fix the fish

presl

Senior Member
This line in red sounds kind of weird to me. Is Artie saying that he had to fix the fishing pole? The thing is, will you say ‘fix the fish’ when you want to express ‘repair the fishing pole’ ?


(Warehouse 13)

Artie: I'm sorry I'm late, I, uh... had to fix the fish.

Peter [Secret Service Agent] [to Artie]: Stop right there.

Myka [Secret Service Agent] [to Peter]: What are you doing?

Peter [to Myka]:This is the guy who stole the rock last night. ... ...
 
  • Dimcl

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    The thing is, will you say ‘fix the fish’ when you want to express ‘repair the fishing pole’ ?
    No, that makes no sense at all. The only thing that comes to mind is the process of cooking the fish. We often say "I have to fix lunch" or "I have to fix dinner" to mean "to prepare lunch/dinner".

    The only thing that might help is previous context, I'm afraid.
     

    presl

    Senior Member
    No, that makes no sense at all. The only thing that comes to mind is the process of cooking the fish. We often say "I have to fix lunch" or "I have to fix dinner" to mean "to prepare lunch/dinner".

    The only thing that might help is previous context, I'm afraid.

    Dimcl! :D Thanks for your reply!

    Well, I do not think the previous scenes will be helpful for this context. :)

    Do you think maybe this definition will fit this context? See definition 6 in the Dictionary.com: '6. a long strip of wood, iron, etc., used to strengthen a mast, joint, etc.' http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/FISH?r=66


    I suspect if Artie refers to some kind of component [a long strip of iron] of the thing he holds. ? Artie does hold a 'strange thing' in his hands in this scene. Here is a picture, you can see it, http://www.sliceofscifi.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/warehouse-13a.jpg

    Not sure yet...
     

    presl

    Senior Member
    In this context I think the "to fix the fish" is a euphemism for urination....
    Thanks for your answer, JimboFr. :)

    Is 'fix the fish' an idiom when it is used a euphemism for urination ? I could not find this one in the dictionaries and Google. Could you tell me more about it? Thank you.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Nor for me:( Can you describe what the speaker does, presl?

    I'm wondering if this is a deliberately comical line - a transparently nonsensical excuse for being late...
     

    presl

    Senior Member
    Unfortunately, your link doesn't work for me, presl.

    ??? It does not work for me too right now, I don't see what problem is, but don't worry, I give a you another one! :)


    Nor for me:( Can you describe what the speaker does, presl?
    Okay, I'll try, Loob! :) :)


    Actually, Artie is also with Secret Service and in charge of a warehouse called ‘Warehouse 13’, which is a secret warehouse belonging to U.S. government and there’s a lot of supernatural artifacts stored in there. Peter and Myka is assigned to assist Artie to investigate these supernatural objects in the Warehouse 13 by a mysterious figure, Mrs. Frederick.


    In this scene [my context], Peter and Myka just hit Warehouse 13 [picture of the scene when they arrive: http://www.scifiscoop.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/warehouse13.jpg] and try to figure out what this place is and who is inside this warehouse, and then suddenly, Artie, the one who takes care of Warehouse 13, appears out of nowhere with a 'strange thing’ on his hands.[See the man standing ahead: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_t9pl9Dh5gGQ/SlZeI9joGeI/AAAAAAAAFJE/vRiXI7wbpSs/s400/_warehouse-13_l.jpg]


    Are these making my context clearer to you now? If not, let me know, I will keep hammering away at it! :D
     

    lablady

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    A couple of other people on the Internet seem to think that the line is just a comical excuse (as was suggested by Loob).
    He takes great joy in his work, happily showing off various gadgets and explaining the purpose of curious items in the warehouse. He also gets to spout great throwaway lines like, “I had to fix the fish.” The line has no context and no follow-up, which I found delightful.
    source

    And then there's this one:
    He apologizes for being late, but he "had to... fix the fish," which is actually a really brilliantly weird and mysterious line.
    source

    I'm inclined to think that Artie was just trying to be funny; I don't see anything in my searches that tell me otherwise. (Maybe he was hinting that he could use that gadget he was carrying to cook fish.) :)
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    A fish can be a person - as in a cold fish (a cold person). I'd take fix the fish to mean murder the person, but then I'm famously poor at understanding this sort of thing. The comment does seem to arouse a more extreme reaction in Peter, however, than would be justified if it simply meant he had been for a pee.
     

    presl

    Senior Member
    It seems obvious that the "object" that Artie is carrying is some sort of weapon. Did he kill or destroy something (resembling a fish as we know it) in the warehouse?
    No. Dimcl. :) ... That is why I said that I do not think the previous and the following context will help us to answer this question. It does not mention anything about the ‘strange object’ Artie holds during this whole time...:(


    A couple of other people on the Internet seem to think that the line is just a comical excuse (as was suggested by Loob).

