You know, one of the many tragedies in life is that we’re often exposed to moments of brilliance and cadilescence* that we’re too young to fully comprehend or appreciate. As I sat in the theatre watching the latest Adam Sandler comedy, Pixels, I was reminded of one such occurrence in my own life.

When I was a wee young lad, I once found myself staring at a great glass wall that prevented a tidal wave of water from flowing over me and a zoo of aquatic life from spilling out into the land-based world. Most people would call this a fish tank at an aquarium, and since I am most people, I will too. Now in this fish tank there were many things that either caught my attention or didn’t. I was a small boy with a limited attention span and many things thrown at my face. I had to prioritize. There were the electric eels that had haunted me for many moons in Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex. Or the pufferfish that reminded me of things that blow up and also have spikes on them.

But there was one fish that caught my attention more than any other. This fish was meek in stature and withered in movement. He never seemed to be looking right at you even if you put your face against the glass. But the most distinct part was this fish’s cheeks. They were puffy in the way not of the puffer fish, but more of someone who just had their wisdom teeth taken out. I later got in contact with my sources to see if the fish may have also been on Vicodin, but they could neither confirm nor deny my suspicions.

I watched this strange fish move in the back of the tank as the other fish swam near or far from him. Some swam over and stayed a short while, some a long time. One fish, who looked much like the fish in question but much younger and without the puffy cheeks, swam nearby but never quite made a true connection.

This is where things get weird.

As I stand there, watching the fish swimming in the aquarium, the men who feed the fish start dropping in that day’s worth of food. Now, most fish food looks as though you would expect it too. But they also dropped in oranges. Whole, unpeeled oranges into the tank. I wondered what a fish would do with that, or if they even had the mouth to eat them. One of the oranges passed over the puffy-cheeked fish, and just as it did the fish turned over and floated to the top, a memory soon to be forgotten.

The younger-looking version of the puffy-cheeked fish swam over to the now dead fish in a flurry. And what happened next can rightfully be compared to both Waterloo and The Great Mouse Detective. The younger fish swam through the tank, and every time one of the other fish tried to eat some of the fresh fish food, the younger fish tackled them until they died of starvation. The younger fish swam in the tank alone and isolated surrounded by oranges and dead fish.

The puffy-cheeked fish was Marlin Brando.

Grade: Zero/Five Bears

*A word here that means: Of or pertaining to the cadilesce**.

**A word here that means: the moment in time before the gradual but not inevitable decay of idealism.

Written by Daniel Mizell