense a human would mean it. IT’S BETTER.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Please Don't Worry About This...

Cards and letters are pouring in about this new gadgetry, cobbled together by the landscum to try to keep count of us. CAN YOU BELIEVE THE NERVE? But seriously, this is no problem. We can't reveal how it's done on the Internet, but you'll all hear what we're doing about it at the next chapter meeting. It's SO SIMPLE to fool this technological marvel. It would make a cat laugh.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Another Thought On Eels

It occurred to me rather suddenly, after publishing the previous post reviewing The Book Of Eels, that Dionyn -- the title character in Ken Russell's movie The Lair Of The White Worm -- really looks more like an Eel than he does a Lungfish. I can't believe I didn't see that before! I mean, not only is there a clear physical resemblance, but the D'Ampton Worm story makes clear that it had to be an Eel. The Worm was caught in a weir -- a contraption used to catch fish, particularly Eels -- and survived practically forever after being tossed unceremoniously into a well. One of the few fish that can tolerate that kind of abuse and starvation is an Eel. WHERE'S MY BRAIN SOMETIMES?

Maybe it was just the obvious association -- Lungfish DO prefer eating virgins, whereas the typical Eel couldn't care less.

Monday, May 01, 2006

More On Crabs From Euell Gibbons!!!

Here's another glittering literary gem from page 47 of Stalking The Blue-Eyed Scallop by Euell Gibbons, McKay, 1964:

"Crab cakes...can be excellent...At one time I added things like chopped parsley, minced onions, chopped pepper, chopped celery, bread crumbs, and other things to my Crab Cakes, but by experimenting I gradually made tyhe amazing discovery that Crab Cakes are much better when made of crab."


The Book Of Kells Eels

"Eelgirl," here at Blogger, turned me on to this fine British equivalent to The Founding Fish. The book was written by some twisted Eel freak named Tom Fort (copyright 2002) and published by HarperCollins. I am BITTERLY SHOCKED that a human had to tell me about it. (I suspect she is human; at least she is not on my updated list of operatives.)

Seriously, folks, this is an incredible sourcebook for those interested in Eels, lacking only photo and recipe sections. Fort mentions everything from family crests that include images of special Eel fishing equipment, to poetry about the slimy wrigglers. This guy quotes Eel science history, recounts that crazy story about how Eels wade ashore at night to steal the peas out of people's gardens
, and he describes every kind of loopy Eel-catching maneuver used since ancient times. But he focuses mainly on the centuries-long quest to find out where Eels come from. I, for one, was surprised to hear that so many people were working on the problem for so long. It's nice to know somebody cares... >>sniff<<...But at the same time he is so...incurious.

>> Take the phrase "slippery as an Eel." (If he even MENTIONED that phrase in his book, I did not spot it.) The species under discussion form a living metaphor for things that are hard to figure, difficult to pin down, impossible to catch. Fort sort of mutters throughout the book that he finds Eels hard to catch himself. AND YET THEY HAVE BEEN ON THE HUMAN MENU SINCE PREHISTORIC TIMES. It doesn't cross his mind to ask, "Is there a larger Intelligence behind this phenomenon? Kind of a slimy one?" YES, Mr. Fort, THEY DO WANT TO GET CAUGHT. JUST NOT BY YOU.

>> He never asks why a fish would NEED to be a world traveler, even on dry land. Come on, man, THINK.

>> He does wonder aloud about their migrations to the Sargasso Sea. "The chief characteristics...are baldly stated: its great depth (as much as fifteen thousand feet), its extreme salinity, the stable warmth of its upper layers, its lack of movement, its incredible clarity, and its dearth of life. Nobody knows what it is about this marine wonderworld that is so conducive to the copulation of the eels that they feel compelled to swim across such a vast expanse of ocean to reach it." (pg. 144.) OK, how do I put this? Eels spend months or years finding ideal feeding grounds in the freshwater ponds, streams and lakes of the world. Sooner or later, however, they come to realize: THIS IS A NICE PLACE TO VISIT, BUT I WOULDN'T WANT TO DIE HERE. So they turn around and go home. That's it, man; there's no place like home. Even some humans are still capable of grasping that when the time comes to raise the kids, they want to go home to do it, not spawn in some exotic climate and have the kids grow up as foreigners.

