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Salem Fish Trials Causing Stir

(We join our piscatorial inquisition in progress)

Judge: So you say you are not and have never been a fish?

First Defendant: How come there aren’t any men up here accused of being fishes?

Bailiff: Quit the slime and just answer the question

Defendant: I am not a fish. I can’t even swim. The only reason I’ve been accused is that the neighbors think I’m weird…and I do cast spells on people and brew concoctions of black magic.

Judge: Enough! We are not here to dissect your social life or determine sexual preferences. We only want to know if you breathe through your gills or not.

Defendant: No. I am not a fish or even a reptile.

Judge: Burn her. Make sure the fire’s hot. Sometimes it’s hard to get these fish lit. Next…Hmm…I see here you have been accused of being a tuna. What have you to say?

Second defendant: I am no tuna. This whole mess can be explained. You see, five years ago I borrowed a gaffing hook from the neighbor and he says I never returned it. Then, when all this fish trial business started all the neighbors got together and decided to accuse me of being a fish, which of course is based on personal vendetta and has not an inkling of truth. Just because I don’t keep my lawn up to snuff, they want me dead. Therefore…

Judge: Silence! Are you or are you not a fish?

Defendant: No.

Judge: You look like a fish. Can you swim?

Defendant: Some but not under water.

Judge: How to you feel about evolution and the origin of the species?

Defendant: The E word is definitely not going on in the United States and the origin of the species, like everything else, comes wrapped in your grocer’s freezer.

Judge: How do you feel abut a side of hush puppies and slaw?

Defendant: I can tolerate them just so long as we’re not on the same venue.

Judge: Do you spawn?

Defendant: Well, maybe on the weekends but not…

Judge: Burn her. Now then, one more case and it’s time for lunch. Stand up wench. You have been accused of fishcraft. How do you plead?

Third Defendant: I am innocent. I am not and never have been a fish. I don’t like tartar sauce, spinning reels, worms or tide pools. I don’t even like to go to the beach. I hate jumping out of water without a wet suit and hate traveling around in schools. I may be an alchemist, ride around on a broom or wear a pointed hat, but I’m no fish.

Judge: Hmmm. You say you’re not a fish.

Defendant: That’s right. 

Judge: Not a carp, or a catfish? Not a shark or a whale? Not a pike or a perch?

Defendant: None of the above.

Judge: Sounds fishy to me. Burn her and throw a couple of ears of corn on the fire while you’re at it. It was a busy morning but now it’s time for lunch.

continued on page 56

Starter Colonies in Cyberspace Anticipated

(Hotchkiss) Scientists attached to the Roger’s Mesa Alien Study Institute at Lazear say they expect starter colonies in cyberspace by 2025. Crowded conditions and the lack of farmland on earth were cited as the major reason for human relocation to the otherwise uncharted terrain.

At present, research indicates that cyberspace is ready to support inhabitants and sustain life forms such as animals and plants. 

“Most of us fall into one of those categories,” laughed Dr. Laura Borealis, Director of the Institute that was established to counsel dogs and monkeys sent into outer space in the 50s.  

According to a host of filed reports cyberspace is endless enough since asphalt, tacky subdivisions and mindless sprawl, are still illegal within those environs. Although oxygen levels fluctuate and gravitational concerns have yet to be undressed, the scientists have given a firm thumbs up to the more than 200 potential homesteaders who have applied for high-speed trip permits and thousands of dotcom caches up to 80 acres.

“Cyberspace pioneers may feel like a one-eyed cat in a henhouse or even a dog on three legs right now,” said Borealis, “but they are a resilient group in search of a better life for their children where clean air and water are the rule and all is in sync with nature. Sure, things are mellow around here but that is not the case on most of the planet.”

Conflicts with the Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery have been blown out of proportion, according to the director who emphasized that there is a place for trout, as well as kokanee salmon in cyberspace. Principles at the hatchery have repeatedly accused the alien study institute of mollycoddling recovering space travelers and secretly housing refugees from Aspen. 

“I’ve pretty much had it up to the gills with these fishwits,” winked Borealis. We have always been careful not to muddy the water or observe the trout during intimate spawning moments. Any moron can tell you that mixing trout with the aliens, galaxy-challenged chimps, stressed out doggie astronauts and even our technicians is bad medicine.”

Borealis added that the fish hatchery people were simply jealous in that they are not allowed to send clients into space.

In a related development, NASA is calling agricultural experiments on the Martian surface “a dismal failure” in that tomatoes grown and picked green there before shipment to markets on earth taste like plastic.

“Even though they are all shined up and look exactly like tomatoes they taste like cardboard,” said one genetically altered NASA investigator. “They just ain’t maters.” 

– Suzie Compost