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Terrorist fish in a pond near you

Jane Stebbins

As good Americans throughout the country, we must put our feet down in protest of terrorist invasions. We need to scour our sewers, our lakes and ponds, and search high and low in forests, fields, kitchens and outdoor privies.

I am not talking about the killer bees that are swarming north from Mexico. I am not talking about the West Nile virus-infected mosquitos in Louisiana.

No, I’m here to warn you about another kind of terrorist. It’s the snakehead fish, a nasty specimen that has managed to obtain access to the United States, undoubtedly by presenting a photocopied New Jersey voting card and a license to kill to an over-tired security guard at customs.

Snakehead fish grow to 3 feet in length. They have teeth. They have been known to eat rats and gang up in packs and attack people. And they are swimming in a pool of water near you. Or not. Because these fish also can walk on land.

While archeologists think this fish could be the missing link between amoeba and mankind, other scientists say it is the noxious weed of the fish world. They have affectionately nicknamed it the Fish from Hell and Frankenfish.

The fish, believed by the Chinese to be a delicacy, made their debut in New York, where they are, of course, legal. A Maryland man purchased two to make soup, but by the time he got home, the fish had grown to the size of his retriever. He’s still looking for the retriever.

Being as the fish were too big to flush down the toilet and too mean to fry up for dinner, the man dumped them into a pond behind a Dunkin’ Donuts, where, it can be assumed, the fish grew to enormous proportions. And they reproduced. Ichthyologists believe the Frankenfish will soon outgrow the pond, requiring them (the fish) to get up on their massive pectoral fins and waddle 75 yards away to a river.

A pair of extremely bored magazine reporters from New York heard about the Frankenfish and decided to conduct a few, admittedly unscientific, experiments. First, under the premise that you can do anything in America, they proved that it’s easy to obtain an illegal fish in the United States. Then they placed the fish and a crab on a wet sidewalk and held a tortoise and hare sort of competition.

The crab didn’t move. The fish didn’t move. The writer/scientists dumped a bucket of water on both. The fish stretched their oversized pectoral fins, pounded on their six-pack abs a few times and headed west, looking for a biker bar where they could get a couple shots of whiskey. The crabs, the writers reported, were toast.

Back in Maryland, officials are alarmed by the potential disaster these fish could present to cattle ranchers downstream, and have decided, under the motto Better Living Through Chemistry, to poison the pond.

But the word got out and, reports of other Frankenfish sightings started coming in: “We saw a snakehead fish in our neighbor’s pool!” “We’ve seen one on the swingset in the park!” “We saw two of them drinking gin and tonics at Drink “em Up Saloon!”

The fish have now been reported in Maryland, Hawaii, Florida, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Fish experts say the best way to deal with an aggressive fish is to make yourself look as large as possible and back slowly away. No, wait! That’s a bear. Grab your fishin’ pole and a frog or minnow and catch yourself a big “un. Cook it whole for 30 minutes in a bamboo steamer with soy sauce, scallions, onions, shiitake mushrooms and garlic.

Another option is to fork the fish flesh off after steaming it, make it into a patty and deep-fry it. Top it with a sauce made from green mangoes, lime juice, fish sauce and chilies.

It is incumbent on all Americans to do our duty to protect our country.

Happy eating.

Jane Stebbins can be reached at 668-3998 ext. 228 or jstebbins@summitdaily.com.


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