On President’s Day Leda and I went to Sushi Mike’s for lunch. Leda loves sushi and is quite a connoisseur. At her age the only fish product I ate (and complained about it) was a Mrs. Paul’s fish stick, so this sophisticated palate of hers continually amazes me.
Upon entering Sushi Mike’s we passed by a tank of water full of brightly colored tropical fish.
I asked her, So Leda, what’s your favorite fish in the aquarium?
Nana, that’s not an aquarium.
Then what is it?
A fish tank.
Point taken. Ok, so what it your favorite?
That’s not a pufferfish, I said.
Of course it is.
A pufferfish is the second most venomous vertebrate in the world, I said. It would be a very bad idea to have one right at the entrance to a restaurant. What if it jumped out and bit you?
It’s not going to. What’s the most venomous? Leda asked.
The golden poison frog, I said, pleased with myself. I was on safer ground here.
Leda said, But this is a pufferfish, and they don’t jump.
Then we sat at our table near the window, with this elegant view of two ceramic sumo wrestlers.
Leda asked, Aren’t they allowed to use their hands?
I checked, and – at least in this lovely piece of sculpture – neither wrestler was touching the other with hands. Yes, their bodies touched and strained again the opposite’s number’s vast weight and effort, but hands were not involved.
I have no idea, I said. This was true.
I guess they just squash each other, Leda said.
That appears to be the goal, I said.
What if a golden frog jumped on of them? Then he’d be dead and the other guy would win without using his hands.
I doubt golden poison frogs are allowed in wrestling rings, I said.
Later I checked on line and it seems Leda was correct: that was a pufferfish.