We have the luxury of having a 90 gallon aquarium in our bedroom. It’s nice to watch the fish do their thing in the tank (except when they deliver waste everywhere, ’cause eww), and it is calming and relaxing.  We have watched these guys grow up for the last 2+ years, and it’s been neat.

We decided to pay them back by almost murdering them.

Not long ago, Mr. Who came in from mowing the Who grass, and was just about to finally sit down for the day when he noticed the fish were gasping. Like huge mouths open, heart clutching, “It’s the big one! I’m coming home to you, Elizabeth!”, kind of gasping.

Eyes were bulging even more than normal, they were barely moving, and the mean one I call “Grandpa” who usually yells at all the other fish to “git off my property!” was seeking comfort from his fellow gill-bearers. The catfish lost their appetites, and the plecostomus was perched like a beached whale on top of a rock, rather than licking the tank like usual. (It’s especially hysterical when he does his algae licking facing you so you can see that weird tongue thing moving around.)

Mr. Who tears off into the bedroom to grab the filter that had stopped and tore back into the kitchen to get everything ready to fix the tank. We had no idea how long the filter had been off. Of course, in his haste he spilled carbon everywhere (down the garbage disposal!) and had to start over again. He might have said a few bad words…

Meanwhile, I was in the bedroom nervously wringing my hands and tapping on the glass whenever one started dipping scarily low to the bottom. I was cheering them on: “Don’t die on me now!” The poor little fish kept going up to the very top to grab an air bubble or two.

My favorite fish, who I named “Cher” as she is pink and sparkly and fabulous was staring at me through the tank. I got real close, and softly sang: “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming” to which she looked at me in disgust and went over to hang with Grandpa. She obviously hasn’t seen “Nemo”.

At one point, everyone got very still. It was eerie, like when the birds stop singing before a storm. I yelled: “LIVE, DAMMIT, LIVE!” causing Mr. Who, who was running back in the room, to ponder calling me an ambulance.

The next 20 minutes as the water was drained and put back in were tense. They were very lethargic by this time, and I worried it was too late. They might all have brain damage and spend the next hours of their life banging into each other.

But soon, life began to come back into the fish. I swear Cher had turned a boring salmon color at one point, but now her sparkles were coming back. Grandpa was pushing all the kids away from his space, and the tin foil barbs went back to being the tools they usually were.

Mr. Who saved the day, thank goodness. I had grown attached to the fish. Which is weird since they don’t talk, cuddle, go for walks, play with toys, or do anything remotely sociable.

But I swear, they still gaze warily at me from time to time… they must have heard about us filling in the goldfish pond out back, and no one has heard from the goldfish since…

Dun, dun, dunnnnnn…

 

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