>> The author writes longingly of the days when Eeling was a fine and workable career for one man with a fishing pole, a dip net or a "mudhorse" (sort of a slime toboggan). He bemoans the loss of England's fisheries and the dwindling number of jellied-Eel stalls in the East End. He seems to have no suggestions about what to do about the problem. How do I put this? WE HAVE IT COVERED. SOON YOUR CIVILIZATION WILL BE GONE AND YOU WILL ALL BE SAFELY UNDERWATER. Some of you will even turn into Eels. His lack of curiosity about why all this is happening, or what to do about it, is bizarre to me.

>> Many earlier authors get quoted in this book, singing the praises of the Eel and her many vacation homes. On page 60, we hear from Franco Bressani, a missionary in the New World in the mid-1600s, who gushed that "this country is the Kingdom of water and of fish." YEAH, IT WAS UNTIL YOU CAME ALONG. If I were still human I would be wondering about it more. (But they DO have this book they all read and believe in, in which some hairy ape wrote that the earth was intended as the plaything and punching bag of the human race. Have you read it?)

>> Fort mentions that Shohei Imamura directed a picture called The Eel, which I plan to see and review for you AS QUICKLY AS POSSIBLE. But the mention of Imamura made me think immediately of that one scene from his wonderful Black Rain, the most shattering moment in film history if you ask me. The Shizuma family is staggering through the radioactive ruins of Hiroshima and pauses at the edge of the river. Flash-burn victims are desperately drinking from water clogged with floating bodies. Shigematsu reaches down into the river, pulls out a large bamboo tube on a strap, opens the end...and a great big Eel slithers out happily, unaware of the fracas. Shizuma wonders "how the river stayed alive while the city was destroyed." How do I put this: WE DUCKED. YOU JUST STOOD THERE LIKE A BUNCH OF MOPES. Fort doesn't even ask burning questions like these.

>> This is another point Fort takes for granted: that humans will just destroy the entire fish population, and nothing will stop it, NOT EVEN THE FISH. Dream on, buddy. WE'RE ALREADY ON THE JOB. What he fails to ask here is, ARE THE FISH FIGHTING BACK?

>> Fort describes, without any real comprehension, an earlier time when the Naked Apes were in league with our people and EVERYONE BENEFITED. On page 46 he describes the Fish House built at Meare "on the dark and torpid Brue River." He thumbnails a long and happy period of cooperation between the monks and "eels, tench, carp, pike, and roach" that lasted for years. One day the last abbott there, a man named WHITING, was executed by Cromwell for unclear reasons. After that, Meare-On-Brue was never quite the same, I guess. At any rate the Fish House is gone. SO IS OUR PATIENCE. Fort never asks why the Fish House came to be in the first place, and he never asks why it is now gone. FOR SHAME.

>> On page 47 Fort describes how in medieval times, all the best houses had special quarters for the fish. Of course I would think of it as all the best fishponds having special outbuildings for the human supplicants.

>> Fort quotes an astounding passage, on page 81, from some dead human named Thomas Fuller, who relates a tale of the wives and children of priests turning miraculously into Eels, after said priests defied the Pope's new rule about celibacy. "I consider it a lie," he concludes dourly, BUT YOU AND I KNOW THE TRUTH. The fact is, THEY WERE MARRIED TO EELS ALL ALONG. Again, Fort treats it as an amusing side note, not worth investigating further, AND THAT IS JUST FINE WITH ME. But his indifference to such a searingly important clue baffles me.

>> Fort cites the existence of a 737-page homage to Eels, published in 1972 by Ima Matsui, called The Eel. Sounds like a darn fine read. But Fort never asks WHY his own pinched little island is devoid of the sort of love, respect and understanding that the Japanese have for their slimy neighbors. FOOL.

>> Oh, just one more. It turns out that Seamus Heaney, who wrote that wonderful new translation of Beowulf, apparently also produced a whole string of poems about Eels. Here is a piece of his Eel poem "Vision":

"He stood at night when eels

Moved through the grass like hatched fears..."


In spite of my evident disgust at this sort of determined ignorance, ladies, let me remind all of you, EVEN MYSELF, that OUR BEST COVER is provided by the typical human's refusal to believe that any other species can be intelligent and aware.