Visiting Lake Michigan

At the lake yesterday, I saw the worst fish in the world. There were at least 100 of them — green-grey, fleshy fish that looked to weigh anywhere from  8 to 25 pounds each. They dwarfed the baby ducks. They were capable of direct, sustained eye contact.

Tourists were feeding them slices of bread, which they sucked with alacrity into their gaping maws, but you could tell by their facial expressions that they’d rather have meat. Big chunks of meat. Preferably fingers. I observed them rising muscularly up out of the water to catch the bread, shoving each other with raw, battle-scarred snouts, and I thought, something is not right in the U.S. of A. 

These fish are one genetic uptick away from evolving feet and disporting themselves on the Northwestern campus. What’s more, they’re constantly exposed to birth-control hormones via women peeing out the Pill, so they’ve got to be endocrinologically-confused at best; sexually violent at worst. THEY DO NOT BELONG IN THE LAKE. In any lake. They belong on the ocean floor, where even National Geographic cameras cannot go.

I went directly back to the dorm where D. and I are staying, in order to Google “horrible fish” + “Lake Michigan” + “fucked up,” and got this:

Asian Carp!

As it turns out, many people are concerned about the influx of Asian carp, because Asian carp do not respect boundaries of any kind. They are an invasive species that eats everything in sight, strips the ecology of its resources, and starves out the native fish and birds. I’d really like to weave this into a sharp feminist narrative regarding MichFest, safe space, and Internet pornography — it’s the world’s easiest metaphor — but we’re meeting friends for Chicago pizza in 30 minutes.  I was made to understand something about stuffed crust.