Monday, June 16, 2008


I'm so annoyed with myself for going off and leaving the camera this weekend. Not just because I wanted to get pictures of all of us getting our feet nibbled by the "doctor fish", although that alone would be reason enough to send myself to bed without supper or bedtime reading for a month.

The book we discussed this time was The Little Prince. Believe it or not, this coffee shop/spa where we held the meeting and the fish chowed down on our crusty feet has a mural of The Little Prince on the back wall! Golden hair waving in the breeze and all. Part of me rolled my eyes, but part of me couldn't help but be impressed with 2 old-fashioned model airplanes hanging from the ceiling right over the air conditioner and near the mural. I wanted a photo so badly. And there was the damn camera, back at Dorm Sweet Dorm. Luckily, everyone else came prepared. [Photos are courtesy of Mitzi.]
Matt and Amber had already read my blog entry about Saint Exupery's book. Amber said it was funny. Matt let me know in no uncertain terms that I was a grownup. By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, I was unrepentantly grownup. I reeked of it.

Bernadette said that she has read the book in English, French and Spanish. That actually made me want to read it again in another language. Spanish or Korean would be my obvious choices. The feeling of pride and accomplishment from recognizing vocabulary might make some of the other stuff a little more palatable.

Mitzi got all scholarly on us and talked about articles she'd looked up online that explain some of the symbolism. The flower is supposed to represent women. So, does that make The Little Prince a typical guy, running off and leaving her alone on that asteroid? I missed some of the discussion because I kept running for more free toast and jam. Mitzi also mentioned that one time her (adult, Korean, male) students acted out the book: "No! I need a ship!" Smile when you say that, Princey-boy.

Upon reflection -- shallow as it may be -- I guess I'm glad that I read The Little Prince. I plugged one of the many gaps in my pop culture knowledge. (One down, 340,000,000,000 to go!) I read a book by an author from another country. (Who turned out to be a hot French aviator who wrote other, more interesting books before he died young, bravely and tragically.) I discovered a story with simple vocabulary and a medium-sized plot. (I could assign this story to my students in the future. Koreans seem to love fables; maybe many of them have read it in Korean -- perhaps this could be the makings of a good English conversation class!)

Stuffed on bread and jam, we waddled over to the fish pool, washed our feet and stuck them in the water so the fish could do their duty. I'm not a ticklish person, but when I first put my feet in the pool, I could hardly stand all those fish going after my...O My Sole! Damn! Laughing hysterically, I involuntarily jerked my feet out of the water, and Bernadette admonished me to go out slowly, so that I didn't accidentally kill any of the fish. That put me in a soberer frame of mind. I like to think that I can behave considerately towards fish that are about to do me a favor. My size eights re-entered the pool and this time, I bravely waited out the tickling feeling, which passed after about 3 minutes. After that, the feeling of their sandpapery little mouths was quite pleasurable, kinky as that may sound. I'm definitely going back again.

For the July 6 meeting, we're reading and discussing Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs. I recently saw a couple of episodes of Bones, and enjoyed them, so I'm looking forward to reading this book. On July 27, our book is Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill. I grabbed it after the meeting and began reading it on the train ride home. I also bought Anne Of The Island by L.M. Montgomery, in preparation for The 2nd Canadian Book Challenge. This gave me quite a few books to bring home, and made my backpack a little cumbersome, so to lighten the load, I dropped The Little Prince into a nearby trash bin.


Of course, you know that last sentence is a complete lie. I'm a grownup, but I'm not made of stone. I'd never throw the little fella in the trash. What about an Ayn Rand novel, you ask? Ask again later. I've been feeling pretty mellow since that fish pedicure.


Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours said...

Oh. my. gosh. I don't know whether the fish thing is really cool ... or really creepy! ~LOL~ Thanks for sharing the details of your meeting - and the photos. I love hearing what other clubs are doing. :)

Eva said...

You make me laugh so much! And I have the same tickling problem when I get regular pedicures; whether it's at a salon or just my sister, I pretty much giggle uncontrollably.

P.S.: no matter how mellow the fish make you, you must still throw Ayn Rand in the garbage if she ever crosses your path. Seriously. I'm reading Flannery O'Connor's letters, and I recently came across a great Ayn Rand put-down. It made my day!

Kathy said...

It would be so hard for me to let fish do that to my feet! My feet are extremely ticklish. Glad to hear you didn't really thow The Little Prince in the trash can. I read it a long time ago and remember almost nothing about it.

kookie said...

Heh, makes me wonder if the fish would enjoy The Little Prince. You just know they would love crusty old Ayn Rand. :D

Anonymous said...

Creepy! Fish pedicure. Fish nibbling at my toes put me off any body of water without chlorine. As God intended. :)

Trashed it! LOL. (I'm ignoring your take-back.)

Tara said...

How exciting to learn about food eating fish and see a photo too! Never heard of such a thing. So, your feel are really smooth when they come out then? Is this the only diet for the fish?

Bybee said...

Next time, I'm afraid it won't be as pun intended, of course. We're going to Smoothie King. I think the fish thing is cool but strange.

Flannery O'Connor could deliver some real zingers! An Ayn Rand put-down? Please share.

It's not just their little mouths nibbling; it's their fins brushing your feet as they swim around.

Feeding Ayn Rand to the fishes! I like that thought...

To add to the creepiness, the fishes' eyes seem to widen and their mouths open and close convulsively as they lock in on their target!

Yeah, your feet come out softer and smoother. I don't know if the fish have any other diet...I'm guessing not because the spa owners would want them to stay interested in feet. Dr. Fish can really chow down buffet-style if they are used for psoriasis patients. In that scenario, the person is fully immersed in a tub ...swimming with the fish.

darkorpheus said...

I heard those fishy actually feed off dead skins and bacteria off your feet. So they are actually "good for you".

So I have heard.

ambearo said...

Nice post about our meeting. I thought I would let you know I blogged a bit about it to (you know where to look) and also I thought you might want to take a look at these pictures of your Dr. Fish experience!

Anonymous said...

Those fish loved you! I don't think anyone took them as calmly as you did after you got over the initial shock.

Bybee said...

Dark Orpheus,
Maybe it's good for you. Maybe not. But it's fun. And cheap entertainment.

Thanks for the look at the extra pictures. During the first immersion, I was aware that my giggling was loud and shrill and felt embarrassed until I heard someone at the adjoining pool giggling the same way -- and it was a guy! I felt way better.

I love that name, Boldfont. It kind of makes you sound like a knight-warrior.