Fried Fish Frenzy of 1994

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Not to be confused with the Fried Fish Frenzy of 2004 or the Flamingo Frenzy of 1995

The Fried Fish Frenzy of 1994 (June 2-5) was a world-wide phenomenon that ushered a period of international crisis and debate over the legality of frying fish. A little while after the I am turning Japanese disaster, the Fried Fish Frenzy led to the banning of frying fish in many countries such as France and Germany due to the dangers caused by frying. Though the cause is unknown, this frenzy is one of the best known cultural and scientific phenomenons of the 20th Century, and has caused many conspiracy theories. In addition to the damage it led to, the Fried Fish Frenzy also had positive benefits, and has been subject to many disaster film remakes, two of which directed by the American director Michael Bay.

Barracloseup

A typical western European fried fish meal

Origins of the Frenzy

The Fried Fish Frenzy began most notably in the French capital, Paris, in early June. The actual disaster didn't truly begin until the 5 June, however this was the first time somebody truly realised the dangers of frying fish. On the 2 June, a French chef that worked in a sea food restaurant, named Francois Baguette Bonaparte (pictured), became severely ill after tasting some fried fish fillets he was making for customers. He experienced nausea, diarrhea, a fever of 110 degrees celsius, and fits. Though he survived, he caused a severe mess in his kitchen and was subsequently fired by his boss for causing over £200 damages and scaring away customers. It was unknown how this happened, however quickly stories of fits, nausea, diarrhea, and fevers caused all by chefs tasting fried fish sprung up across the globe. Within three days, it was estimated that three quarters of all French and an eighth of all people had been attacked by the illness caused by frying.

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The French chef Francois Baguette Bonaparte said when interviewed that he "experienced a life changing event that shook the foundations of [his] life forever, ouis ouis, baguette, garlic, and a little-eh eh, fromage"

Causes of the Frenzy

Since the first occasion of the Frenzy in France, scientists have been attempting to come to a conclusion as to whether it was all caused by a parasite, bacterium, or virus. Though it was previously thought that cooking meat clears all of these things, it is possible that one specific bacterium found in some of the fried fish samples, known as Panicus Immediatelyus, could withstand the heat and still cause similar problems to those experienced by patients in the Fried Fish Frenzy. This theory is seen by most scientists as the most plausible, however a remarkably large number of people believe David Icke's "Lizard Men did it!" thoery, which explains the phenomenon as an attempt of lizard men from the Andromeda Galaxy to wipe out mankind and rule over the Earth. However as many people remain vegetarians, vegans, and people that just dislike fish, many survived. To many it may sound ridiculous and just another attempt of Icke's to steal money from innocent but incredibly gullible people, the support for this theory is paramount, and Icke himself claims that the evidence in his favour vastly outweighs the arguments against.

Despite much debate over the cause, scientists are still very baffled about the whole event and are offering a $200 million reward for anybody who can find out what the cause of the disaster was.

The first effects of the Frenzy

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Heston Blumenthal experimenting to recreate the events of the Fried Fish Frenzy of 1994

The Fried Fish Frenzy caused a day of global chaos that caused stock markets to fail, businesses to close, and the USA to attack yet another Middle Eastern country based on unreliable evidence that they were supporting terrorists behind it. By midday on July 5, many streets in central London, UK, were abandoned, and scenes of chaos in supermarkets and the underground caused the Prime Minister, John Major, to pass the Emergency Powers Act, which effectively gave him total and ultimate control over the country. Similarly, the once busy streets of Hong Kong were lifeless and empty. Many people fled to caves to hide, while doomsday sayers told of an apocalypse, while David Icke still made money from his new book, The Sauteed Fish Frenzy; The Cause (which humorously confused sauteing and frying, and led to him having the recall all copies of his books and rewrite them as they contained many other errors). The world was plunged into a level of fear, chaos, and frenzy that was never seen before. Many governments banned the cooking of fish by frying, and, while most could not resist the urge to have a quick fried fish meal (like fish and chips; an Englishman's only vice) and stopped the bans, some countries still keep the prohibition after 18 years. As a result of the bans in many countries, the black market for fried fish has sky-rocketed, and crime levels, too, have risen. In the middle-east, Al-Qaeda has been solely funded by the black market for fried fish following the frenzy, as has various south American guerrilla groups. In Venezuela, too, rebel groups opposing Hugo Chavez have switched from cocaine growing, to frying fish illegally in countries that still uphold the prohibition for funds. Consequently, such guerrilla groups have experienced an increased in profits, and in response the government of Venezuela has urged other countries to stop banning frying fish to sever links between the black market and rebel groups. Chavez has, subsequently, been criticised by USA (who actually lifted their ban in 1999) and numerous democratic western countries.

