3093 species of Catfish were left heartbroken and disillusioned on Wednesday after learning that their namesake had been used to describe a deplorable Human invention. “Our pristine shallow running waters have been polluted by the stink of defamation,” lamented Catfish President Whiskers McGoo. “Catfish everywhere are reeling. And that’s not a word I use lightly.”
Humans and Catfish had cohabitated peacefully and respectfully for thousands of years, but earlier this week a scandal broke amongst the Human Americans that’s forcing Catfish to cope with a publicity nightmare they did nothing to earn. Apparently a Human American football player guy named Manti Te’o was tricked by a group of other Human Americans into thinking he was in love with a real Human American girl. The group deceived Te’o with a series of coordinated phone calls, emails, and text messages, luring him into a loving relationship with someone who didn’t exist. Then they convinced Te’o that the girl had suffered horrific human tragedies and died. He was devastated. It’s a repugnant thing for Humans to do to each other.
“And you pawn that off on the catfish?!” screamed Chucklehead Poobottom, Catfish Ambassador to the Human Fishermen Association. “Terrible!” When the morning began, Chucklehead’s office walls were covered in pictures in which he could be seen posing with smiling, gloating Humans, but over the course of the day he had ripped them all down. “Honey, look at the size of this one!” he mocked. “Yea look at the size of you ya friggin’ whale.”
Catfish are the latest non-humans to have their names sullied by American English, but certainly not the first. They share the undesirable distinction with other previously harmless entities such as the screw, the boner, and the zodiac sign Cancer, just to name a few. “I’ll admit that nobody’s had it worse than Cancer,” reasoned Catfish college student Suckermouth Polliwogs, “but that doesn’t make this any easier.”
“I don’t know what to think about our relationship anymore,” said Mudcat Smoochypants, a close advisor to President McGoo. “My fellow Catfish know my story. My father was caught by a New Orleans Human American in 1998 and he wasn’t thrown back. He was eaten in what I understand to have been a hearty winter stew. That used to be the highest honor, the ultimate sign of solidarity between the Catfish and the Humans. We gave our lives to them and they loved us in return. But now I wonder, did my father die for nothing?”
The Te’o story brought the term “Catfish,” to the mainstream, but the Human American TV network MTV was the first known organization to champion the act and associate it with the proud fish. Human American Spokesperson for MTV Aaron Lewatzky was unavailable for comment, citing the “all consuming job of finding innovative ways for Americans to publicly ruin themselves and each other.”
Provoking the Catfish is a risky move for a country with a lust for self destruction and an ever growing list of foreign enemies. Human American Presidential advisor David Axelrod fears that their President Barack Obama doesn’t “have the bandwith or the political capital right now in the midst of the gun debate and fiscal negotiations to deal with the Catfish matter,” but President McGoo issued a statement that is sure to draw the attention of the oval office.
“One out of every twenty vertebrate species is a Catfish,” noted Whiskers, “That’s a fact. Even if there were a couple of bad Catfish among us, lumping all Catfish together as flag bearers for this atrocious behavior is wrong, just as every Human wouldn’t want us to judge them based solely on what the Human Americans have done. I have spoken with Vice President Mustachio WeebleWobble and we’re preparing a formal response.”
Sources within the Catfish Circle Of Good Times expect the administration to retaliate by naming some egregious behavior after the Human race. Early guesses for what the term “Humaning” may represent include pressuring Catfish teens into eating disorders, cheating in general, and having 11 Catfish babies with 10 different Catfish baby’s mommas.
Mike Johnson is a writer in Chicago and can be reached at MikeJohnson683@gmail.com