    It seems I should have done a search at Google before I posted this question at WR, haha! Thank you, lablady, you must have spent a lot of your personal time to help me find these source links. I work it out this time. :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :)

    Loob, Thomas, thanks for your helping out.



     

    Franzi

    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    "I gotta go drain the lizard" is a standard cheesy euphemism for urination that is very popular with a certain kind of middle-aged American guy. I immediately thought of it when hearing this line, and I imagine that's what Pete is supposed to be thinking of.

    Pete's response sounds more humorous and less extreme when you hear it in the scene than when you read it on the page. It definitely sounds like he thinks Artie is about to tell him about peeing (or about health problems or something) in far more detail than he's comfortable hearing.

    Given the subject matter of the show, it's entirely possible that Artie was speaking literally. Part of the humor is that he might actually be talking about the job but Pete overreacts thinking that he's talking about peeing.
     

    Nymeria

    Senior Member
    English - Barbadian/British/educated in US universities blend
    Nor for me:( Can you describe what the speaker does, presl?

    I'm wondering if this is a deliberately comical line - a transparently nonsensical excuse for being late...
    I am with Loob on this one. I don't think that 'fix the fish' has a particular meaning, nor is it meant to have a particular meaning. My first thought was that it was simply a deliberately and clearly silly excuse for being late, meant to indicate that he either a) has no good excuse for being late or b) does not intend to share the reason for his lateness.
     

    MichaelW

    Senior Member
    English (British)
    As a deliberately silly excuse it could also mean "I had to feed the fish" or "look after the fish" or whatever. Bit like "I had to walk the dog" or "I had to put the cat out" only with fish.
     
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    presl

    Senior Member
    In this context I think the "to fix the fish" is a euphemism for urination....
    The comment does seem to arouse a more extreme reaction in Peter, however, than would be justified if it simply meant he had been for a pee.
    "I gotta go drain the lizard" is a standard cheesy euphemism for urination that is very popular with a certain kind of middle-aged American guy. I immediately thought of it when hearing this line, and I imagine that's what Pete is supposed to be thinking of.



    Franzi, I am more curious now - why do you all associate ‘fix the fish’ with urination? Is it just because the expression ‘I had to fix the fish’ similar to 'I gotta go drain the lizard’?

    So next time, [suppose I am male], I can also say ‘I gotta fix the fish’ to phrase the idea of ‘I gotta go to the bathroom’ ? Will that be usually understood?
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Given the subject matter of the show, it's entirely possible that Artie was speaking literally. Part of the humor is that he might actually be talking about the job but Pete overreacts thinking that he's talking about peeing.
    I agree. The show is full of very odd situations and objects. Artie often mentions things casually as if everyone deals with such things every day, but they are truly odd. I imagine he was genuinely apologizing for being a little late because he had to fix the fish, whatever that means. We may never find out.
     

    Franzi

    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    Franzi, I am more curious now - why do you all associate ‘fix the fish’ with urination? Is it just because the expression ‘I had to fix the fish’ similar to 'I gotta go drain the lizard’?


    Yes.

    Also, Pete's reaction makes it clear that he thinks the phrase has to mean something like that. I suppose it could also refer to masturbation or some other bodily function Pete doesn't want to hear about, but urination seems the most likely.

    So next time, [suppose I am male], I can also say ‘I gotta fix the fish’ to phrase the idea of ‘I gotta go to the bathroom’ ? Will that be usually understood?
    No.

    In the context of the show, it's clear that this is what Pete thinks the expression means. (It's not clear if that's what Artie really meant.) Out of context, people won't know what it means.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Franzi, why do you think Pete's "Stop right there" has to do with Artie having just said "fix the fish"? Couldn't it be related to what follows:
    Peter [to Myka]:This is the guy who stole the rock last night. ?

    Just intrigued: I've never seen the programme, so don't know anything about the characters. Nor do I know what "stole the rock" means:(

    Is it something to do with ... urination?
     
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    <Warehouse 13> & “to fix the fish”
    In the context of the program, suspect “to fix the fish” would have to do with something that would seek /search and or retrieve.
    This program has all sorts of odd fictional apparatuses and suspect “to fix the fish” would refer to the repair of some sort of “thing” that finds or and retrieves objects from the vast warehouse portrayed in the show. “Fish” as in, to fish something from your pocket.
     

