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Fish of Doomsday.

by Dear Jon
August 9, 2002

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Sort 162_Dear Jon-Fish of Doomsday. ACTUAL LETTER TO DEAR JON:

Dear Jon,

What sort of advice can you give to an aspiring art theif?

Miss Ing Monet

Dear Monet,

My advice: “I” before “E” except after “C.”


Dear Jon,

Will the recently discovered flesh-eating, walking fish that can suvive out of water for three days eventually take over the planet?

Afraid of fish

Dear Fish,

One thing that you can tell from reading my columns: Dear Jon is an optimist. Don’t think of the swarming Snakeheads flopping across the Illinois plains as a threat to civilzation. Think of them as lunch. Who would have thought that one could go fishing with a rifle and never get wet?

This fish is not new; it is only new to North America. The fish is actually indigenous to China. They have known about it for centuries, yet Chinese civilization has survived, despite the cultural revolution which, as I recall from history books, had a lot to do with pulling fish out of water in order to teach them to obey something completely contrary to their nature. Or maybe I’m confusing Snakeheads with similes. Anyway, it was around this time that American moms induced their kids to eat their plates clean because of “all the starving kids in China,” which was something we talked about a couple columns ago.

The point is, that Snakeheads did not end Life as We Know It despite living in China’s streams for thousands of years. In fifty years, restaurants will be serving Lake Superior Snakehead Trout, the Whitefish having long ago been eaten to extinction by the invader, and our grandchildren won’t know the difference. Of course in 50 years, we might not know the difference, either.

For scenarios that end Life As We Know It, I think you should be more worried about the solar flares putting all our satellite communications on the fritz, or the asteroid hurtling towards us and due either to miss us or collide in 2019. The asteroid is a mile long, a chunk big enough to disrupt civilization, although not end “life as we know it.” Of course, there just might be enough lunatics desiring their seventy virgins in paradise who will do their best to end Life As We Know It long before that happens, too.

If we were given the choice, my vote would be for the asteroid, personally. That feels like the most natural cause of extinction, and somehow that makes me more comfortable, as though thinking that if the dinosaurs did not live through an asteroid impact, why should we? No one has given the asteroid a name yet, at least not that I have seen published. How about “Wormwood”? Or does that freak you out?

Whether my naming of it is ratified by the science catalogues or not, does the fact that I have named it here mean that it has so been named for the purpose of fulfilling a Biblical prophecy? But hey, it doesn’t hit until 2019, so you might as well sleep tonight.


Dear Jon,

I have been working in Customer Service for 8 years. This is the only "real" working experience I've had, and while I'm good at my job, I hate it. More exactly, I hate people. I hate listening to people, hate hearing their problems, and hate trying to fix things for them. I have considered quiting my job and living in a remote cabin in Montana. Is there any sort of profitalbe job I could do in a remote cabin in Montana?

People Hater

Dear Hater,

Your goal is not profit, but survival. I suggest you establish a perimeter and defend your property against land-hopping fish. If you have a knife, a frying pan, a heat source, and some lemons, you should be all set. You might want to start thinking of digging a shelter, too, as 2019 approaches.

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