Saturday, July 08, 2006

A fatal failure to knock on wood

We are gathered here today to mourn the loss of a dear friend. His name was Sharkey, and he was much loved by The Kid. He was our pet fish. Tragically, yesterday he lost his float and slowly sunk, ping-ponging between his Sponge Bob pineapple house and the side of the bowl on his way down. He heaved a few heavy fish breaths, and gallantly struggled his way back to the top of the bowl... only to sink all over again. This went on for about an hour before he finally settled to the bottom for good and bid this world his final farewell. I would have put him out of his misery sooner, but I wasn't sure of the proper way to euthanize a fish. Take him out of the water, and drown him in the air? Give him a little fishy heart attack by plunging him into frigid toilet water? Wrap him in some rice and seaweed and have a light after-dinner snack?

Sharkey's death comes less than a week after introducing him to a friend of mine and bragging that I hadn't killed him yet. Whoops. How do I tell The Kid that Mommy jinxed his fish?

I had no idea how upset The Kid might get. Given the luck with our previous fish who'd lasted only a few days, we'd gotten into the habit of checking on Sharkey several times a night. The Kid would stare into the bowl for a couple minutes and then, satisfied that Sharkey was still breathing, would yell over his shoulder, "Nope. He hasn't croaked yet." It's perhaps a bit morbid, but on the up side it had The Kid expecting to see him dead any day. So yesterday when I told him the bad news, The Kid stuck out his bottom lip only momentarily before breaking into a grin and proclaiming, "Let's name the next one Otto!"

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