Most times I have a column topic, but other times not, so sometimes I look to my 7-year-old for ideas. But he's at school. So I decide to give my 4-year-old a crack at it. I ask him what I should write about.
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"How 'bout fish?" he quips.
Fish? Fish. That's the idea for a column? I mean, I like fish. I like to watch fish in a tank. I like to eat fish even better than I like to watch fish, but I'm not sure I can write a whole column about them.
I mean, they're interesting enough. A fish is a cold-blooded, water-dwelling vertebrate with gills. It's also something you do around in your pocketbook when you can't find your lipstick. Or when you desperately need a compliment.
I also like the card game. Because once your kids learn Go Fish, you know you're on your way to two-man spades. Same thing when something smells fishy - you know you're getting close to the truth. That, or The Husband got into the sardines.
Fish phrases are pretty good. Drink like a fish. A fine kettle of fish. Neither fish nor fowl.
Maybe you're a big fish in a small pond. Maybe you're a fish in troubled waters. Either way, remember, you're not the only fish in the sea.
You might feel like a fish out of water. Maybe you feel like you're just shooting fish in a barrel. Better fish or cut bait, because you do have other fish to fry.
"What's the easiest way to catch fish?"
"Have someone throw it at you."
No shortage of fish jokes. Stories, too.
Three fishermen were fishing when they came upon a mermaid. The mermaid offered them one wish each, so the first fisherman said, "Double my IQ." So the mermaid did it and to his surprise he started reciting Shakespeare. Then the second fisherman said, "Triple my IQ." And sure enough, the mermaid did it and amazingly he started doing math problems he didn't know existed.
The third fisherman was so impressed he asked the mermaid to quadruple his IQ. And the mermaid said, "Are you sure about this? It will change your whole life." The fisherman said, "Yes." So the mermaid turned him into a woman.
So I don't know, I might be able to get a column out of fish. But I gotta go read to my 4- year-old. What are we reading tonight?
"Mommy! You know - 'One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue...'"