I was just about to stick my fork into a wing of the Garlic Chicken that my adorable wife had cooked up for me when the telephone rang, it stopped my salivating which had reached the point of escaping my mouth.
“Hello Flèche, it’s your neighbor, Pierre… can you come over in a hurry? It’s a matter of life or death!”
“Be generous with your neighbor, one never knows!”, so goes the Finnish proverb. I quickly put aside the chicken wing not having the courage to battle, at day’s end, with nordic proverbs. My friend Pierre, is a celebrated innkeeper, his establishment (3 stars) which I recommend, adjoins my house. He was standing in the doorway of his kitchen and lifting a wet dishtowel presented an enormous carp, panting, lying on the door mat.
“Briefly,” he said “that big pig of a client in suite number 4, a real dick head, brought us this poor beast that he caught in the Chassezac, just to show off and flirt with the brunette in number 2. What a jerk!” Usually I disapprove of the use of such language, but for once, the fellow in question largely merited these inflamed epithets.
“Flèche this carp is still alive and it’s urgent to put it back into the river. The restaurent is crazy right now; could you take care of it?”
I didn’t give it another thought. As well as I could, I grabbed the mastodon, installed it on the passenger seat of my Peugeot 104 (a real piece of shit, I must add in passing!). I buckled the seat belt around the carp’s fins and 5 minutes later parked my car at the entry of the bridge at Maisonneuve where, unfortunately, the is no good access to the river. The only way to get the carp into the river would be to toss it over the railing, “A river runs through it, beneath the bridge” as the late Brad Pitt said, more or less. So it was in the middle of the bridge, there where the river is most deep, that I planned to release my precious package.
Accidents always happen fast and the carp, slippery as a Savon de Marseille (a soap from Marseille, often they are confused) made a sudden movement, probably due to a passing irritation, and slipped from my arms head first toward his deadly destiny. Actually it was a hard, pointed rock that stopped his magnificent carpe diem flight and, in an instant, he was reduced to a pulp that immediately attracted starving birds of prey and a quantity of scavengers. This true story confirms that the philosophy from the other side of the Atlantic called “catch and release”, should not extend to the clumsy and untrained, for it may produce results inverse to those desired. From now on I will refrain from tossing carps and other viscous mammals from high atop bridges and advise you to follow my example