It was 1981, but still…
I know she was only 2 years old, but I was 6 and remember it like it was yesterday. Knowing she was so young and likely didn’t know better does not heal the hole in my heart any quicker. In slow motion, I still see her little fist dumping that WHOLE box of Triscuits into the fish tank so the fish could have a buffet. “ALL YOU CAN EAT UNTIL YOU EXPLODE!!” was the sign all the fish saw (which is the same sign still hanging over the heating tables at any Golden Corral, Ryan’s or any Chinese buffet today…weird).
You know those fish swam over there as fast as their little fins would allow because they never learned to read in their school. What a travesty! Do you know 100% of fish are STILL illiterate? They had never seen a stinkin’ Triscuit OR a Big Chief tablet! STOP BLAMIN’ THE FISH! As soon as shredded wheat was within their reach, they immediately set their jaw into the rapid up and down movement. Myum, myum, myum, myum, myum, myum, myum, MYUM, myum, myum, myum, MYUM, myum, myum…”Nadine, I am having stomach pains. I think I am getting a little too full of this fish foo..”. BAM!!!!
In my sister’s defense, fish die too easily. We “won” two goldfish, Jack & Diane, at a White Elephant Christmas party a year or so ago. [Sidenote: It is no longer called a “Chinese” Christmas because that is not very sensitive, I suppose. Who in the heck cares what a white elephant thinks? Hahaha!! Look at that dumb WHITE ELEPHANT! Hahahaha!!!] That lovely pair was belly up in less than a week. I’m sure we were supposed to feed them or something, but STILL. Live on your reserves, you pansies! A friend of mine had a beta fish that died soon after they got it. They just switched out betas and their children did not know. Those betas all look alike.
I’m generally not a big fan of owning fish or looking at fish for very long. Fish stink and THEY UGLEH (U.G.L.Y. You ain’t got no alibli. You ugly! What? What? You ugly!). Admittedly, this one IS wearing a nice yellow skirt and I like her pink high lights… I like to eat them, but I really just don’t like looking at MOST of them. They don’t blink. Blink, dang it! I get it that their eyes are constantly moisturized, but PLEASE BLINK! For the sake of the breakfast I ate this morning, CLOSE THE NON-EXISTENT STINKIN’ EYELIDS FOR A MINUTE! My sons do not seem to notice the aversion I have for staring at fish who will not quit staring at me. Therefore, just about every week when we pass a certain fish store, they beg to go inside. Since I am part fish and have no backbone, we enter. At least it’s a fun activity for the boys and it’s free (did somebody say free?). All I can think about when I pass the store owner without having to pay an entry fee is “STUFF IT ZOO!!!!!!!!”, “Sucka!!! You should CHARGE US!” and “Fish stink”.
One of our fish store routines includes staring at revolting “Geoffrey”. Geoffrey is a giraffe-looking fish (Don’t you see his looooong neck? No?)and was named after the Toys ‘R Us fella. My boys could watch Geoff complete his daily tasks, which include eating flakes, vacuuming up rocks with his huge mouth & then spitting every last one of them out (will he EVER learn??) and then making out with the corner of the tank, as shown on the above video, all the live-long day. He even waves at you with his whisker while he does it. I can’t even stand it! Ahhhhh!! Somebody filet that nasty beast and feed it to the nutria! The most disturbing part of all is that the fish store owners just laugh lightly at their beloved Geoffrey all the time & often invite unsuspecting children and adults to watch his nasty habits, just like I did for you today. You’re welcome.
Some of the fish are actually quite friendly and not as sickening as Geoffrey. Take Lionel here, for example. He LOVES to talk. If my son were turned the other direction, you’d see he was missing an ear.
“So, ANYwaaaaaay, the other daaaaay I was in myyyyyy taaaaank and there was the other fish in my tank. We swam back & forth, back & forth, back & forth talking about old times when we used to swim back & forth, back & forth, back & forth. What do you do for fun? Unscrew Modge Podge, pour it all into the carpet & then fling some on the blinds? What’s Modge Podge? Sounds fun, little man! What else? Pour Cheerios all over the carpet? Huh. Can I have one? Can you put some in that little fist next time & dump ’em all in here? All I get are flakes, flakes, flakes. If you can’t find me, I’ll either be swimming back & forth or forth & back. Thanks, man. Gimme some fin!And, uh, sorry about your ear [little quivering fish smile while looking nervously around for little man’s mom].”
I’m not sure what I abhor more- swimming sea creatures or sea creatures that suck the side of the tank. Move it! Get a job! Really, at the end of the day, it must be hard to be a sea creature in a fish store. Jobs are scarce. Everyone is staring at you. Little boys tease you when they walk up because you think they have flakes, flakes, flakes. They toy with your emotions by making you swim from one side of the tank to the other for NOTHING! You are always on display. Life is constant performance. You can’t even really hardly have a bad day (or bad life) without everyone noticing. Floyd here is forced to swim around with his shirt around his waist for the rest of his days (which AREN’T many, believe me). Fish don’t have hands, man! He jumped into that shirt the best he could. You only have one chance when you are fish. You don’t think that damages his self-esteem? He looks absolutely bitter over it and there is not a counselor in sight. So, when you feel you are having a bad day, compare yourself to a fish. Well, try not to remember how well they can swim. That will only send you into a state of despair. But, DO try to remember that you can read, have a more diverse diet, have hands, smell decent on most days and have eyelids.