For those of you who may not have heard the story, it appears that there’s a story that’s been spreading in Rockland County and throughout the Hasidic world these past few weeks involving a 20 pound carp that was about to be slaughtered and made into gefilte fish for Sabbath dinner. Suddenly (and dare I add, without warning?) it began speaking in Hebrew, shouting apocalyptic warnings and claiming to be a revered community elder who recently died. (“Help! I’m a revered community elder who’s been transformed into a fish! I went to heaven and who would have thought? All I got was a lousy set of gills.” Really, the wacky things some fish will do to avoid being gutted…)
The fish cutters in the fish market who witnessed the antics of the “Mr. Ed” of the aquatic world—a 57-year-old Hasid with 11 children and a 30-year-old Ecuadorian immigrant, sensibly did what anyone—you or I...
Although maybe not her.
Hmmm. I’ve got my eye on her...
You know, I don’t think that she really would do this thing that anyone—you or I—would do.
I’d better write her name down. (scribbling) “D-A-R-K-L-A-D-Y”
Anyway. Where was I? Oh, right, they sensibly did what anyone would do in their place—they slaughtered the fish and turned it into gefilte fish.
The Jewish World Review correctly pointed out that this now means that someone, somewhere, is now walking around with a piece of talking gefilte fish in their bellies, and added “everybody listens when they’re stomach rumbles, but now they’ve got to listen extra-carefully because the message 'which was apocalyptic as I understand it' has gotten scrambled like a Dada poem and now it’s all bits and pieces among gurgles and growls.”
Which I thought was a pretty funny line.
But upon consideration, I can see why Dana (my friend Peg’s husband) is worried. Because after having heard of our just-announced launch into Iraq, I’m beginning to wonder whether this little fishy may be on to something.
(I remember when our last war against Iraq was launched. I was in the midst of directing a play with anti-war overtones. Totally by circumstance. Anyway, the play was a multi-media production and we were scheduled to shoot a film with about 20 actors in fatigues the day after the declaration. It made for an extremely uncomfortable shoot.)
Sorry. That is truly frivolous commentary on a very serious subject. But I do a feel a bit tongue tied right now. However, it’s not a cat that’s got my tongue this time...the carp has stolen my voice.