Me Big. You Little.

Desiree Burch is bigger and badder than you. Except when she's smaller and better (with more parentheticals than you can handle).

Friday, May 06, 2005

Pulling a "Full House"

I am actually not quite sure if this really happened on an episode of Full House, but I have confirmation that it happened on Home Improvement, and first-hand knowledge that it happened on a number of sit-coms from my youth, which I all conflate with Full House, as these episodes in particular were always on that same level of banal, trivial non-content.

So I had to do some emergency pet sitting this week. I mentioned before, a death in my friend's family... Two cats. One fish. A fish which I had bought her just a week ago, to fill an empty tank with happiness.

Now let me just say beforehand, I am a very good sitter. I like sitting. I am very fat because of it. I can sit for animals, for children, for the elderly. Whatever. I am good about not sitting on them either.

But of course, in this particular time of need, I accidentally failed.

Don't worry. The kitties are okay. No animals were harmed in the making of this blog entry. Except for one betta fish.

Fighting Bert, who fights no more, died sometime in the afternoon on Monday, May 2. He died of boiling. He's resting somewhere, in that big jacuzzi in the sky, for his next big battle. Although, he didn't fare so well against the heater in the fish tank.

Basically what happened is that I went over to her place Monday morning to feed the cats and the fish. I fed the fish, and tried to turn the light on for his tank... which I thought was this round knob (like one of those adjusting lights you always had in your den growing up). In fact, this knob was the heater. It took me a couple of 360 spins to realize this thing was not going to light up. And unfortunately, it is one of those dials with no markings on it, so I had cranked it so many times, and I had tried to crank it down the same amount of times, but it just kept spinning loosely. So I turned it down (actually just spinning the knob and nothing else) twice as much as I had turned it up, and just hoped for the best. Bettas are resilient fish. They are also happiest at room temperature. I know. I own one. He lives in a fish bowl. No heat. No filter. Just room-temperature happiness. Why I didn't think to just unplug the whole damn operation, I don't know. I guess I was just going to go to work and hope for the best. Death is always that annoying reminder that hoping for the best doesn't always work.

Needless to say, I boiled the damn fish. I came back in the evening to her place to say "Hi." and he was floating at an uncomfortable angle against the rocks. His little fishy fins still.

He was a gorgeous betta fish. All rosy beige in the body, which fanned out to a lovely sapphire blue in his fins. It made him so much harder to try to replace.

But I pulled a Full House. Or at least tried to pull. I spoke to my friend on the phone the next day at work, bursting into tears with her when she recounted having to go through the viewing and looking at her dad, who looked just like he always did, full of life (as though he would jump up and laugh... he loved a practical joke or two), and touching his hand and feeling the absence of life there. Not just cold, but absent.

And then of course, she asks "How are the kitties?"

"The kitties are good. They miss their mommy though..."

"And how is the fishie?"

"...Good. Everybody's good."


I just couldn't tell her that her fish had just died too.

Now let me get my ass back over to Petco and see what they got. You know I gotta get a new damn fish for her that looks just like her old one. Thus pulling a "full house" or whatever horrible show you want to call it. And of course, it's never going to look exactly the same, and of course she's going to know it's a different fish anyway, even though she had it for 4 minutes, and I am going to feel like an asshole for lying.

Every time I watched one of those shows, I would think, just tell her you accidentally put the hamster in the washing machine with the rest of the laundry or whatever freak accident caused this half-hour travesty to occur.

And in any normal circumstance, that's what I would have done. That's what she would want me to do. Unlike most people who say they do, she actually does appreciate the truth. But I mean, I just couldn't be the harbinger of death this time. So I did the polite thing, and lied. Quickly followed by running to the pet store.

An hour of looking at beautiful fish, and not a single one as unique as the one I had already chosen for her because it was so unique. DAMN!

So I just got too tired and lazy and decided to tell her the truth. That is of course, after buying a sequel fish. He is officially called "Fighting Bert Part Deux: The Wrath of Bert," and he is black, blue, and irridescent green, with a flash of red. He's the anti-Bert. And I already think he rocks. Let's just hope he's not dead already. I am going to her house now to check. wish me luck.


At 1:39 PM, Blogger bam34 said...

Des, you're already handling death better than most people -- accepting it, taking it for what it is, helping your friend out and getting a new fish when a new fish is needed. That's all you can do.

Kimmy Gibler couldn't have done it better. See you tonight!


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