Is the rumor true that, following your regrettable but necessary relocation from Cincinnati to Detroit, the three remaining covert whale sushi bars in the former city did go bankrupt and close their carefully hidden doors forever?
Most obsequiously your,
Somewhere in Southern California
Dear Luminator Thelms,
Whenever I happen to become acquainted to a new "average Joseph"—especially an average Joseph who is investing in one of my many endeavors—there comes a point when that person abruptly refuses to believe I am real. Despite my physically imposing presence, despite my ornately crafted supra-mersible walking suit, despite my complex laboratory and life support system, they believe this—which is to say "I"—am all a joke. Faced with the terror of my presence they curl back their upper lips, put hand to hip, swagger and make jests. They hear my voice and imagine there is a barrel-chested Brian Blessed hiding in a cupboard, shouting into a microphone. They look upon my all-too-brief presidency and say, "That certainly was an odd prank," and then blame Jon the Steward of Stephen Cold Bear for such puckish political japery.
During this initial phase—one that I have labeled "Denial"—inevitably one of three words is uttered. Rob and Molly once printed Bingoing cards, distributing them among the office hands, so that when investors came to visit we could make sport of their reaction.
The most common word surely is "Calimari." I have addressed this at length previously and have no desire to explore it again here.
Secondly, the word "sushi" is presented like a child handing a worm they found half-buried in the mud to a distracted parent. And thirdly they mention "whales." I am tired of talking of whales.
So I shall talk of sushi. It is a word that irks me. Often the office will plan lunch outings. Typically this is on Tuesdays. I desire peace and quiet when I craft this column out of electrons and sweat. (Note: I do not sweat. I am a cephalopod, not a mammal. I use the term "sweat" here in a purely figurative sense.) These lunches, which should by occasions of repose, instead seem to only create strife. My hidden microphones pick up the sounds of complaint, the nasal whine of injustice, the gruff tones of surly indifference. I am given to understand that the first lunches went off swimmingly, but as time progressed fights erupted over locales in which to dine. Now they operate on a rotating schedule: Molly chooses the location on the first Tuesday of the month, Rob the second, Devo the third. On Fourth Tuesdays they bring guests along, like Mr. Leeks from accounting, or my typist Jarwaun and his smaller brother Trael. Whereas once they had chosen together a place to eat, now they have factioned and balkanized along partisan lines. Rob always chooses the Coney Isles, desiring their tasty, widening gyros. Devo almost exclusively demands they pay fealty to Mexican Town's savage Xochimilco, the Sleeplessly Dreaming restaurant from a Dimension Behind Time. And Molly, Molly craves novelty. Each month she seeks out a new cuisine in the suburbs of this crumbling necropolis, much to her mealmen's ongoing pique and whinge.
In April, Molly chose a sushi restaurant. Her eat-mates were uninterested.
"I don't like raw things," Devo explained, "Or seaweed-based things—basically anything that belongs in a little styrofoam cup next to a tackle box."
"Yeah, and Sake gets me too fucked up," Rob muttered, "I think 'cause when alcohol is hot—like heat-hot—it skips your liver, like, fuckin' entirely and goes straight to whatever organ makes you wanna punch a dude for wearing a little fucking paper hat and grinning."
"Spleen," Devo opined, "That's your spleen; sake makes you mad-splenetic."
"True," Rob nodded, "True that."
"So don't get the sake. Get a, I don't know, Sapporo or Asahi or something." Molly wheedled. "And Devo, the Japanese have been eating sushi for centuries. Maybe millennia. It's totally safe, despite what you maybe saw on the Simpsons."
I have an allergy to factual errors which causes swelling of both my spleen and gall bladder, and thus felt the need to chime in. "THE WORD SUSHI DOES NOT REFER TO RAW FISH IN JAPANESE. THAT IS A COMMON AMERICAN MISCONCEPTION. IT REFERS INSTEAD TO THE PROCESS OF WRAPPING THE MORSELS IN RICE AND NORI PAPER—WHICH IS INDEED CRAFTED OF SEAWEED, DEVO. THERE IS NO REASON IT NEEDS TO BE SERVED RAW."
My staff claimed I was being pedantic, to which I pointed out that I have no feet and so by definition I could not and never would be pedantic.
"You have crazy screwed up that etymology," Devo opined, "pedantic is Greek-rooted, not Latin; the word has the same root as pedagogue, which comes from paidagogos; see the ped- isn't like the ped- in pedal, it's from paid-, which meant boy, because—"
But my point was made. Sushi, as a word, is incorrect and wrong, a mote in my eye as surely as the sophomoric stylings of a David Spade or a Carroted-Top.
But I digress. I never ate at these establishments you speak of, if they truly did exist—I asked Jarwaun to research them; although he too could find no answers, he later had the haunted mein of a man who has seen too much, all too much, on the Google Image Search. This is why the good Google has chosen to give unto us the SafeSearch, and yet do we activate it? No; such is our enduring folly.
What is most important is this: Whale meat tastes terrible. Human flesh may be fatty and loaded with carcinogens, preservatives, cornified syrups, and disease, but it is widely known that eating the flesh of man—or lady—gives one heightened senses, great strength, an alacrity of body, and an overall sanguine spirit. Likewise, squid is known the world over as the most delectable meat one can eat, a potent aphrodisiac, a palliative panacea, an efficacious hair-tonic, and a deliciously fat-free personal lubricant. I am proud of this fact. I am beautiful to the tongue. Whale, dear Mr. Thelms, is bilious: it tastes of hate and anger and pain, of the cheating at crosswords and the leaving of sub-sufficient gratuities. It is like eating a flesh made of ashes and regret and cheap, ignorant snobbery.
Whale sushi is a myth, a dare, a bad idea. Their meat—like their—culture is worthless and vile, even when dipped in the ranch dressing.
The Giant Squid
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