Whale redefines treasure

Published: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 01:52 PM.

Many years ago I wrote a column about spitting and my inability to learn how with any degree of accuracy and finesse. At the time, I wanted to replace cigarettes with chewing tobacco, a choice between nastiness.

In retrospect, I can’t believe I set such a disgusting goal for myself and am glad I failed miserably and simply quit all tobacco. However, I remain impressed with the talents of those who have mastered the fine art of expectoration, especially its Zen-master "Josey Wales."

Until now, I thought it my most disgusting column. Well, insofar as subject-matter is concerned, today’s breaks new ground, descending from spitting to throwing up.

Actually, my subject is interesting, at least to me. I’m continually fascinated by how cultural uses and demands bestow values on particularly weird items in Mother Nature’s pantry or waste basket.

One current example is the reality show, "Wicked Tuna" on the National Geographic channel. I’ve fished all of my life but never knew a $10,000 fish existed.

It makes me wonder who’s the prey and who’s the bait. Those fish must make cosmic sushi to fetch such cosmic prices. It’s all about cultural values.

And speaking of value of cultural demands, not long ago an 8-year-old English boy by the name of Charlie Naysmith was walking along the Dorset beach with his dad and picked up what he thought was an odd-looking rock.

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