Fish are friends, not food

While we’re on the subject of my diet (see previous post) there is one huge misconception about me that I’d like to clear up. I often see stories where I’m described as a “pescetarian” meaning I eat fish as well as vegetables. This was true at one time but has not been the case for quite a while. I stopped eating fish during the making of Nemo. What happened was, I was up at Pixar watching dailies with John Lasseter. There’s a point in every movie where the characters start seeming real to you. Like you think about them when you’re not at work. You imagine them in other situations. You sit at breakfast and find yourself having imaginary conversations with them. Anyhoo, on this particular evening, that’s what happened. We were working late and watching dailies, and Nemo just came alive for me. And then afterward we went out for sushi. No big deal. This was our usual routine. We always went to the same place, this fantastic restaurant in Sausalito. (I can’t tell you the name because if you don’t know about it, all the better for the rest of us, and my friends would kill me anyway. It’s the best sushi in the Bay Area, and that’s saying something.) So we sit down and order up a huge plank of sushi and we’re talking about the movie and suddenly I just look down and I’m thinking of my little pal Nemo and it just hits me — and I go, Ya know what? I can’t do this. I can’t. I’m sorry.

So I ordered some edamame and some oshitashi, which is seasoned spinach for those of you who don’t know Japanese food. Meanwhile Lasseter can see how uncomfortable I am so he just starts chomping away on his sashimi and nigiri and telling me how good these poor little fishies taste tonight, why they musta been killed only a few hours ago. Then he calls over the waitress and asks her to check with the sushi chef and see if they have clownfish tonight. She gives him this weird look, but whatever, she goes over and comes back and says she’s very sorry, they don’t have clownfish, and Lasseter says that’s too bad cause he just loves seared clownfish served in a light ponzu sauce.

Then he starts doing little scenes from the movie, using pieces of sushi as characters. Marlin talking to Nemo, Marlin and Dory confronting Bruce the shark. At one point he’s pretending to be Bruce the shark, holding a piece of maguro sashimi in his chopsticks, threatening to pop it into his mouth and calling it Nemo, while “Marlin” (played by a piece of saba on the platter) is screaming, “No! No! Plesae don’t eat my baby Nemo!” Lasseter puts the piece of maguro halfway into his mouth, and he’s shaking it side to side and doing Nemo’s voice, going, “Mmmm! Mmmm!” and he’s shaking the saba with his hand, like Marlin, going, “Stop! No! Please!” And then, slurp. He sucks down the maguro and sits there grinning at me like a frigtard.

By that point I’m just shaking. I mean I actually thought I was gonna get sick, or cry, or both. Lasseter is an evil, evil man. All cartoonists are. They’re soulless freaks. I go, John, just stop it. I’m serious. Don’t do this. Please. He goes, Jobs, what are you gonna do? Fire me? And then what? You gonna draw the little fishies yourself? Last I checked you can’t even use Excel, Steve-O. Ha! Then he proceeded to finish off the entire platter of sushi while pretending to be Bruce, talking in an Australian accent, saying, “Fishies is not friends, fishies is food!”

I never spoke to John again. And I have never touched another piece of fish. Neither should you. But that’s between you and your conscience, and whatever God you worship. Peace out.