Monday, August 14, 2006

Fishy Smell

As I got to wander through our state this past week, I passed (and was passed) by many automobiles. Many of them had….”the fish.” You know what I am taking about—a chrome set of crossed parenthesis. No eyes. No mouth. No upper or lower or side fins. In fact, the tail is not even quite finished.

All proudly proclaiming the heightened state of spirituality which I presume the driver has obtained, and the intense state of evangelism dispensed at 80 mph. Never fear, I know I was just passed by a Christian in a Ford F-350, towing a boat, two Jet skis, four bikes and a fish.

People revolt from placing an “I Found It” or “God is my Co-Pilot” on their bright, shiny Black Cadillac. But chrome it up, make it subtle and they smack it on with glee.

In case some of you lunkheads are a bit thick, a few of the fish include the word “Jesus” inside. I am uncertain whether that is a lower spirituality (because it has to be spelled out) or a higher spirituality (because it is spelled out) or simply an option the no-“Jesus” fishes couldn’t afford.

And after seeing so many, I did notice that they are a bit drab. Oh, they are chrome, but the same thing over and over and over. No colors; no cute little sayings. (I started making them up—“O-Fish-all symbol of Jesus” and “Christian Carp-ful” and “My sole is heaven bound” or “Hooked on Jesus” and my favorite, “I’d go to halibut I got Jesus.”)

Seriously—what are we non-fishes supposed to do?

Is it THAT important we know you are some type of Christian, merely by the ornament on your automobile? Clearly by taking the necessary steps to go out of your way, use funds normally designated for your own personal treat (since I am certain you would NEVER take it from the funds you designate for the poor), picking the choicest spot on your vehicle and carefully placing it, you must hope for some reaction from others.

Is it so we know there are Christians out there?

“Honey, look at that. I thought the last Christians had disappeared, but there’s a car with a fish. Must be still around. Oh! And over there, a plate from Vermont…”

Or are we to see how well God has blessed you? I am sure many a family stretching their dollars to take a vacation in their ‘94 Geo Prism are suitably impressed by seeing an RV larger than their neighborhood passing them with a fish firmly affixed.

“Gee, honey. If only we were Christians, we could have camper that requires us to back-and-fill three times to take a turn. Sigh.”

Or are you sending secret signals to other fishes and, not unlike a traveling motorcycle group, plan to meet up at the next good restaurant? After having attended church for 38 years, I can assure you that any restaurant with a parking-lot of fishes is a good place to eat!

Christians may not know what the Synoptic Problem is, but they sure know how to find a tasty affordable buffet when necessary.

‘Course in this day and age, with the varying belief systems within fish world itself, it may be a bit tricky to catch up with the right fish.

“Hey, I see you have a fish on your car, too!”
”Yep. What parish do you belong to?”
“’Parish?’ Yipes! Bad Fish! Bad Fish!”

I presume mostly it comes from a sense of self-pride that one has from being a Christian that makes them want to show it in some way. There is nothing wrong with that, on some levels. I can understand where being a member of a select group causes one to desire that others recognize the difference.

But is putting a trinket on your automobile, when there are so many people in the world who are starving, that much of a symbol of Christianity? Or is it more a mark of shame? Honestly, if Jesus owned a car today, and He had $9.95 in his pocket, do you REALLY see Him using it toward a chrome fish?

Or do you see Jesus pointing out the exemplary widow who used her last two mites to buy a fish to stick on the back of her dress? Christians tell me they believe in heaven. Do they think once there they will heave a sigh of relief for having purchased a plastic fish, rather than using those few dollars toward the local soup kitchen?

As I passed fish after fish, I started to long for something different—a homemade sign that said, “Rather than buy a plastic fish for my car, I bought a real fish for a family.” That would be a fish that sent a much different message to us non-fishes.


  1. Your last thought there is a good sentiment. Afterall, christians are supposed to be humble, right?

    I have often pondered the reason for the fish cars myself. I think its the Raptiles - those awaiting the coming rapture. When the longed for moment arrives, having a fish on the car assures that god won't miss them if they happen to be on the road at the appointed hour - kind of like the passover blood over the doorway thingy, only the opposite, or something, or other - well, you get what I mean, don't you?


  2. I don't think the little fish signs are that bad. Compared to some bumper stickers and other crude signs I've seen over the years, they are comparatively benign. They are so ubiquitous that people don't even see them anymore even when they are there. Kind of like those mason emblems. The more of them that are out there the less meaning or message they tend to be able to convey.
    Ironic is it not?
    Are you enjoying your new deck?

  3. We see a lot of fish in our parts. :)

    A speeding fish passed us the other day as we were travelling along at the speed limit through this little village.

    I think fishy are sometimes no different then other fads, like the WWJD fad. Sort of a way of saying, "Look I'm a Christian, saved, going to heaven...want to come along?" A witness to unbelievers in hope that you'll one day come aboard.

    Good to have you back in the blogging world Sandwich. I think you are my favourite story-teller. :)

  4. Terry S,

    I don’t think the Christians have that rapture thing all worked out. Oh, they know it will happen, and somehow they won’t be here, but they haven’t gotten all the bugs figured out. Hmm…a blog entry, perhaps?

    gravis, I agree, of course. I wish more Christians did as well.

    roman, Nice to see ya! *wave*

    Thank you, I am enjoying the deck/pool very much. It came out quite well. Dare I think of posting an actual picture on my blog. Another Hmmm…

    Not so much that the fish are bad—just a long drive and a driver that has a mind that thinks too much. You are correct, the more there are, the more the message is deluded.


    Ah, Zoe. Your “favourite” story-teller? Too kind. I think there are much better out there. Have you clicked on (its in my blog link)? Now THERE is a storyteller!

  5. Dagoods,
    Damn, you are so prolific! You give me the gift of laughter continuously. Geez, you're shameless..."I'd go to halibut I got Jesus."

    Laughed myself silly.

    and do show us a picture of the deck and pool. I only have the lower portion of my wrap around done. jealous.

  6. Thank you, paul. I think I have entered my whimsical stage of blogging. Do all bloggers go through this?

    While I enjoy a smashing good fight over some Biblical issue, at times I think of the more humorous beliefs, thoughts and feelings of my previous world.

    I am wondering whether these continued arguments over and over and OVER on things that seem so obvious, such as the lack of inerrancy, are beneficial or merely verbal poo-fights where nobody is winning.

    So, at the moment, I can only laugh at life, and hope for the best.

  7. Dagoods,

    I understand the "over and over and Over" sentiment. I wonder sometimes if I have a genetic propensity to proselytize. Under such a theory, you would have a particularly bad case of the inclination as an attorney. Well, at least we're not addicted to heroin. I see my own discontent with the process in my lack of discipline to write detail...I really expect people to mind read, please don't make me write it all down. I have a great deal of respect for your attention to detail, even in whimsy. Perhaps seven stars will convert us to Theosophy and we'll be re-enerigized.