Was walking down on Lake Union at lunch. I was standing on a dock looking at some fish in the shallows. I noticed them there last year, and they just came back. Don’t know what they are, but I’ve been very curious about them, as they are very brightly colored and seem to act territorially and exhibit nesting behavior, which makes me think think that knowing something about them might tell me something about the ecosystem in which they are breeding. So there I am pondering the fish, when three girls go walking by. The girls are all tall skinny blondes, wearing tight hiphuggers, too small t-shirts and heels. I assumed that they were on their way to work at Hooters a block away. They look over the railing as they walk past and have the following conversation:

“Oh wow, look at those fish. I wonder what they are?”
“Do you think they could be perch? I think they have very perciform body shapes.”
“I don’t know, I think perch have pointier noses. Maybe immature groupers?”
“Do you think they’re immature?”

(At this point I point out the nest clearing that I’ve noticed.)

“Oh wow, ya you’re right. So they must be adult forms.”
“We’ll have to look it up when we get home. I’ve got the book.”
“Okay, let’s be sure we remember what they look like. Let’s see, a couple of stripes on the face. It’s hard to see the dorsal and anal fins from above. What shape do you think the dorsal fin is?”
“It sort of looks like there are a couple of spines along the back that attach to the dorsal rays, which fan out towards the rear.”

The actual conversation lasted about 5 minutes, but that’s the gist of it. I was so taken off guard that I couldn’t think of a way to introduce myself and ask them how they knew anything about fish. Every once in a while I get re-taught that lesson about judging a book by its cover. They did actually use the word perciform.