About a year ago my mom went out and bought a Beta fish. She bought the thing an enormous glass bowl, live plants, Roman fish statues and rocks made of Swarovski Crystal. She religiously cleans its gigantic residence every week and fills it with expensive purified water to ensure its little fishy lungs have plenty of non-polluted oxygen. (Incidentally, she does not seem to mind when my stepfather drinks disgusting, chlorinated, none ionized, polluted tap water). Essentially, this fish hit the jackpot and went from living in a tiny, poop filled plastic container to the lap of luxury. I can almost see its arrogance as it swims around its Olympic size swimming pool with its sumptuous tail swishing back and forth. I seriously think my mother has officially gone off the deep end (no pun). She loves her fish, she talks to her fish and she is obviously taking it to see some fishy plastic surgeon because its scales look amazing.
Anyway, a few days later my mom called me and asked if the girls could come spend the night so they could see her glorious new pet. She also informed me that after much consideration, she had finally found the perfect name for her fish, and that he would be called “Sing”. I started laughing and told her it was too late, I had already named her fish “Master” as in “Master-beta”. My mom got pissed and hung up on me, which made me laugh even harder.
The next weekend the girls spent the night and sure as shit, they became hypnotized by Master’s insane beauty and each wanted one of these magnificent creatures for their very own. I could see my mom smirking and flipping me off from the window as she waved goodbye. Big deal, a few fish, it is not like a puppy or a husband. I took my 3 daughters to the pet store and picked out a bowl and the necessary equipment and then told them to each go pick out a Beta, preferably one that was not already floating. This is when pet store worker Stan (real name) made a stop gesture with his hand and proceeded to lecture me for 30 minutes about how Betas are Japanese fighting fish and under no circumstances could they be kept in the same bowl. Fuck, whatever. I walked back over and picked out 2 more bowls etc. etc.
I wondered if there was a huge fish gang problem in Japan, similar to the age old, standard American gangs, the “Bloods” and “Crips”. I could just picture a heavily tattooed blue fin Beta swimming up to a heavily tattooed red fin Beta saying in Japanese “The west side of the algae pond is mine BITCH, so swim off fo’ I fishhook yo’ gills!” And then the red fin retaliates with a “F@%& You Foo! Me and my school is gonna’ shank you!” And then suddenly before the beta police arrive, there is another senseless, statistic lying gutted at the surface. Anyhow, $200 hard earned Mike dollars later, we were on our way home.
Since this fateful day, I have learned that I hate fish. I hate, hate, hate them. I force myself to clean 3 ghastly fish bowls once a week and have to fight the urge to vomit the entire time. I made Mike bring home dental masks and latex gloves from work and once we even got in a big fight because he refused to call in any anti-nausea (or at the very least some anti-depressant) medicine for me before I started my revolting chore. Every time one of those little bastards dies, I am overcome with joy as I flush their stinky lifeless bodies down the drain. But somehow my children’s tears and screams of “WHHHYYYYYY GODDDD WHHHYYYYYY????” manipulate me and once I again I find myself buying them a repulsive replacement, thus creating a never-ending cycle of angst for me each and every week of my life.
*Mom, I am sorry, I am so, so sorry. I should have never made fun of Maste-I mean Sing. I feel so bad, and to show you just how sorry I am, I will give you 3 more because I know how much you love those vile things. You are welcome, I love you. XO