    Franzi

    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    Franzi, why do you think Pete's "Stop right there" has to do with Artie having just said "fix the fish"? Couldn't it be related to what follows:
    Peter [to Myka]:This is the guy who stole the rock last night. ?

    Just intrigued: I've never seen the programme, so don't know anything about the characters. Nor do I know what "stole the rock" means:(

    Is it something to do with ... urination?
    You're right: I should probably rewatch the scene. I know I had the impression that Artie was talking about peeing (or that we were supposed to wonder if that's what he meant) when I watched it, but I don't remember Pete's reaction as well.

    The "rock" is a carved stone head from an exhibit of Mexican artifacts. Artie stole it in a previous scene to stop it from killing people. (Yes, this show does run on the Sci-Fi channel. :D)
     

    C. E. Whitehead

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    I don't know personally; when people talk about catching someone, a criminal, they say they prefer to catch a 'big fish' as opposed to a little one.

    And then we have the expression, 'sounds fishy,' which means that, 'it sounds suspicious.' But I really have not checked through this . . .

    Best,

    cew
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    As a warning to the original poster, this show is distinctly odd. :) I happen to love it, but I wouldn't use it as source material for learning normal conversational English. The situations and artifacts are too bizarre and fantastical and the characters are deliberately blasé about extremely strange situations and circumstances. It's not a good model for learning conversational English, in my opinion, but it's great entertainment for me.
     

    Franzi

    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    As a warning to the original poster, this show is distinctly odd. :) I happen to love it, but I wouldn't use it as source material for learning normal conversational English. The situations and artifacts are too bizarre and fantastical and the characters are deliberately blasé about extremely strange situations and circumstances. It's not a good model for learning conversational English, in my opinion, but it's great entertainment for me.
    Yeah, the subject matter is strange, but the characters don't usually speak in that affected a manner. I think it's better than Fringe or Prison Break for observing conversational English. (What can I say? I seem to have the same taste in tv shows as presl.)
     

    Franzi

    Senior Member
    (San Francisco) English
    I hate to sound like I'm living on Venus or something ... but what show is this?:eek:
    Warehouse 13. It started a few weeks ago on SyFy (nee Sci-Fi). It's a bit like the X-Files or Fringe except goofier and with more steampunk influence (a modern day Wild Wild West?).

    In a more Word Reference-y vein, the characters mostly speak standard tv AE except for the boss who has a slight accent. (The black characters don't speak AAVE for example.) It's full of sci-fi jargon and ridiculousness, but it doesn't have the weird speech styles you see in something like Ugly Betty.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Warehouse 13. It started a few weeks ago on SyFy (nee Sci-Fi). It's a bit like the X-Files or Fringe except goofier and with more steampunk influence (a modern day Wild Wild West?).

    In a more Word Reference-y vein, the characters mostly speak standard tv AE except for the boss who has a slight accent. (The black characters don't speak AAVE for example.) It's full of sci-fi jargon and ridiculousness, but it doesn't have the weird speech styles you see in something like Ugly Betty.
    I agree. It's not the style of speech but the contents. This is a show where "my hovercraft is full of eels" could show up as a comment and none of the characters would bat an eye. :)
     
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    Wayland

    Banned
    English.
    "My hovercraft is full of eels". Sounds decidedly dated, Python/ Laugh in ? It wasn't really all that funny 40 years ago.If this is an example of current humour on TV? Then I am glad I only listen to Classical Music radio.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    "My hovercraft is full of eels". Sounds decidedly dated, Python/ Laugh in ? It wasn't really all that funny 40 years ago.If this is an example of current humour on TV? Then I am glad I only listen to Classical Music radio.
    Please don't use my example to judge the content of the show. I'm simply saying that the content of the dialogue can be as odd as that statement and therefore might mislead someone into thinking that something is a common expression when it's simply a bizarre circumstance that is part of the plot.
     

    presl

    Senior Member
    As a warning to the original poster, this show is distinctly odd. :) I happen to love it, but I wouldn't use it as source material for learning normal conversational English.

    :) :) Thanks for your advice, James.

    I watch a lot of American shows. I am pretty into imitating what those characters say in my favorite shows. But my vocabulary is still small for now, so I watch them very slowly.

    [Chatty interlude deleted by moderator.]

    I have watched a lot of American science fiction series like ‘Heroes’ and ‘Lost [which is full of foreign accents]’, and I just started watch Warehouse 13 a couple of days ago and I like it so much. [even more than Fringe, heh! :D]

    ... what I should say.. I really like Warehouse 13, James, and I do not want to give it up. 55555
     
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