Mr. Finley Goes to Washington - Oceana USA
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May 25, 2007

Mr. Finley Goes to Washington

BY: nikki

Of all the suits mulling about the Hill the other day, I’m fairly confident mine made the biggest splash. But what kind of suit would make a bolder impression than a $3,000 Valentino or Yves Saint Laurent?

Try a six-some-odd-foot-tall red, rubber fish suit. Watch out Armani! I know, you’re probably thinking “what gives?”

Long story short, for the better part of a Thursday I embraced the identity of the beloved mascot, better known to Oceana campaigners working to eliminate foreign fishing subsidies as “Finley the Species-neutral Fish,” crusader for all who call the briny deep their home.

But why would I swap the cool comfort of my office cubical for a claustrophobic, heat intensive, red, rubber fish suit? That’s actually a pretty good question. It wasn’t long after meeting the pre-pubescent boys who jostled my head around a bit before tagging my back with campaign stickers, and the adolescent girls who shoved me back `n’ forth arguing over who would kiss the fish in the next picture that I started asking myself the same damn thing.

It’s a tough job, so they say, but somebody’s got to do it. And when nobody volunteered, I suppose that’s when I was reeled in.

Spending four hours in a personal-sized sauna wasn’t all bad, though. Finley and his friends managed to garner some attention from Hill photographers and spread their maritime mirth among tourists, staffers and oncoming traffic.

What’s more, the resolution Finley and his friends were lobbying in favor of passed the following day.