It isn't every day that one can hear what their records sound like when played under water, but early one day recently I got the chance.
The phone rang mercilessly at 5 AM last week. I was in the midst of having a complicated dream about how many PA systems I could fit into a golf bag while The Chevster - my mildly psychotic, but cute, feline - lounging like the queen that she is on top of the refrigerator, was doing her best to get my attention by yowling "More! More!" in her quasi-deranged mewl. At first I thought the jangling phone was just part of my somnolent, warped nightscape. But when my own disembodied voice on the answering machine in the kitchen announced that I was not there to take the call, my eyes cracked open like two brittle iguana eggs.
"Day-vit! You still inna bed? You gonna wan' pick up this phone and spek wit' me." Dr. Easy. What the heck was he calling me about at this hour? I assumed the good Daktah had probably just rolled in from a night of mischief-making of his own sort and wanted to hold me hostage while bragging about his nocturnal adventures and misdeeds as he was wont to do. I wasn't in the mood, so I let the machine be his impartial, though receptive, audience. But he wasn't going away and continued to prattle on.
"Day-vit! I jus' heard you an' Miss Mary singin' wit' the fishes. You ain't gonna believe it!"
WTF? Doctor Easy has regaled me with all sorts of nonsense over the years and has been the genesis of many of my own regrets, but he potentially may have bested himself in the Weird Dept. with this one.
"Day-vit! You gon' be famous! You surrounded by fishes an' singin' to 'em! Miss Mary, too. You pick up dis phone, mistah, right now!"
I hauled my carcass out of bed, yawning widely as my surreal PA-in-the-golf-bag-Ms.Chevy-on-the-refrigerator dream evaporated into the vapors of dawn. Snatching the cordless phone I mumbled with my best pre-coffee elocution "Hola, doctor. This better be good. You DO know what time it is, right?"
"Day-vit! I cunna sleep, mi-son, so I go surfin' de web on me ol' ca'puter. I go visit de Blue Tang boys site 'bout de St. John island. Yah, mon, be de mos beautiful! So, wanderin' 'roun' go I an' den, 'Pwoosh!' I fin' dis li'l video an' push I deh 'Go' but-ton an' all dese fishes dey come swimmin' 'roun' an 'roun' - it wa' truly lovely, mi-son."
"OK, take a breath," I yawned.
"Yah, mon, and guess what? It wa' you an' Miss Mary singin' dem song while all dem fishes be swimmin' 'bout. Uh-huh, for true!" He could hardly contain himself, but he had, once again, seduced my attention.
"OK, doc," I croaked as I shuffled over to my own "ca'puter" and woke it up. "Tell me where you found your underwater wonderworld."
"OK, here 'tis. Yah ready, mon? Put dis address in you ca'puter. Annie's Animals: Identifying Fish See it! Right there! See it! OK, mi-son, I gotta go now. I right now goin' down to de beach an' bringin' me snorffle an' frog-feet. I goin' down and visitin' dem fishes fo' myse'f!" And just like that, he was gone. It was 5:05 AM and I was awake, contemplating the word "snorffle".
The video that got Dr. Easy so aroused was created by St. John artist/photographer/sculptor/potter/sailor/gardener and bon vivant, Annie Caswell. She spent hours with her underwater camera photographing the fish and other underwater denizens of this Caribbean island's endangered coral reefs. As her soundtrack, she chose a guitar piece by local musicians Bo & Lauren to introduce her video, but then selected "Coming Up For Air", a Patty Larkin song that I recorded on my CD, Asleep At The Keel. Sure enough, a minute or so into the film, the aquaeous strains of yours-truly and Miss Mary fade into the background.
Together with the guys from Blue Tang, the talented web/photo/video St. John production company, Annie put together a most relaxing and informative little video gem that might make you want to dig out your own 'snorffle and frog-feet' and join 'em!
Annie's Website: Kissed By Fire Creations
Blue Tang's website: Blue Tang Productions