what not to say in a fish shop

April 23, 2010 at 10:16 am Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, my resilient beta fish and trusty sidekick Golightly, passed on to that great pond in the sky.

me with our dear departed friend

He led quite the life over the past three years and withstood two moves with me (from Concord to Berkeley, and from Berkeley to Berkeley), and even survived nearly freezing to death after I left him alone one winter’s break as I galloped around Mexico.

He was a fighter. But now he has been replaced by a new fighting fish. Voila, Claude!

I went to the Albany Aquarium to get a new and fancy friend and they are serious about their fish. A salesperson asked if he could help me and I gave him an enthused “Yes! What is low maintenance and happy in a bowl?” I then quickly had to duck to avoid the daggers from his eyes as he glared and told me “NOTHING is happy in a bowl. But if you absolutely must, I might suggest these” and led me to a tank of sickly looking guppies. 

Where does the term “fish bowl” come from if you’re not meant to keep fish in a bowl? What is a fish bowl for? Not a beta? Not even a good old-fashioned goldfish? Not according to this guy. I told him I’d have to think about it and scurried off to the more inviting, less discriminating Petco.

My new strategy was to just choose the fish I wanted without asking too many questions. I spotted some cute and stylin’ zebrafish and asked the Petco salesperson how many I should get. Big mistake. She asked how big of a tank I had. I responded “…a bowl?” and she pointed me in the direction of the betas. And from thence, I rescued Claude. The betas at Petco are kept in little tupperware containers of stagnant water that look like they might never have been changed. There were so many of them that it makes one wonder how many fish actually make it off of the shelves in their short little fishy lives. Unlike the uppity fish at Albany Aquarium, the betas at Petco could really benefit from my hanging half-bowl on the wall. It’s a comparative life of luxury.

Doesn’t he look happy? Yes, I think so.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

how pretty is this? misery loves company

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