Monday, April 21, 2008
Ask not for whom the bell tolls
The fish and I are really ill. That is to say I have a chronically sore throat, so painful I do not want to speak and cannot shout - even when provoked. As for the fish, they are in an even worse state. Obviously they cannot speak either so there is a possibility we have the same disease but then again they appear to have chunks of flesh falling off them and, according to the book I just read they may have a "threadlike parasite" hanging off their nether regions which I definitely did not have the last time I looked. This is really bad. Not only am I in agony but I think the fish might just die on me. Already. And we have been so careful. Washing hands, adding chemicals to water, waiting for the water to heat up to the appropriate temperature, regulating feeding, etc, etc. Even worse, I have begun to care about them - I quite liked the way they appeared to have their own little personalities, my daughter's fish infinitely quicker and pushier than those of the boys. And now they look like they might die on me. Life sucks. I thought the biggest problem was my seven-year-old had been so desperate for a pet, he wanted to net one and get it out to stroke it. This afternoon, we made a trip to the village pet shop for advice. The woman in the pet shop had the biggest, fattest goldfish I had ever seen. Fifteen years old, she told me. I said: "What's it called?" She said: "Fishy". I thought: "I bet that took a lot of thinking about." She sold me a little pot with a pipette and I had to pour more than 16 capfuls into the acquarium. This is why I did not want fish. I am going to come down one morning really soon and there is going to be a silvery bell tolling, an aquarium with a temple from the Lost City of Atlantis on the kitchen hearth and three corpses floating in it.