Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cruisin for Catfish

June 25, 2008 - Ronald Regan made a lot of declarations - declaring all kinds of days national days of something. It is fascinating how many of these declarations have been made. In 1986, Ronnie declared June 25th the start of National Homelessness Awareness Week, and in 1987, declared June 25th National Catfish Day.

According to the proclamation, "More and more Americans are discovering a uniquely American food delicacy-farm-raised catfish." ¹ Catfish are bottom feeders. They feed on the fish scales, carrion, mucus and some species even eat wood. They are opportunists and can dwell in underwater caves, in fresh water, salt water, shallow water and deep. They will even make a creaking noise and other vocalizations when being attacked, poked or caught.² Was it prophetic that Ronnie declared a day dedicated to the great American Catfish delicacy? Was there something about attempting to catch a cave dweller that squeaks when prodded?
If Osama was a fish...

Catfish is a dish that just doesn't say America (as a whole). It does say buffet. Catfish is a dish best served with 40 feet of other dishes.
Now buffet... that says America. The great American buffet... there are buffet restaurants in malls all across the US, and Catfish is spreading from the south. Americans at the buffet restaurants in malls all across the US are spreading.

The Buffet is a little like eating for the ADD... I want chicken. Ooh look - fish. Oh... steak. Ahh, pizza, and macaroni salad, and Jello with vegetables... It is hard enough to choose what to eat off a small restaurant menu. When it is all there at your fingers (and under the sneeze gaurd), can it really be controlled? Cruise vacations are more and more popular, and this can be directly attributed to the fascination with buffets. Those who frequent the block long smorgasbord get heavy. When you get heavy, vacations become sedentary. What can be more sedentary than a cruise ship. You go from buffet, to pool chair, to buffet, to pool chair, to dinner, to a show (the seats in cruise ship theatres are quite large), to a late night buffet, and to bed. When you ask someone how they enjoyed the cruise, the first thing you hear about is the food. When you get on a ship, one of the first things you check out is the buffet.

Perhaps Ronald's proclamation all those years ago created an inkling for catfish and a new rush on buffets across the nation. So... though all Ronnie declared was that June 25th would be National Catfish Day, he almost singlehandedly created a rush on Cruising. Cruise ships today are much more than food. There are climbing walls, wave pools, mini golf, dancing, running tracks... oh... look... Ice Cream.

1. The Presidency Project - Proclamation #5672
2. Wikipedia - Catfish

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