“I’m too old for this game”, remarked Humphrey, the discontented Alaskan Salmon, audibly, as he fought the strong current of the river in order to force his way upstream. “I mean”, he complained, “All of this, just to breed – and with who? Some unknown female who, for all I know, may not even like The Beatles! There’s no time to have a romantic meal, chat about our shared interests, discuss music, nothing… it’s just spawning ground, spawning ground, spawning ground… it makes me feel used. What am I, just a sex object to these females?” A passing trout sniggered at the grumpy fish’s muttering. “You know”, Humphrey mused, “I can’t help feeling that we’re doing everything wrong. Where’s the love? Just because we’re fish, does that mean that we don’t have emotions or feelings? Plus, by a cruel twist of fate, we were born one of the tastiest fish! It’s just not fair…”
“I hear what you’re saying…” came a voice from behind a burbling rock. Humphrey, startled, flipped round like a burger on a griddle. “Who said that?”, demanded the piscine complainer. Just then, emerging from behind the rock came Doris, a female Alaskan Salmon. “Hi…”, she ventured, “I’m Doris – I heard what you said, and I feel the same. I don’t just want to be some egg machine upriver… I need more out of my life. Plus, when you know that you’re in danger of being caught and eaten at any minute, it makes you feel like you need something more.” Humphrey grinned and blew a few tiny bubbles in the shape of hearts, “So, Doris, do you like… The Beatles?” Doris blushed at this obvious attempt to flirt. “Yes, I love The Beatles”, Doris simpered, “I especially love their work from Rubber Soul onwards, although I do love A Hard Days Night and Help! as well.”
Humphrey looped the loop in delight, “Me too, me too! Hey, Doris, why don’t you and me do something different to what we’re pre-programmed to do… let’s break the chain, let’s go downstream and set up home together and make Beatles-loving babies of our own!” Doris, clearly excited blurted out, “Yes, let’s, let’s!! What’s your name, you wonderful specimen of an Alaskan Salmon, you?” Humphrey replied, “Why, it’s Humphrey!” Doris blinked and looked crestfallen. “Oh”, she said, “I don’t like that name. Goodbye.” and swam off with a macho salmon with a much better name, who was a fan of The Rolling Stones. Humphrey, however, wasn’t depressed for long, because he was caught by an amateur angler and was served up for a family of four’s dinner later that evening, cooked with garlic, black pepper and lemon juice.