Thursday, December 14, 2006

The bright white light...

Yesterday I did my daughter the supreme favor of racing to the pet store to get Rosey Red 'feeder' fish for her turtle. Rosey Red's are small goldfish that sell for 10 cents a piece.

The thing that makes this such a selfless act, is it meant I had to take on the job of scooping the little buggers out of their bag with a little green net and gingerly place them into the tank. This looks and sounds a LOT easier than it actually is. With my first dip the turtle 'Neville', being ravenously hungry grabbed hold of the first fish he could get a grip on... Unfortunately that fish was still inside the little green net. This resulted in a laborious game of tug-of-war that featured me pleading with 'Neville' to just "Let go!" and then he could have his fish... He's a smart turtle so eventually he took my advice. The second dip involved one of the rosey reds leaping out of the net, much like one of those 'Lords' from that annoyingly repetitive Christmas tune. The thing was he lept directly into an empty fish bowl on the floor in front of the tank where his little fishy body stuck to the sides of the bowl... I tried shaking him out but that only resulted in having him smack the other wall of the bowl and get stuck there! After what seemed an eternity of 'smacking' the fish around an empty fish bowl I finally did that thing which I didn't think I was capable of, oh sure I can scour out toilets but THIS!... I reached in the bowl and touched the fish with my bare finger. I flinched and felt bile rise in the back of my throat but eventually got him unstuck and plopped into the tank where he could die a more humane death than that of suffocation... He could instead be bitten in half by a ravenous turtle! I'm able to feel much more at peace with the universe knowing it wasn't be my hand that he went to meet his maker... I was simply transferring him from one container of water to another.... With a minor slip-up along the way, which might have slowed his progress in an effort to escape the jaws of a ravenous turtle... However, I was just doing my job!

I tell this story because as I was purchasing the fish a rather absurd thought jumped into my head. When you go to the fish department and ask for 30 rosey reds the employee takes a plastic bin, fills it with water and then scoops the fish out with (what else!) a little green net. Once the employee has filled the plastic container with your desired number of fish, he/she transfers them to a clear plastic bag which is tied off with a rubber band. I then took the bag o' fish up to the register where I paid $3.00 and the checker placed the fish into a white plastic grocery bag. That's when I was struck with the notion, "I wonder what's going through the fish's head?" I think it goes something like this:

"Swimming, I'm swimming, I just keep swimming."
"Oh NO! What's that green thing?"
"AAAAaaaa, AAaaaa, it's got Moe, it's got Slim, Aaaaa it's got ME!"
"Owww Moe, you just slapped me in the eye with your tail!"
"Whoa, more water.... Whew!"
"Whoa, new tank, it's more crowded but I can see EVERYTHING from here!"
"Hey Slim, you got any idea what's goin.... Uh, uh-oh we're moving again!"
"Whoa... Wha?... We've suddenly been surrounded by a bright white light... So this is the other side, the one that Gimpy spoke of before he went belly-up in that big tank a few days ago."
"It feels warm and a bit peaceful here, that is if it weren't for all these other guys bodies slamming into mine."
"I now have time to reflect on my life... I don't remember too much, I've heard tell that we fish have only a 3 second memory... That must be why I'm always seeing so many new faces."
"So I guess this is heaven."
" Uh, NO wait... Seems we're on the move again... Whoa!"
"Another green thingy... Oh crap will this misery NEVER END?"

You can imagine the rest from there... I embellished a bit since my first thought about the white plastic bag yesterday but hey, those are the types of things that go through my head. Try as you might though, no matter what type of creature you are I guess we're all going to meet up with that white light eventually.

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Blogger Irene said...

And I was just planning to get my son a turtle and some fish for Christmas. Now I'm not so sure. Haha! =)

12:27 PM, December 14, 2006  
Blogger Margie Blystone said...

Hey Irene,
With every type of pet come certain joys... Don't let the 'fish' thing stop you... Just think of it as part of the food chain. :-)
I just hope you never have to touch the little guys, 'cause EEeeeewwwwwww!

1:37 PM, December 14, 2006  
Blogger Limey said...

i can touch the fish easier than i can deal with the icky mealworms for lizards. i just don't do invertebrates well in any just ain't right to not have a spine.

1:50 PM, December 14, 2006  
Blogger thethinker said...

Eek, sounds like a messy death. And their lives are only valued at 10 cents? Poor fish!

10:01 AM, December 15, 2006  

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