Fish Tales & Magic Spots

To say the sailfish statue was ugly is to say 2020 has had a few quirks.

Frankly, I am not sure it was a sailfish. The face of the beast was chipped and mangled. It might be an eel or a tortured soul from an Edvard Munch painting.

I use the past tense in describing this monstrosity for a good reason: It is out of our garage. It is dead to us. I am certain it still exists, as something this solid may be the only thing to survive 2020. But it no longer haunts my family.

Oddly, this frightening chunk of evil was hastily delivered to our house by a youth Christian group playing a game called Bigger or Better.

Our teen daughter, Caroline, was part of the Young Life team that breathlessly landed in our garage with the sailfish; they exchanged it for a plastic skeleton from a heap of Halloween decorations I failed to put away in the attic. Karma has the last laugh.

The sailfish, however, prompted me to make good on another long-abandoned promise: clean the garage. So, on a day when temperatures were not conducive for hauling waist-high chunks of concrete, I put on my big boy cargo shorts and lugged the beast to the sacred Magic Spot. This is the universal spot for free stuff…that open invitation for someone to take unwanted goods and give them new life. Our Magic Spot is next to the mailbox, and it has never let me down. Although, I have never seen anyone actually take the unwanted goods. I just duck into the house briefly and then—poof—the item is gone.

I do not question the phenomenon. It is an essential part of the food chain.

But the sailfish had little use for the ways of the universe.

It was a Saturday with a few garage sales in the neighborhood, which meant traffic was thick with lost souls searching for stuff.

There the sailfish sat in our Magic Spot. Nothing. I went into the house often to allow the universe to consume it. I sprang back into the yard like a kid on Christmas morning only to find it still staring down the neighborhood.

The hours rolled by, and I considered the unthinkable. Men do not like to mess with the natural order of things, but failure loomed. It was unsettling. For the first time in my adult life, I interfered with the mysterious mojo of the Magic Spot. My cardboard sign read “PLEASE steal me!!”

The statue disappeared within two hours.

So, what’s the point of this lame story? I could dig deep and proclaim the virtues of breaking the rules now and then. Sometimes nature needs a boost.

But, frankly, I just want to thank the new and baffling owner of Satan’s Sailfish. The Magic Spot works in mysterious ways. If only it could finish cleaning the garage.

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