Sunday, May 25, 2008
You'd never know it by looking at us, but we love to kill fish. Particularly sweet, innocent, 7-for-a-dollar goldfish purchased by our eager 8 year old, proudly, and with her own money. Our neighbors would tell you we are quiet, and keep to ourselves, and that aside from our egregiously neglected landscaping, we are normal folk. They'd be aghast to know that we have been flushing corpses by the dozen. It all started when Reilly caught some minnows in that sludge, er, pond at Wallace Marine Park, and brought one home. We were forced to house this rags-to-riches fishy, and Todd bought him a sweet little condo outfitted with many accoutrements. For all the lavishing, this silvery ingrate lasted about two weeks. To soothe Rei's ever-animal-loving heart, we bought what she calls, "like these weird red minnows," who also keeled over, one by one. Well, three by three, really. Next up were scads of guppies, too many to name, which is just as well since they were a really dysfunctional lot. The way Reilly remembers it, "Well, the dad died, and the lady at the pet store said it was because the mother annoyed him to death, so I bought another dad and he also died of annoyance. That's when the babies all died." I guess the mom croaked out of loneliness. I know what you're thinking, that we were careless in our treatment of these fish. Nothing could be further from the truth. Todd is meticulous in the maintenance of the tank, the pump, the lights. Hell he probably would have given these bastards full body massages if he could have caught them. It wasn't our fault.
With every death I suggested we throw in the towel and get the fucking obtuse tank off of my counter, but Rei would invariably come bounding in with fresh hope in a baggie. This is when she changed course and bought the seven goldfish. First I was really irritated at the arbitrariness of selling seven of something for a dollar. When I finally got over that, I hoped against hope that at least some of these little guys would survive our death chamber. Rei's favorites of these were Click and Fin. They outlived their tank mates by several weeks, but alas, just last Tuesday I found Rei sitting at the counter, by the tank of death, head in arms. Upon closer inspection, I saw that she was drawing a goodbye card for Click, shown above, who had croaked in the night. With tears in her eyes, she dated it and did her best to accept that we kill every fish that swims into our lives. Even the ones we name. We have one left, her beloved Fin, and I am absolutely dreading the moment that Fin becomes Finito. You know? What did we do wrong? We did everything by the book, tried several kinds of fish, food, etc., and still no dice. Did we miss something really obvious, like fish don't thrive in manufactured homes??? Ugh. As much as it's a part of life, and part of nature (in our case, science for the year, lol), I hate seeing Rei well up every other day. She's losing faith. I'm tempted to buy her a pony just to cheer her up. (Yes, of course it would be a Shetland Pony, what with our cramped living room.) Anyway, if anyone has any ideas, p-l-e-a-s-e let me know so I can put the kibosh on this serial killing.
This is Fin, and our tank of doom.