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Deep Sea Interviews: Inspired by these cool pictures. Today: the coffinfish.

News You Can Bruise: Hello.

Coffinfish: Hello.

NYCB: Is it true that you can walk on the ocean floor using your fins?

CF: You'd better believe it.

NYCB: Where do you usually walk?

CF: Just around.

NYCB: But like where? Like to the store?

CF: There are no stores in the depths of the ocean!

NYCB: Well, have you ever thought about opening a store?

CF: Why?

NYCB: Because it's never been done before. The market is completely open. I think it would be a good business for you if you opened up a convenience store off the coast of Australia. You could sell to the other deep sea fish and to the squids and crabs and whatnot.

CF: Look, do you know what fish use for money?

NYCB: No, what?

CF: Nothing! 'Cause we're fish! We have no economy! Our relationships with other fish are predator/prey relationships or mating relationships or rival relationships! So stop with the store idea!

NYCB: Do you think that the ocean as a whole would be more productive if you had an economy?

CF: No.

NYCB: Why not? Humans have an economy.

CF: Yeah, and what do you get out of it? You have to work all day to get your "money"!

NYCB: But you have to work all day as well. All day you lure smaller fish to their doom with the glowing bait atop your head.

CF: That's not work! I just sit back and the fish fall into my gaping maw! It's fun!

NYCB: And then you have to evade predators.

CF: To evade predators, I simply swallow an enormous amount of water! I bet that doesn't work for you!

NYCB: No, but if a predator did get you, how would your family survive without you to provide for them?

CF: That is a moot point because I don't provide for them now.

NYCB: I'm saying that maybe it would be a good idea if you took out an insurance policy or something.

CF: I have an insurance policy!

NYCB: Really?

CF: I am insured against theft, and damage from earthquake!

NYCB: That's pretty useless.

CF: We fish trade only in things that have no value! If we have something valuable, we keep it for ourselves.

NYCB: But what about symbiosis?

CF: Symbiosis is for sea anenomes!

NYCB: You're a very unpredictable interview.

CF: You are a very unpredictable interviewer. Why do you ask me about economic activity all the time? Why don't you ask me some more stupid human questions about how I walk, just like you do? Huh? How about anthropomorphizing me some more? Blaaah! I'm a coffinfish! Blaaah!

NYCB: So, uh, when you walk, are you all walkin' down the street like this, or are you all walkin' down the street like this?

CF: The first one.

NYCB: 'Cause that one's cooler?

CF: Yeah, whatever.

NYCB: Look, you wanted more questions about the walking thing.

CF: Why don't you ask me about my new book?

NYCB: You have a book?

CF: Yes, it's called "Passion and Power: The Political Houses of the Great Barrier Reef 1951-1956".

NYCB: What's it about?

CF: It's got it all: politics, food, sex, budding, intrigue, all set against the stunning backdrop of the postwar Great Barrier Reef.

NYCB: So is it a history?

CF: It's more of a fictionalized memoir. It takes place from the perspective of a young polyp who grows unobserved in the chambers of the ruling class of corals.

NYCB: I'm intrigued.

CF: It also has my favorite recipe for fish. I call it "Fish a la Fish".

NYCB: Would you like to share the recipe?

CF: Yes. First, you stay very still with your mouth open. Then, you eat the fish.

NYCB: So, it's more a means of acquiring fish than a recipe.

CF: It's both. The second part is the recipe.

NYCB: Your book sounds very interesting. Do you have a publisher?

CF: I was planning on disseminating it through oral tradition.

NYCB: You should get a publisher.

CF: Is that another economy thing?

NYCB: Sort of. I think a lot of humans would pay good money for a book written by a coffinfish.

CF: And what would I do with this "money"?

NYCB: You could buy a bunch of really tacky knicknacks and scatter them over the ocean floor, and then show them to other fish.

CF: Your human ways have corrupted me! Now I too must have these tacky knick-knacks!

NYCB: Sorry.

CF: Tell me where are the knick-knacks!

NYCB: Like what do you want?

CF: A little castle! I must have a little castle that gets algae in it! And a treasure chest that opens to reveal fake treasure!

NYCB: That sounds like classic aquarium store material.

CF: All right, I will try your aquarium "store".

NYCB: Thanks for inaugurating this series, coffinfish.

CF: Blaaah! [swims off]

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