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Friday, March 22, 2013


So here we are.

The 1984 movie Splash was on again the other day. I only caught the ending this time around, but I’ve seen it so many times that it really doesn’t matter. However, seeing just the ending got me to thinking about what the relationship between Alan (played by Tom Hanks) and Madison (played by Daryl Hannah) would be like today, nearly 30 years later... an AfterSplash, if you will.

The film, for the uninitiated or those who call the underside of rocks their home, is about a Guy who falls in love with a Mermaid, and after many hijinks involving the hilarious Eugene Levy and John Candy, they kiss a magical kiss that allows said Guy to exist underwater forever, and the happy duo swim off to Atlantis together while Rita Coolidge sings the love theme and the credits roll.

Sure, it’s easy to think that they lived happily ever after and had a bunch of guppies. But I started thinking about the sheer logistics of everything, and everyone knows that when you think too much about a comic fantasy, things to tend to fall apart a little. 

All of Madison’s friends and family would probably derisively refer to Alan as “Legs” or “Finless” or “ManMan.” What, you don’t think that fish can be racist? Can you prove otherwise?

And what do the merfolk do all day long? You can’t read waterlogged books. No phone calls... no TV or movies, what with that pesky electricity and water not playing nice with each other. Even Disney’s Little Mermaid got “sick of swimmin’,” according to Howard Ashman. Surely Alan would get ocean fever, eventually. 

But even if none of that was an issue, you’d still have a relationship to contend with, filled with all of the drama and arguments that even healthy relationships are burdened with at one point or another. And it occurred to me that Alan could not possibly have an argument with Madison without, at some point, the following being uttered:

I became a fish for you, Madison. A fish. Do you hear me? A. Fish. Do you understand? Can you comprehend that? I am now a fish, and I am a fish because of you and I am a fish for no other reason than the fact that I loved you. You got to stay the same, and I got turned into a freaking fish. Let me say that again: I got turned into a freaking fish. A FISH. 

Did I want to be a fish? Maybe. Maybe not. But I had half a dramatic second to decide, with less than a page of dialogue. That’s not a lot of time, Madison. Or, should I say, that’s not a lot of time in the human world. I still don’t get this crazy fish time you live by. But that’s not the point. The point is that I made a choice with real consequences. Fish consequences. I mean, sure, I chose fish. I did. I admit it. You said there was no going back, and fine. I loved you, so okay... I became a fish. But you can’t really anticipate the rest of what that means until you wake up ten years later and hey, you’re still a fish!

And I’m tired of kelp. I am so damn tired of kelp. I know it’s good for you, but God, what I would not give for bread. Bread. Do you understand what bread is, Madison? It is so good. It is crazy good. And you don’t really think about those things when you’re on a pier and the army is closing in on you and you have a choice: to be a fish with the one you love or to not be a fish and lose her forever. Bread doesn’t cross your mind for a good few months. But when it does, Madison... when it does... it’s a big deal! Bread is incredible! And that is gone. Gone from my life.

So no, Madison... I am not going to allow your mother to stay here for a fish-month. Because you know what, Madison? I’M A FISH. FOREVER. BECAUSE OF YOU. 

Oh, what a lousy sequel that would make. (But wouldn’t you just love to hear Tom Hanks yell that monologue in that great way he yells?)

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

P.S. The fact that this is a fish post published on a Friday during Lent is purely coincidental. 

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