Daphne & Niles Buy Greece

26 Jul


This one day, I decided  I needed a pet.

…Actually, we know each other too well by now for me to pull that one off. 

This one day, (after hours and days of careful contemplation, weighing every angle, doing tons of research and pretending like it was a life or death decision of epic proportions) I decided I needed a pet.

…But because I’m me, it wasn’t just a simple “trip to the pet store” kinda deal.  Selecting a pet was this whole other thing I had to do.  (Because when you work things up to the level that I do, almost everything is a gigantic deal.)

I don’t have time or the schedule for a dog. Cats and I despise one another openly. Gerbils and bunnys are stinky…rats are rodents (did you know?) and birds are so loud its like having teenagers in the house.  I don’t do reptiles.  Except those tiny, tiny turtles.  Which (after research) I realized are illegal here cuz of this weird bacteria that can kill you (prob’ly.)

…For the record, almost everything can kill you, so one should always gauge these things accordingly.

In the end, I chose NOT to illegally import thumb-sized ancients from China.  Instead, I chose: “fish.”

Now “fish” and I aren’t this thing.  I find them disgusting, and refuse to catch, touch or eat them.  But they don’t mark your furniture, shed hair all over your clothes or poop on the carpet…so they were automatically ahead of the curve by the time I finally walked into the pet store.  I haunted the tanks, refusing “help” because I am a self sufficient human who can do everything herself (excepts some stuff), and picking a damn fish should be one of ’em.

…After about thirty minutes of careful contemplation…of all the tropicals (who I’ve killed before) and gold fish (who I slaughtered on accident in childhood), and giants (who frankly scare me)…I found myself facing the Betas.

Tiny plastic cups.  They sit there barely moving.  They sit on people’s desks in vases next to “contemplation gardens.”  How complicated could they be?

A lot, it turns out. 

…I’ve written about them before, and I obviously will again.  But in the end, it turns out I was fated to get the most stress-out, possibly heart-attack-ridden, suicide-committing, cannibal fish…of all time.

I named her “Daphne.”

…And a couple days later, I added another little isolation tank (for company) and brought home a “Niles.”

They get along pretty well. Neither has jumped into the other’s tank to eat the other one, or had stress heart-attacks from anxiety about having a housemate.  This is good (I’m told.)  Daphne has had a bout of illness that research finds out is a fin fungus (though her baths, water conditioning and feeding exactly matches the totally un-disturbed Niles)…she is at nine-drops-a-day of fish meds, soon ending her treatment regime, and seems totally unfazed about it.  I of course felt the horrible guilt of any parent whose child has anatomy rotting off of them from neglect…but I am starting to get over it.  Mostly because I think my kids might be “genius.”

…First of all, they are both stellar bubble-nesters.  They blow bubbles like a sunofabitch.  And because they practice total abstinence, there have been no fry to worry about…which is good, cuz that includes things like worms and incubators and mothers eating their young (not me, Daphne.) Also, they totally recognize me.  And not just in the “passing fish” way.  We have whole staring contests.  And sometimes they have to let me win, just to make me feel better.  I play them jazz and blues at bath time and they’ve developed an obvious liking to Billy Holliday and Frank Sinatra. Which means they have good taste.

…Also, they do really intricate water ballet to candlelight.  It’s this whole thing.

…They even make good guard dogs, as they watched the house for me while I was on the film shoot two weeks ago…and Ma said the grand-fish ate all their breakfast and dinner when she visited them, over the weekend.

…So can you blame me that I sometimes spoil them?  Various new additions to their environments, from time to time, have arrisen.  Succulent ammonia- eating plants, floaty toys, food-treats, new rock floors and two versions of condo-houses. Today, while picking up more meds and water conditioner, I scoped out with Ma some new real estate additions. 

The Greco-Roman ruins won. 

Bath time, water temp check and conditioning, medicine application and dinner commenced thereafter…and Daph n’ Niles were introduced to their new home editions.  They were a big hit.  Niles likes the part where he can swim in and out of the pillars…like a stealthy super spy.  Daph likes the fact she feels like I’m finally acknowledging her proper Goddess status.

…She’s practicing toga wrapping as we speak.

…And already a cluster of bubble-nesting has collected at the bowl-lips of each “tank.” A sign of, “contented, healthy and happy Betas.”

Best Mother of the Year Award, right here.

I’m just saying…



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