Sandra: How far do you think we have moved since the shipwreck?

Oscar: If my dead reckoning is right, we should be drifting into the shipping lanes by tomorrow. Within a day or two of that, someone should see us.

Sandra: You don’t sound too sure.

Oscar: I’m as sure as one can be in these circumstances. I learned to read location by my watch and the sun when I was in the Merchant Marine.

Sandra: I hope you’re right. Its almost a week since the ship went down, and we’re running low on water. And I’d kill for something to eat.

Oscar: Don’t look at me like that when you say that, Ma’m.

Sandra: What are you afraid of? You’re the one with the knife.

Oscar: Don’t worry; I’ve got an idea for food.

Sandra: One that doesn’t involve me, I hope.

Oscar: Yes, but only as my dinner companion, not the menu. Ya know, I’ ain’t been ’round more sophisticated, high society company at dinner time since I bussed tables at the Ritz.

Sandra: I eat there quite often, usually late at night, after the opera.

Oscar: What was your favorite meal?

Sandra: Trout Aumondine.

Oscar: Well tonight, Ma’m, if our luck comes through, we might dine just as elegantly.

Sandra: There are trout in the ocean?

Oscar: No. But we’re drifting toward seaweed and that flock of circling seagulls.

Sandra: Seaweed and seagulls? I’m not that hungry yet.

Oscar: Look where the seagulls are diving. See the splashes in the water? Somethin’s driving baitfish toward the surface. Probably bonita. I seen that all the time off Long Island. When we drift close enough, maybe we can catch us some.

Sandra: With what?

Oscar: The survival kit on our lifeboat come with some fishing line and hooks.

Sandra: Even if you catch some, how are we going to cook them?

Oscar: Ever had sushi?

Sandra: Sure.

Oscar: I’m pretty sure I know how to prepare it, bein’ as I watched the chef at the Ritz do it a few times. Think of it as the chef’s special tonight, provided we catch something.

Sandra: Oh! I just saw some splashes nearby. Quick, get the line in.

Oscar: Just one problem.

Sandra: What?

Oscar: Bare hooks won’t work.

Sandra: Where are we going to get bait?

Oscar: We don’t need live bait. Something shiny and reflective will fool them when they’re in a feeding frenzy.

Sandra: What are you looking at me like that for?

Oscar: Your earrings.

Sandra: Not these, they’re pure silver! And they’re a gift from my favorite uncle. But oh well, they won’t do me any good if I starve to death. Here, take them both.

Oscar: One will do. …Thanks…..Yes, the hook fits through the little hole here nicely. Now down we go.


Sandra: Anything happening yet?

Oscar: I think one hit, but I can’t tell for sure. Blast it! I missed the fish and lost the earring too.

Sandra: No wonder! How can you feel anything? Your hands are thick and calloused, like a brickmason’s.

Oscar: Yeah, well I done that too, back in the day. (Pause) Sorry about your earring, Ma’m.

Sandra: Oh, its just an earring. Let me try, with my other earring for bait. My hands are more sensitive. It goes on the hook like this?

Oscar: That’s right.

Sandra: Down she goes. How many feet?

Oscar: They’re not far down at all.

Sandra: Oh! Got him! He hit like a passing freight train. Now what do I do?

Oscar: Pull him up!

Sandra: How?

Oscar: Here, I’ll help you. We just swing him into the boat like this.

Sandra: He’s beautiful!

Oscar: Just like I thought, a bonita!

Sandra: How do they taste?

Oscar: Its not Trout Aumondine, if that’s what you’re craving. Its a kind of tuna, only small. But soon you’ll be eating fresher sushi than what they serve, even at the Ritz. Congratulations on your catch, Ma’m.

Sandra: Our catch, you mean.

Oscar: So quick, get him off the line and catch us another one, before we drift past the school.

Sandra: I’m trying! How do I stop him from thrashing around so much?

Oscar: Watch out for the teeth. Grab him by the middle, and I’ll get the hook out.

Sandra: I’ve never held a fish before, live or dead.

Oscar: You mean you never been fishin’ before?

Sandra: Where on the Upper East Side of Manhattan would anyone go fishing?

Oscar: Seems like we was both deprived in our childhoods, just in different ways.

Sandra: And like we’ve both been blessed with what the other one needed. Got another one!

Oscar: Way to go! Sushi for both of us tonight!

The End



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