I've had some fun ideas for this week's whale battle, and am ambling towards a finished writeup - in the meantime, tonight I'll be posting the results of another long-awaited matchup in order to tide you over.
But that's a secret for the time being.
Right now, I want to share with you some completely balling prints from 19th Century Japan depicting an earthquake in the form of big goddamn catfish.
I am determined to directly or indirectly reference these Namazu-e (literally Catfish Pictures) in a future zoofight, and I think that big old bastard in the first picture has got Contender written all over him. (Big Thunder Rumblefish, anyone?)
Funnily enough, an amazon catfish nearly made it into zoofights IV, before I got worried that I was overdoing the fish-with-robot-legs thing and put in Snake Preview as the amazonian contender instead. Things could have been very different.
Specifically, it was going to be a Pterygoplichthys gibbiceps, which has the distinction of being one of my favourite aquarium fish and one of the more fun things I have eaten (I never thought anything that only ate algae off rocks could be so meaty). The recipe is pretty simple, so long as you have access to a small amazon tributary, fifty feet of net and a machete.
Setting the net across the mouth of the creek, you wait til an hour or two after dusk when they are moving out into the larger channel to feed, and then pull in the net. When I tried it, I took about 12 and threw back everything shorter than a foot.
Amazingly, they managed to survive all night in a half inch of muddy water in the footwell of the dugout, and were still gulping air at breakfast time. This sounds rather cruel, but it’s very difficult to mercy-kill something that is mostly bone armour, and even harder to keep it fresh through the muggy amazon night.
Come dawn, it was simply a matter of gutting them (again, tough given the armour) and hurling them into a load of boiling water with chicken bones, tiny pea-sized chilis and shitloads of lemon juice. When boiled, the articulated bone plates just fell apart with thick, white flakes of meat clinging to their underside. Even better, this was the right time of year for the females to be carrying big clusters of roe like pork-flavoured wax blackberries.
Here's to the noble catfish, Sports Fans.