Uncivilized Fish Eyes | An Original Story

Management: Here’s the result of trying to come up with a flash fiction using (and taking some liberties) the key words or phrases “hiking across Europe,” “fish eyes,” “crows,” “breathing loudly while eating,” and “facedown on a desk,” in about 10 minutes during a creative writing session of English Practicum. In a nutshell, I made a funny. I decided that I might as well post what I came up with and have people praise, heckle, and/or criticize me for it. Feel free to provide feedback, and please enjoy.

You may think that hiking across a continent like Europe, the food available would be relatively civilized fare to the a civilized American. Europe’s a developed, metropolitan, civilized place that serves hamburgers, spaghetti, and country fried steak: German-American, Italian-American, and American-American… civilized fare like that. But then this civilized American sits in a European-American seaside restaurant, and, thinking it would be civilized, orders the waiter to get the special.

And the special was fish eyes. Fish. Eyes. Fish Eyes. What else do they serve? Crows? But as the crows stare at my exasperated mouth expectantly (so do the fish eyes and other people), I realize what I had to do. I had to be civilized, show all the crows how to be civilized.

I had to eat it.

Eat it as these uncivilized monstrosities gaze at me with their uncivilizedness. Eat it as these these uncivilized monstrosities slid down uncivilized-like down my throat. Eat it as these uncivilized monstrosities stuck slimy and caused my loud breathing to cut short. Eat it as I laid facedown on a desk of those slimy, sticky, uncivilized monstrosities.

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3 thoughts on “Uncivilized Fish Eyes | An Original Story

  1. For some reason, I thought this would be about 8man’s eyes.

    Anyway, nice short story. Brought to mind stories of all those “food adventurers” who go out of their way to eat all this exotic food to make themselves look cool. It’s all really just a play, a performance, and I love how this story exaggerates that.

    • I expect people to make the same connection to Oregairu.

      I wouldn’t say I was thinking about “food adventurers” as much as I was mocking reductionist Western conceptions of civilization and American presumptions of exceptionalism, that whole image of the jingoistic US tourist riding a crowded train in Paris, obnoxiously complaining about how everything’s better in America without the slightest forethought that someone in that very same train might also understand English.

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