How I Became a Fish Killer

As I was driving home today, listening to Barry White on the way back from my trip to the grocery store to purchase contraband chocolate ice cream, a thought occurred to me.  My blog is really boring.

I’m not a boring person.  I promise!  I’m actually really funny.  I wrote a screenplay about European hamsters (Hamsterdam) that I’m hoping Pixar will pick-up any moment now.

My blog needs to be funnier.  More relaxed.  No shirt, no shoes, no problem!  Well… unless you have athlete’s foot or an extremely hairy back.  Then maybe cover it up.

Obviously I want to maintain a professional air.  But that doesn’t mean I need to be cut-and-dry like a Fox news anchor.  I want to let my natural voice shine.  And that is why I’m going to tell you about The Fishidents (Fishidents = Fish Incidents) (I’m thinking this is going to be the next great tween book series) (Watch out JK Rowling).

The Fishidents

Growing up I never had any pets.  My lack of animal exposure led me to be extremely afraid of all dogs, cats, turtles, and zoo animals.  The only real pets I had were those sad little goldfish you win at fairs and carnivals.  I would win a fish, bring it home, shower it with gifts (grass and leaves from my yard, Barbie accessories to spruce up the punch bowl that was its new home), and name it, only for it to drop dead no more than 48 hours later.  I was devastated every time.

Sometimes the fish deaths were natural: a fish, no matter how small, is not meant to live in an old dusty punch bowl.  However, sometimes these deaths were a manner of escape.  I had no less than 3 goldfish jump from their bowls during the night in a tragic suicide attempt.  Only one survived, saved by my mom’s quick-thinking (although it died a day later since it refused to eat the leaves and grass).

Needless to say, I stopped trying to win these coveted pet prizes.  I’d avoid the games and instead beg my mom for another ticket for the Tilt-a-Whirl.

When I was about 11, I began begging my mom for a pet.  She decided to let me start off easy with (you guessed it!) a fish.  But no dime-a-dozen carnival prize for me.  I got to go to the local pet store and BUY A FISH.  I was floored.  I spent weeks researching.  I picked out an actual aquarium, colored pebbles, the best fish food money could buy, and even an elegant castle for my new fishy friend.  The day I brought my fish home, I was so excited.  I was like a new mother, doting over her newborn.  Since I was in an era of thinking I was some sort of suburban celebutante, I named my fish “Spring Break in Las Vegas”, or, “Vegas” for short (no, I was not yet medicated at this time).

Vegas and I became the best of friends.  I read to him, played with him (this involved me sticking my finger in the water and chasing him into the castle in some sick game of “hide and seek”).  We grew close, we shared secrets.  And then tragedy struck.

Let me preface this by saying that the castle I had purchased for Vegas was definitely not up to safety regulations.  The openings were big enough for the small body of my fish, but once inside, the tunnels and crevices were too tight and he would get stuck.  This happened again and again and either I or my family members would have to rescue him.

The smart thing to do would have been to remove the castle from the tank and allow Vegas a safe area to live.  However, my home-decorating genes had kicked in at an early age, and I feared the castle’s removal would throw off the aesthetic I was going for.

One morning, I came downstairs to see my mom cleaning out Vegas’s tank.  But there was no Vegas in sight.  Instead of easing me into an explanation of the “fragility of life” and the “natural cycle of death”, my mom bluntly told me she had flushed my beloved friend.  Vegas had gotten stuck again during the night, and with no one to help him wiggle free, he had perished during his efforts to escape the castle.

I have not had a fish since.

In Loving Memory of Spring Break in Las Vegas: 4/23/1999-4/29/1999. RIP My Fishy Friend.

Disclaimer: Although animals were harmed in the making of this blog, I am now a champion for animals and newbie vegetarian. Please don’t throw animal blood on me PETA!


3 thoughts on “How I Became a Fish Killer

  1. Ahhhh…. the great burial at sea. It really is amazing the things we can flush down the toilet.
    At least you will make sure your house has a high roof and room to get out of if you get stuck. See, it was a valuable lesson.

  2. I like this a lot! You have a very David Sedaris-esque sense of humor (if you haven’t read him, I recommend Naked) and you characterize yourself very well. I am curious, though, how you wound up naming the fish Spring Break in Las Vegas since I don’t believe you were there at the time. 😛

    I think your next blog post should depict the adventures of the European hamsters. There’s a lot of potential there. Animal stories in general seem to be your forte, so a hamster trilogy seems like the logical next step. I actually did blog about MY traumatic month of “hamster-sitting” at one point and it was fairly well received. =P

    Anyway, nice job and your blog looks a lot different from the last time I saw it!

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