Fish Wraps

Conversation overheard 10 years ago in an Encinitas, California natural clothing and dry goods store: “Will this hold up?” “Oh, those are made out of recycled fish wraps in Cambodia by disabled people. So I think they’ll last forever.”

The customer's respondent seemed serious. Her voice and face betrayed neither irony nor humor nor sly malice. The wonder of it as a bit of human expression resides in how so many good intentions — conservation of finite resources, abjuring of chemicals, support for the disabled, contributing to the economic rise of the less prosperous — can produce a sentence at once so risible and beyond parody.