What a grimace! What a magnificent scowl bristling with fangs! And oh, the impunity of the fork that kept digging, digging, digging into his ribs.
"Mojarra al Ajo, I presume?" said I through a mouthful of fish.
"Presume nothing," said his hollow-eyed glare.
"In English your name would be Garlicked Crappie," I offered. "It's really a good thing you're a Mexican fish."
"Can't you see I'm not in the mood for conversation?" said he. And he fell silent, gazing off into the distance with stony resignation.
Not many of us can manage to look dignified even while mute and supine on a plate festooned with orange slices. I was impressed. I was almost starting to love him for more than his body.
And yet, and yet... was that a sneer quivering in his skeletal nostril? Did I catch the slightest hint of disdain for his superior on the food chain? Did my lunch dare to scorn me?
Why, you uppity little crappie! When I'm done with you, you'll be a head and a tail connected by a ribcage. Take that! And that! And--- mmmmm...
So fresh, so hot, such a scrumptious little morsel! He was, most definitely, the fish with the taste to match his 'tude, the Mojarra with the Mojo-- al Ajo, no less!
And oh! He stayed with me all... day... long...
By the end of the day, after half a tube of toothpaste, I had to admit: in this round of lunch wars, that scrappy little Crappie had won.
My advice to future lunchers: steer clear of the fangs. Go for the grilled huachinango instead.