Chuck Jones’ The Old Man and The Sea

Santiago stood at the shore, absorbed in the silence of the ocean. It would give and it would take. Lately, it had given him just a single sardine. He ate it off a large plate with an oversized fork and knife.

In the distance, a Marlin peaked above a crest, raised an eyebrow, smirked, and winked. Santiago fiendishly rubbed his palms together. He loaded up his ship with lines and bait and dynamite and anvils from the ACME corporation.

In the deep silence of the water, he thought about the way he was like the creatures of the deep. The marlins, the dolphins, the Portuguese Man-O-War. Then he remembered the time a Portuguese Man-O-War put on lipstick and kissed him and the sores and welts that he suffered from for weeks. He gave the camera a dry and dour take.

The Marlin saw the bait. He smiled mischievously. “Ain’t I a stinker?” the marlin said.

He pulled the line, dragging the boat behind him. As the boat now came to a rest, the Marlin crept up to the old man and hooked the line to the old man’s pants. When he leaped back into the water, he knew that the old man’s comeuppance would be brutal and painful. When the old man pulled at the line, he tore his pants clean off.

Another somber and silent look to the distance. The Marlin was proving to be more clever than he imagined. It was true: he was a stinker.

~Anthony Scibelli

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