Notable cases

Mick Jagger, who previously believed he was Japanese in the crisis prior to the Frenzy, also fell ill following a fish and chips meal at Heston Blumenthal's restaurant, The Morbidly Obese Cat. Following a news report on this instance, many fans began dressing like Jagger again to show their support, however it was later discovered that his case was caused by a poisonous mushroom cooked in his meal, which was the effect the chef intended. The Queen also was affected by the illness, and famously vomited during a visit to John Major's house at a party. Among other celebrities who were hit were Adam Sandler, Bruce Forsyth, Bill Clinton, Hilary Clinton, George Michael, and Gary Glitter. A final notable case was Michael Jackson's fit caused by fried fish during a concert in Canada, which resulted in a brand new dance move that was mimicked by many fans. At the time, fans just saw it as a part of the routine, however after 23 minutes of rolling around on the floor, an ambulance crew realised it was unintentional and performed CPR for a quarter of an hour until he regained consciousness, just to start saying his infamous "hee-hee" catchphrase and collapse once again. He was later taken to hospital, and survived, though still claims he remembers nothing whatsoever of the event.

Long term effects

Banking-Crash

An artist's impression of the average woman's response to being told that she is unable to go on her typical weekly shopping binge.


Following the crash of the stock market, the world's economy dropped and caused a severe recession and the collapse of every single currency except from the Nigerian Dollar, which remained strong due to the revenue from Nigerian phone scams. Nobody was killed as a direct result of the Frenzy, but it is estimated the damage caused added up to over $35 billion worldwide. Furthermore, the lack of workers because of everybody being ill, meant that production was at its lowest ever, and income dropped for all governments across the globe. Many have attempted to forget about the Fried Fish Frenzy of 1994, however some people such as Michael Bay and Heston Blumenthal have took the issue on and tried to recreate the chaos caused. The former made many very successful Hollywood films on the crisis, while the latter set up Fried Fish Bars that caused similar effects to the original disaster.

As a result of the bans in many countries, the black market for fried fish has sky-rocketed, and crime levels, too, have risen. In the middle-east, Al-Qaeda has been solely funded by the black market for fried fish following the frenzy, as has various south American guerrilla groups. In Venezuela, too, rebel groups opposing Hugo Chavez have switched from cocaine growing, to frying fish illegally in countries that still uphold the prohibition for funds. Consequently, such guerrilla groups have experienced an increased in profits, and in response the government of Venezuela has urged other countries to stop banning frying fish to sever links between the black market and rebel groups. Chavez has, subsequently, been criticised by USA (who actually lifted their ban in 1999) and numerous (un-)democratic western countries such as Britain, Italy, and Canada.

Portrayals of the Frenzy

In addition to Michael Bay's screen adaptations, the disaster was portrayed also on stage in Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical that performed at the Old Vic Theatre. The musical was immensely popular, and featured classics such as 'I'm sorry, it feels a bit fishy around here', 'The fishmonger has a fish that I can't cook!', and 'Being a fish and chip shop owner isn't what it used to be'. Numerous musicians have written songs and pieces of music on the topic, such as R.E.M.'s 'Plenty of other Fish' and the popular Enrique Iglesias song 'Donde esta mi pescado?' ('Where is my fish?').

References

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