POSEIDON: Yo, my friend. Welcome back, Chief. It’s been a while.
SEAN: Yes, this is where it all began, Captain. I sonar-messaged you when I arrived. It’s been three days
POSEIDON: First of all, I was in the Mediterranean. Buffett was at Club Med. I’m not sure how many live shows he’s got left in him.
SEAN: How was it? Did he sing Coast of Marseille? That’s my favorite.
POSEIDON: Couldn’t tell ya. I had just set up my Tinder account before the festival. I was working on changing my profile during the concert.
SEAN: What was wrong with your profile?
POSEIDON: I followed the instructions. My location can change in a wet minute, so I listed the Aegean Sea. And I hate when people lie about their age, so I listed mine at 2,723. I’m not sure I was being taken seriously. I apparently got nothing but Left swipes. And I guess my picture wasn’t the best. I think I look pretty good for a couple and a half millennia.
SEAN: I didn’t know you were dating. Did you and Amphitrite split?
POSEIDON: Yep. She left me for Jason Momoa. I asked her what she thought about the age difference. She laughed and said he has always been attracted to older women. I said, “Like a couple of thousand years older?” She threw a conch shell at me.
SEAN: Yikes. Well, all the best with your online dating.
POSEIDON: Thanks. No luck so far. But wait, I just got swiped. Who is Daryl Hannah?
SEAN: What’s all the commotion out there in the water?
POSEIDON: Oh, that’s just my entourage.
SEAN: Oh, like a school of fish?
POSEIDON: More like a Shoal. Ever since we started our Aquatic Diversity and Inclusion program, I’ve got new species and new cultures in my circle. I love it! How have I gone all this time thinking that sameness is better?
SEAN: What’s a Shoal?
POSEIDON: A little marine micro-learning is in order, my nautical neophyte. A school is a bunch of the same kind of fish that swim together. They turn and twist and dance almost seamlessly. They look alike, think alike, act alike, and they like to binge-watch The O.C.
SEAN: Sounds like some of the Meetup groups in my hometown.
POSEIDON: Haha. Been there; swam that. Now a Shoal is a little different. Shoals have different species that stick together and behave a little more loosely. They are together for social reasons — food, friendship, wine, you know, the stuff of life.
SEAN: Sounds like my pod of “Besties.”
POSEIDON: Did you just say, Besties? I just lost a little respect for you.
SEAN: It’s an inside thing.
POSEIDON: Keep it there. And listen, Gilligan, a Pod is a group of marine mammals. I’m not sure if some of your crew even qualify as mammals.
SEAN: Hey, my peeps are as warm-blooded as they come.
POSEIDON: Breathe Minnow-Man. I’m just messing with you. I know Alan and Kevin like the deep dives. And Kevin is our guy. He renovated the Great Hall in Atlantis. A little pricey, but we were under pressure. Pardon the pun.
SEAN: Well, not to get too metaphorical here, but I like that we all march to a different drum, but we are still in the same parade of life, and we’re in the same band.
POSEIDON: OK, that’s a little cheesy, but I get it. The main thing is that there is safety and joy in numbers. But your differences are your strengths.
SEAN: No doubt. But it’s weird that some swim away, and we don’t always know why. But it’s also wonderful when new ones swim in and find their place in our shoal.
POSEIDON: But you have to have criteria. For any species to join my shoal, they must be able to (a) travel, (b) demonstrate exceptional Trident skills, (c) demonstrate proficiency in MS Word and Excel – – I actually don’t even know what those are, but it’s on every other application, and (d) have never worn skinny jeans or camouflage Crocs. What are your criteria?
SEAN: Haven’t thought much about it. I think mine is limited to (a) demonstrated aversion to friend and relationship drama, (b) does not gossip or put others down, (c) stated commitment that Tommy Boy, Fletch, and Goodwill Hunting are the greatest movies ever made, (d) is not so stuck in their teens that they think good music is not made anymore, and (e) they believe wine has more healing properties than any food, drink, or pharmacological elements.
POSEIDON: Damn, Land Rover, that’s more than I have. And I’m a God.
SEAN: Hey, I’ve got some Russell’s Reserve and a bottle of Sixteen Appellations up in the cottage. Wanna get sauced and make fun of the Romans?
POSEIDON: I thought you didn’t want to put anybody down. But you know I will.
SEAN: Oh yeah. How about we get sauced and watch Fletch.
POSEIDON: ”It’s all ball bearings now.”
SEAN: Touché Captain Nemo. Glad to see you.