Fish stories aren't typically horror stories--but then, when are my stories typical? Let's be honest with each other. In some of the more macabre ways, I think I could probably go freakout for freakout with a few of the unadulterated tales of the Brothers Grimm, don't you? Fishy fish tales for sure.
So, Roo is getting on 4 years old. To be exact, in Roo's words, "227 hours 'til my birfday!!" With less than 10 days to go, I am just looking forward to an end of the constant, ever-changing and unforgiving speeches about what he wants for his "birfday". Here are just some of the requests in the last week alone:
FOUR caramel apples "not for Tovi or for Daddy"
"Tovi go away"
"paint Mommy's car pink"
"more real animals not dogs": turtles, birds, parrots, rabbits, fish
cheetos and red
"swimming not cold places"
"cakes with white marshmallows"
"games with dogs"
If your kid yaps this crap enough, word starts to spread among the homies. Case in point: one of Roo's beloved non-biological Tios recently brought him the gift of a fully decked-out 1.5 gallon tank with 4 itty bitty fish (2 freshwater mollies and 2 neon tetras) and all the pelagic accoutrements. Awww. NOT.
Let's just say, very sweet gift, but, eh, I am no fan of owning fish in tanks. Can you tell? I mean, I realize they're tiny fish, but there is something that feels like bad stewardship to me about sticking any of God's creatures in a decorative glass box just so we can gape at them. I know, I know, they'd just be eaten in the wild by bigger fish, they have no complexity of thought, blah blah blah. Mama don't do animals in cages.
Hub is, on the other hand, an a-fish-ianado, having fond memories of posessing and interring small maritime creatures as a heartless young lad himself. Hub even goes so far as to say there is something amiss with my psyche that I am not lulled into peace by their tropical colors and gentle swaying movements trough the flora-filled waters. He says I ought to talk to somebody about the fact that the presence of a fish tank in my home would add to my distress.
Maybe so, Jonah, but let me just say this in my defense.
In my first 24 hours of the fish ownership experience, I went through the following:
1. The itty bitty briny stench of death. 3 of the 4 creatures promptly croaked in their first night, leading to elaborate breakfast table talk of how some fish leave their tanks to go off to school at the lake, a covert op tank cleaning and purchase of fishy doppelgangers. My living room smells like dockside at a gutting factory near the wharf.
2. PTFD. Post-traumatic fish disorder. Yah, it's real. The one poor suriving fish of the original 4 cowers endlessly in the bottom corner of the tank, not eating, barely moving his fin, as if he is haunted by all the death and brutality he's seen. His pain disrupts my sleep and I find myself counseling him through the glass: Just breathe, Wolfie, you are in a safe place now. Come out among the living! In the recesses of my mind I am visited by the phrase, "never again."
3. The filthy putrid life cycle. All these fish do is eat the flakes of the smelliest nutrition since brewer's yeast, swim stupidly in place awaiting their inevitable death, and excrete long unappealing links of feces into their water. What the hell is relaxing about witnessing this, I ask you?
Point, counterpoint. Put that in your fairytale pipe and smoke it.