“The Sea was angry that day, my friends, like an old man trying to send soup back at a deli” – George Costanza in “The Marine Biologist” episode of Seinfeld.
While George may not be the most insightful guy in the world, he does wax eloquent on occasion. Just look at the depth of this statement.
On first listen (or read through), George’s statement reels Hemingway’s Old Man and the Sea from the mind’s ocean. Perhaps this is no mistake given that George’s line comes from a story that he tells his friends – the story of how George pulled a golf ball from a whale’s blow hole.
Though, it is worth mentioning that rather than trying to land a marlin, George is lured into rescuing a beached whale because he has lied about being a marine biologist.
A second pass through this line ties the angry sea to the bowl of soup. Imagine the choppy, white-capped waves bumping into one another, stirring up foam as they stagger to the shore.
Now place that hectic scene into a red-lipped porcelain bowl situated on a chipped saucer resting on a faded, mustard-yellow counter-top. Add a wrinkled, liver spotted hand in a sweeping collision course arc that sends saucer, bowl, and soup flying across the counter, and you’ve got one hell of a scene condensed into a single statement.
Throw in a dash of Andy Warhol, and the result might be a blottered psychedelic stew. But, perhaps, that is beyond the scope of George’s statement.
– Christopher Miller