January 11, 2019

"If you could speak to animals, which animals would you want to talk to?"/"Deep-sea fish."

From "The Stylist Embracing Messy Hair/Meet Dylan Chavles." Just a New York Magazine set of questions for a person, this one happening to be a hair stylist who stole the idea that I had when I was 10. I became famous in my own fantasy as the designer of The Mess-Up, the brilliant new approach to hairstyling done by messing it up.

And I'm also pretty sure that deep sea fish have nothing interesting to say. You know, they're under a lot of pressure, but they don't even notice.

ADDED: There's always Wittgenstein:

That's just the last 2 panels. Go here for the full story.


tcrosse said...

They don't even know they're wet.

rehajm said...

Fish are always eating other fish. If fish could scream, the ocean would be loud as shit. You would not want to submerge your head, nothing but fish going "Ahhh, fuck! I thought I looked like that rock!

-Mitch Hedberg

tim maguire said...

In the animal world, I imagine birds would have the most interesting things to say.

gilbar said...

ALL fish are murders. Even the ones that don't eat other fish; MURDER innocent insects (like mayflies and caddis). EVEN the one that don't eat insects; SLAUGHTER helpless plankton.

The most best thing you can do, to try and stop this; is to (at Least!) Terrorize the murderous fishes by hooking them in the mouth, pulling them out of the water, and taking their mugshot.
Remember! those trouts aren't going to catch themselves! (though, they might well kill each other)

eric said...



Hey, how are you!

I'm good. Is your owner home?

Nope. Nope nope nope! She gone.


Oh yes,I do believe my owner is one of your females!

I see. Does she have a security system?

Yes! I am here security system!

Mind if I come in?

No! Do come in. I've been looking for someone to play with!

Great. Which room is hers? I'll just wait there for her.

(Queue evil music)

rehajm said...

Terrorize the murderous fishes by hooking them in the mouth, pulling them out of the water, and taking their mugshot.

You know when they have a fishing show on TV? They catch the fish and then let it go. They don't want to eat the fish, but they do want to make it late for something. "Where were you?" "I got caught!" "I don't believe you, let me see the inside of your lip."

-also Mitch Hedberg

Fernandistein said...

Hydrothermal Vent ("hot tub") Polychaete Worm, Nereis Sandersi --->

gilbar said...

rehakm, exactly!
If you Kill (and eat) a trout, you've stopped One Murderer.
But, if you terrorize a trout; it will swim around, telling other trouts about the Terrible ordeal they went through, on account of because of trying to murder innocent insects.
Maybe (just Maybe!) the trouts (through this,) will learn to leave animals alone (but probably not)

Expat(ish) said...



CJinPA said...

Just a New York Magazine set of questions for a person, this one happening to be a hair stylist

When I was a newspaper reporter I did a feature called "15 Questions." Get it?? Not "20 questions," 15!

I asked the director of the local historical society how long he could breathe if locked in the massive vault they had for storing documents. Questions like that. It humored me more than the subjects, and possibly more than the readers. But I still like these kids of regular person Q & As.

PM said...

First, I'd try cats.
"Fuck off."
So, dogs.

Darrell said...

It took two writers to do that The Cut piece.


Rob said...

Dogs, certainly. But what if, after a lifetime of imagining how nice it would be to converse with dogs, it turned out they had nothing to say? For now, I'll rely on my favorite Twitter account, Thoughts of Dog.

Ann Althouse said...

"If a lion could speak, we could not understand him.

Fernandistein said...

We would be warm below the storm
In our little hide-a-way beneath the waves
Resting our head on the sea bed
In an octopus’s garden near a cave
We would sing and dance around
Because we know we can’t be found

I’d like to be under the sea
In an octopus’s garden in the shade

CJinPA said...

Actual Dog Thoughts:

"****WHO'S THAT?"
"****WHO'S THAT?"

Yancey Ward said...

I think outside the high primates, the conversations would all be short verbalizations of wants and needs- "Give me meat", "Rub belly", "Scratch chin", "Need to piss/shit". We would be very disappointed.

Fernandistein said...

"If a lion could speak, we could not understand him."

That's just dumb.

Fernandistein said...

Dumb, get it? But it's also stupid.

Expat(ish) said...

@Fernandistein - Even if we could understand, could we figure out if he was telling the truth?


Seeing Red said...

Aquaman speaks to fish.

Bill Peschel said...

I'd like to think that there's more to that Wittgenstein statement, because on the surface it's stupid.

And, no, it's not an "absurd" world. It's beautiful, dangerous, erotic, sensuous, cataclysmic, and sorrowful. It may even be a world without objective meaning. But absurd is an easy shortcut to stop thinking.

bagoh20 said...

Crows. They're always watching what's going on, recognize different people, and they are pretty smart. They could probably solve a lot of crimes.

bagoh20 said...

I think most animals would say: "go away".

rhhardin said...

Wittgenstein's lion was Wittgenstein himself, Vicki Hearne claims.

rhhardin said...

Lions do speak and are understood, was her essay.

mikee said...

I prefer the short story by Saki, "Tobermory." The eponymous cat of the story is taught to speak and understand English by Cornelius Appin, a guest at a country house in England, and proceeds to spread mayhem by telling others the things people say around him. He is, of course, killed immediately by the enraged mob of house guests.

The story ends as follows:

Tobermory had been Appin's one successful pupil, and he was destined to have no successor. A few weeks later an elephant in the Dresden Zoological Garden, which had shown no previous signs of irritability, broke loose and killed an Englishman who had apparently been teasing it. The victim's name was variously reported in the papers as Oppin and Eppelin, but his front name was faithfully rendered Cornelius.

"If he was trying German irregular verbs on the poor beast," said Clovis, "he deserved all he got."

Generations of language students agree.

Browndog said...

I'd talk to cats. First question: why are you people such assholes?

Amexpat said...

If a lion could speak, the language would need to be translated. Part of translating is conveying the implied meaning from different culture contexts that has no equivalence in the target language. So, "nurse, scalpel" would need to be translated to something like; "nurse, give me that scalpel now" to a language that didn't have equivalent surgery jargon.

tcrosse said...

If Wittgenstein could speak to me, I wouldn't understand him.

gilbar said...

that lion made a Lot of sense, except about brit-pop

gilbar said...

Browndog said... I'd talk to cats. First question: why are you people such assholes?
as Heather Duke said, "Because i can be!"

gilbar said...

Animal think...they're pretty smart
Shit on the ground...see in the dark.
I know the animals...are laughing at us
They don't even know...what a joke is

Ingachuck'stoothlessARM said...

the Clinton's dog Buddy. He knows where the bodies were once buried