Two unrelated events in history have occurred on this date.
First, have you ever been in a place where there have been so many people that you felt completely squished? Two occasions immediately come to my mind. There was a year when we were leaving the Kentucky Derby, and we were in the midst of a sea of people. We had no control over the direction we were moving, so we simply tried to cling on to one another to stay together. Truly, we could not stop, or go, on our own. The other time happened more recently in New York. We were there at Christmas Time at Rockefeller Plaza. Massive amounts of people, but at least I could walk in the general direction intended.
And when we find ourselves in these situations, we often say, “I felt like I was in a can of sardines.”
Well, we have Julius Wolff to thank for that. Because on this date in 1876, Mr. Wolff first put those sardines in a can. Up there in Eastport, Maine. I don’t know much more about the event. But one thing for sure. It is down in the history books. The day he decided to pack small fish in a little can. And our analogy was born, and lives on in crowded places.
The second historical event of note happened just two years ago, in 2017. It was the discovery of a new mostly underwater continent. It is called Zealandia, and it is in the South Pacific. A whole big continent, an entire mile below the surface. The location is near New Zealand, and New Calcadonia. Personally, I think there are a lot of “continents” down there, under the surface of our great big ocean. Including the fabled Atlantis. And of course, I cannot think of Atlantis without thinking about my favorite hero, Aquaman.
Which brings me to the recent terrible movie Aquaman. It tanked at the box office, no pun intended. And the reviews were pretty scathing, for the most part. I warned them. The hunky guy they got to play Aquaman, looked nothing like the character. They killed it. Batman looked like Batman. Superman sure looked like himself too. And Spidy. All of them, really, were splitting images of their cartoon characters. So I am not sure why they chose to obliterate my dear Arthur Joseph Curry, and make him look like the poster child for Big Time Wrestling.
I won’t see it.
I probably will never see Zealandia either.
But sardines, I have seen. On saltines. Whole cans of them.
I’ve always loved the way of the ocean.
“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.”
― e.e. cummings, 100 Selected Poems
“It is life, I think, to watch the water. A man can learn so many things.”
― Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook
“Human nature is like water. It takes the shape of its container.”
― Wallace Stevens