Sunday, January 26, 2014

At least it wasn't an old car with dead people inside...

I'm not too surprised authorities would find about 200 bikes in a small pond here.  After all I saw Spirited Away, when a stink spirit turns out to be the spirit of a polluted river, and a bike is one of the first big things Chihiro and friends pull out of it.  And there are worse things to find in a pond.  And more amusing things to find in rivers.

I suppose we use bodies of water-- rivers, lakes, oceans-- as our big trashcans.  Once underwater, society's detritus is out of sight, out of mind.  It's pretty stupid, but there you have it.  Things flow downhill and most water is found there, so it's natural for the unnatural to make its way into the water system.  Natural and unfortunate.

What's the most interesting thing I've ever found in water?  Well, a friend of mine once turned up a rusty .32 revolver, but years ago when my father and I helped some neighbors drain an irrigation pond on their farm, we found the biggest damned catfish I've ever seen in my life.  It was as big as a shark, a scarred, prehistoric-looking monster lying there in the mud.  It took two of us to lift it. 

It was even larger than the 16 pounder the guy next door once caught on a hook and line.  That one ended up nailed to a pine tree in his backyard, stripped of its skin with pliers, then cut into filets.  A memorable day, to be sure.  All the neighborhood kids showed up to gape.  I think the one from the drained pond became fertilizer, but I can't remember after all these years.  The moment of discovery is what's stayed with me.  Oh wait, I do remember we learned it was female and the only way I can think we would have found out is by cutting it open and spilling its row.  So maybe we ate some of it later.  Grilled or fried?

I still think of that catfish from time to time.  It stirs the dark waters of my memories, then disappears into the murk down below, where it waits, wide-mouthed and ancient, and doomed.

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