Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Episode III : Revenge of the Fish

Fish are very strange pets to have.

For example, you can get some fish that can survive swimming in a partially frozen methane-urine mix, while being fed on nothing but pebbles.

On the other hand, there are fish that can die because you looked at them the wrong way.

I’m not kidding about this, there are fish that will die if their water temperature goes 3 degrees above or below a particular temperature, if there is one part per million of chlorine in their water, or not exactly the perfect concentration on salt in their water.

In a way, they remind me of the screaming bug from ‘The Simpsons’, you know, the one that can die from being left alone and is sexually attracted to fire.

I have no idea why people keep these fish. An animal that is that fragile is obviously not meant to survive. I reckon we should dump them all in the ocean and tell them to grow some backbone.

My fish are strange in a different way.

They just plain hate me.

I think I own the only goldfish in the world that will actually bite you if you put a finger in the tank.

I don’t think they’ve ever forgiven me for eating that tuna casserole in front of them.

“George, look! Can you believe that?”
“What is it, Henry?”
“The nerve of that bloke. He’s eating my Uncle Jeff! Right in front of me!”
“Oh, he’ll pay. You’ll see. He’ll pay.”

Now before this starts to sound like a delusional paranoid fantasy, let me explain.

A few weeks ago, Tina, my Calico Fantail (I call her Tina because she looks like Tina Turner in ‘Mad Max’) Got into the habit of attacking the air hose connected to the little diver I put in there. This might not sound like such a big deal, but when that air hose comes loose, it turns into a siphon, and slowly empties water onto the floor. Twice already, I’ve woken up and had to swim to the kitchen for breakfast.

The fact I think that there’s intelligence behind this is because that the diver’s air hole (Huh huh, huh huh, huh…he said ‘air hole’) is about halfway up the tank. Meaning it empties half the water on the floor, leaving plenty for the fish to breathe.

Oh, and the usually shy fish all line up at the front of the tank to watch me swear while I clean it up.

“I’ll teach you to eat my Uncle, you bastard!”

Also, the water just happens to empty right next to the electrical outlet, right in the spot my feet go when I sit at the computer. In other words, if I sit at the desk, and turn the computer on, my body becomes the easiest path for the national grid to earth itself,

I thought they looked a bit shifty after the wife and I watched ‘The Green Mile’

Well today was a new one.

Somehow, my tank spontaneously sprung a slow leak in the bottom corner.

Now I don’t understand this. The tank is actually glass, not one of those plastic ones, securely put together, and has been on my desk for months. How can it be fine one day, and as water tight as a colander the next?

It can’t happen. Things can’t just suddenly decide to leak for no reason. If it had taken a knock, yes. If I’d moved it, maybe. But to suddenly spring a leak for no reason? There’s only one explanation:

The fish are behind it.

I woke up this morning, bleary eyed as usual. Sat down at the computer to check the email.


A vague sense of dampness enters my consciousness. I know something is wrong but haven’t quite figured it out yet:

‘Hmmm, my desk has taken on a strange liquidy quality…. Why are my forearms damp? Did I shower already?… I don’t remember showering!’

I pull my hand towards me to see what is causing the offending moist sensation. Of course, I don’t actually lift my hand off the desk…that’s far too much effort that early in the morning.

Now if my brain had been firing in more than one cylinder, I would have realized what was about to happen. Unfortunately, my brain wasn’t firing on more than cylinder.

Let me just state for the record, that just after waking up, it is not a pleasant experience to inadvertently sweep a large amount of cold fish tank water onto your crotch.


I squealed like a 7 year old girl who has just seen a spider.

Of course, at that point the wife wakes up to see me sitting at the computer, squealing, with a large, suspect damp patch on my crotch.
I heard her mutter something that sounded like “What the f…” before she rolled over and went back to sleep. My cries of “It was the fish!” didn’t, apparently, cut the mustard.

It was almost as bad as the time I spilled some chocolate syrup onto the back of my pants that were on the floor. The only difference was that the ‘Syrup Incident’ was worth it for the look on her face when I picked them up and licked them…then chased her around the house with them for an hour.

Anyway, spending 25 minutes mopping up water with paper towels…when all you want to do is smoke a cigarette and drink a cup of coffee… isn’t fun either. Especially with the fish and the cat laughing at you.

That shows you just how bad my fish are. They’ve called a truce in the generations old Cat Vs Fish war, just to team up and come after me.

I don’t know how they managed to break the seal on the tank, but I’m assuming that the Neon Tetras helped the Goldfish maneuver some gravel into the filter intake, whilst the Calico (who I’m certain is the damn ringleader) used some air tubing to turn the whole shebang into some kind of air-powered gravel gun. If they kept shooting the same spot over and over…it’s plausible they could break the seal.

It’s not a nice experience when at the same time every day they line up at the top of the tank for feeding time and just stare at you. It’s even more unnerving when one of them taps on the glass and mouths the words “Feed me, f**ker, or you’ll be sorry.”

I don’t know how a fish without any hands or fingers can flip you off. My fish, however, have somehow figured it out.

I think the time has come for retaliatory action.

Let’s see how funny they think it is when I fart through the air tube.

If that doesn’t teach them, I’m dropping a toaster in there.


Vicarious Living said...

Oh God, I'm still laughing.... and that syrup incident is excellent.

You do know they practice while you are away and asleep. This has been in the works for at least a few weeks, maybe even months. That's a shifty little cat you've got there.

You haven't by any chance watched "Finding Nemo" in front of them have you?

Paulius said...

Unfortunately, I did watch Nemo in front of them.

Also ate fish in front of them...called one of them a bitch...the list goes on.

I would like to point out, however, that they started it!