Southern belle with a story to tell. Refreshing iced tea served after literary punches thrown.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

One More Bad Example of Life Imitating Art

Initially I thought about making the title to this blog post, "Midnight In the Underwater Garden of Glowing Fishies" but I thought the heading I chose in the end drives home my point a little better.

Maybe it's just me, but every once in a while I read about something so silly, so absurd in a book,  that I honestly believe somewhere down the road, a person will indeed try to pull the same stunt stunt in real life.

And apparently there's either a biologist or icthyologist somewhere that's a huge fan of John Berendt because lo and behold, this is what I saw in my inbox today.

Btw, I <3 animals, and hope that all the lab-created glowy fish are all safe. 

A sale on glowing fish!  Yes, you my friend can have your very own glow fish, and even match their color to the gravel in the bottom in your aquarium.

Where had I heard the idea of a glowing fish before?  I still had hazy-morning-brain, so I sipped more coffee and then and only then did it dawn on me, as I recalled a very humorous passage from the John Berendt southern masterpiece, MIDNIGHT IN THE GARDEN OF GOOD AND EVIL.

Now if you've read the book, you might remember how Berendt retells the story of an eccentric character and southern-fried mad scientist, Luther Driggers, and his invention of fish that glow.

In this chapter, Driggers is convinced his discovery is going to make him millions, and envisioned selling these fishies to bars with aquariums to mesmerize legions of  sots with glazed eyes.  He wanted then to stare peacefully at floating, glowing fish rather than engaging in fistfights.  Interesting idea.  Who knows? Maybe it would've brought about world peace if things had gone...differently.

Well anyhow,  it sounded like a good idea to him in the beginning,  but when Driggers poured his little finned friends into an aquarium at a popular neighborhood bar, it did not elicit world peace or applause, but disgust and nausea, for the fish had been fed, and all that glowed were fish guts and poo.

Niiice Luther.

So now a decade and a half later, some random Berendt fan or icthyologist, or maybe a combo of both,  has perfected this idea and found a (hopefully) safe way to make fishies glow without the "ewwwww" effect of flourescent guts and poop. Honestly though, the whole thing still sounds a bit sketchy to me.

And to fellow fans of "The Book", as it's affectionately known in Georgia, I certainly hope if ol' Luther's still around that he doesn't read this post and remove that vial of "something" hanging around his neck... if you know what I mean.  Because if he reads it and doesn't eat his breakfast at Clary's Cafe, then I'd say don't drink the tap water. (Hint:  This last sentence will make no sense unless you've read "The Book"!)

So let me ask, fellow writers, have any of you noticed instances of life imitating art recently? Has it been another one of those idiot ideas like the glowing fish? If you have witnessed stupidity in action, then give me a shout below!

This world really scares me, and I swear, I'm tempted as a writer to put something like the following as a disclaimer at the beginning of THE DEATH BROKERS to try to get through to the blockheads of the world:

*Do not attempt any of the stunts a character  
does in this book at home.  
*This book was written by a  super-duper-wannabe-successful-FICTION writer, and anything her characters do in this thriller, is not intended for sane individuals to try in their spare time. 
*So don't do it.
*Don't even entertain the thought of doing it.
*For if you do, in the future a random blogger will write an article about you and how stupid you are.

Thank you for not blowing anything up (yet).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Meet Barry-Cuda: Four Friendly Feet of Fangs

The view from our porch on the last day of our adventure.  And before
we dive into this post, relish this quote from of  one of my  favorite authors.
“There is something fresh and crisp about the first hours of a Caribbean day, a happy anticipation that something is about to happen, maybe just up the street or around the next corner.” 
― Hunter S. ThompsonThe Rum Diary

Later during the week, we decided to embark on an excursion aboard a sixty foot sailboat called New Horizons.  It was six incredible hours of wind, salt air, delicious food and drink and amazing underwater sights.  The time flew by as we spent the day with Captain Sven and his first mate Bill, and they introduced us to a fang-tastic new fish friend they've dubbed "Barry-Cuda".

The four foot long silvery guy hung out near the underside of the boat, and seems to recognize the green paint on the underbelly of the boat, because when Capt. Sven's boat appears, Barry knows he'll enjoy some grub.  First mate Bill always makes lunch on board, and Barry will eagerly swim to the surface to gobble up any remaining meatballs.

 He's never bitten anyone or exhibited any aggressive behavior whatsoever according to Capt. Sven, and I've been snorkeling and diving among barracuda before, finding out for myself they are actually rather shy creatures and definitely not nightmarish monsters (before nuclear med, I was once a biology major.  Can you tell?).

Here he is hanging out under the boat.  I didn't want to scare him and get too close, but you can tell he's a big, healthy boy when compared to the sixty foot sailboat.

Besides our visit with Barry, we swam with several stingrays, saw countless colorful fish, and I even accidentally found myself near a large nurse shark for about fifteen seconds before it slipped away into a dark cave.

This trip was truly amazing, and it gave me plenty of food for thought for RED HOOK, also a thriller and a side project/manuscript I'm working on right now.

As many of you know, I'm one for authenticity, and there's truly nothing more rewarding for a writer than to get their feet on the ground in the area of the world they're writing about in order to convey how it feels to actually be there so our readers get a truly meaningful experience.