My captivity with the Sovereign Thalassic Hegemony continues. For a while, I thought they were about to release me, since they seemed resigned to the fact that I wasn’t going to reveal the launch codes they were seeking. Unfortunately, a slip of the tongue while eating yet another bowl of Long Kow’s Crystal Noodle Soup (6 Kinds of Mushrooms) has gotten me into some hot water. Not literally, of course, but maybe the literal kind of hot water would have been better. (By the way, there are still only six kinds of mushrooms!)
A few days ago, while I was masticating my mushroom soup, I mumbled to myself: “I could really go for some Hajima Crispy Salmon Skin right about now.” My murmuring must not have been as quiet as I thought it was, because the guard (a giant gourami) overheard what I said and asked, “Oh, is it any good?”
“It’s great,” I replied, “especially the seafood sauce flavor. It’s spicy and lemony, with a hint of garlic. And that salmon skin is so crispy and delicious. I could eat three bags right now.”
In hindsight, this was a big mistake. But I was so sick of mushroom soup that I couldn’t help but be stirred by the opportunity to speak about salmon skin.
“Is that so?” asked the guard. “Tell me more.”
“Well, it’s made from 100% salmon skin, and there’s a salmon on the front of the package that’s saying ‘No carb,’ in case you’re on that Western Reef Diet. It’s almost 100% salmon skin, anyway. On the back, it says it’s 97% salmon skin, with the rest being spices, oil, and MSG.”
“Sounds delicious,” the guard commented, right before he came bursting into the cell and dragged me away. The Capoluccio was away on important business, so the guard delivered me to the Emperor Angelfish instead.
One of the Emperor Angelfish’s minions wrapped an electric eel around my neck, and the Emperor (or the Angelfish…I wasn’t sure how to address him) began to berate me: “For countless years, the Hegemony has been at war with the air-breathers. You came here with the opportunity to make peace, and instead you mock us with tales of how the air-breathers gorge themselves on spicy salmon skin!”
“Peace?!” I interrupted. “I didn’t come here to make peace! You brought me here against my will! Besides, crispy salmon skin is just the Asian equivalent of pork rinds.”
The Emperor flicked his tail and the electric eel gave me quite a jolt. “Silence!” he commanded. “Your offenses against the Porcine Parliament are none of my concern!” Then he continued: “Since you failed so miserably in your efforts at negotiation, we have no choice but to hold you as a prisoner of war!”
Again, I tried to remind the Emperor that he had surreptitiously snatched me from the swimming pool that suddenly sprang up overnight, but that just made him angry. He signaled the electric eel to administer a series of highly unpleasant shocks, and then ordered the guard to return me to my cell.
Apparently, I continue to underestimate the Sovereign Thalassic Hegemony, to say nothing of this Porcine Parliament which I had never heard of before. Our intelligence operations have obviously been a little too lax lately. In any case, I need to find some way to escape from this undersea hegemonic headquarters. And I really hope someone will eventually remember to remove this electric eel…