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Let Loose the Blowfish
by Dan Marvin

“Let loose the blowfish,” McQueen said to Edi. Tagged with a special radio-transmitter, the blowfish sped off as soon as it was released. From the boat, Edi and McQueen settled in to watch its progress. McQueen cast a sideways glance at Edi and was delighted to discover no anomalous behavior from that direction. He wished it had always been so.

“Let loose the blowfish,” a 10-year-old Jimmy McQueen had told his teacher. The teacher had looked at him strangely (since she was a Math teacher) and recommended to his parents that he be medicated. They had complied.

“Let loose the blowfish” a 20-year-old Jim McQueen had told his date after a particularly breathless make-out session. His date pulled back and slapped him hard leaving a stinging imprint of her hand on his face.

“Let loose the blowfish” a 30-year-old James McQueen had told the waiter. The waiter looked concerned and went to fetch the proprietor. The Japanese man came over to the table and asked that McQueen and his wife leave his restaurant; they did not need any protesters making trouble over the potentially deadly menu-item.

“Let loose the blowfish” a 40-year-old Jimmy McQueen had said to the ticket saleslady. She looked at him oddly and called over the aquarium manager. They conferred behind the Plexiglas for a moment before the manager shook his head and the ticket clerk returned with a frown. She refused he and his son entry. Dejectedly he left and thought hard about the direction of his life.

Now, finally at 50 years old, McQueen had the opportunity to use his favorite phrase without repercussion. He smiled to himself as they watched the blip speeding away, part of his research project. “Let loose the blowfish!” he said again, triumphantly. Edi looked at him oddly and shuffled a bit further away.