December 24, 2009
Eddie the Fish
"OH MY GOD!!! I TOUCHED HIM!!! HE'S SO SLIMY!!!!! IT WAS HORRIFYYYYING!!!"
While eerily similar to the call my wife made to her mother on our honeymoon, this was actually the scream I heard from my son the other night.
But let's rewind a bit.
We got a fish. Eddie the Fish. Specifically, Eddie the Blue Betta Fish.
My 9-year-old, Lux, had spent a good few months relentlessly busting our balls for a pet. My wife and I talked it over and felt he was responsible enough. More importantly we're up for anything that might make him stop talking for 3 minutes.
We all piled into the mini-van and headed off to Petco. Their slogan is "Petco. Where the pets go." Most people don't know that's actually a shortened version of their original slogan: "Petco. Where the pets go. All over each other. In tiny, smelly cages."
And this is where we found Eddie struggling to survive in a container 4 sizes too small for him - (not unlike my feet in these heels, but that's another story).
Now let's flash-forward back to the screaming.
Lux has been taking good care of Eddie for a couple of weeks, until -- "OH MY GOD!!! I TOUCHED HIM!!! HE'S SO SLIMY!!!!! IT WAS HORRIFYYYYING!!! OHHHH MYYY GOD!!!!!!" He came running in to us, having a complete little kid, tears shooting of his head, nuclear meltdown.
"I put my finger in the hole on the top of the tank where we feed him, and I touched him -- OOOH MYYYY GOD!!!!! HE BIT ME!!! AND I TOUCHED HIM!!! OHHHH GOD!!!!"
"He didn't bite you."
"YES, HE DID!!!!!!"
"Are you bleeding?"
"WELL -- NO... OH GOD!!!! WASH MY FINGER!!!!! WASH IT!!!!"
"Calm down, you're fine. Maybe he was just trying to give you a kiss?"
"NOOOO!!! HE HATES ME!!! I NEVER WANT TO SEE HIM AGAIN!!!!"
At this point I walked Lux reluctantly back to Eddie's little tank and said, "Would it make you feel better if you see me put MY finger in there?"
I poked my finger down the hole into the water. "See, he's not doing anyth--" CHOMP. Holy crap! The little blue bastard bit me!
I immediately pulled my finger out and that's when EDDIE CAME UP AND OUT OF THE HOLE -- ATTACHED TO THE END OF MY FINGER. He flew off and landed on top of the tank with a small wet thud.
After a brief moment of stunned silence...
"OOHHHH MY GOD!!!!! EDDIE'S DEAD!!!!!! DAD KILLED EDDIE!!!!!"
"HE'S NOT DEAD!" I yelled, as my wife quickly whisked Lux out of the room and I carefully dumped the little finger-biter back in the water.
A few minutes later I went in to console Lux and found him lying sadly on his bed. "You okay?" I asked.
"No. His fish blood is mixing with my human blood. I can't breathe."
"Stop it. How's your finger?"
"He probably just thought you were a big pellet of food."
"No, he hates me. I never want to see him again."
"So can I get rid of him?"
"No, I love him."
"Okay. Then why don't you go and feed him a little so you two can be friends again."
Which is exactly what he did. And I'm pleased to report Lux and Eddie have worked out their differences and are buds once again.
Also, as an added bonus, I placed a special microphone in the tank and managed to capture actual audio of what Eddie sounds like when he's looking at us.
Merry Christmas, everybody! I gotta go eat fishsticks in front of Eddie.
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