Saturday, March 05, 2005

A Politically Correct (True) Fish Story

Living in California, you come to expect crazy liberal standards...but even I am floored by what happened this morning.

My husband and I decide to go out to the "design center" to find a light fixture for the bathroom from hell. (should a bathroom remodel really take 10 months?) At any rate, we aren't morning people. But somehow we manage to get out the door early, and arrive 20 minutes before the store opens. Across the parking lot is a Petsmart.

I had been trying to find a friend for "Puffy" our puffer fish. He is sort of a demon fish. When I bought him, I didn't expect it to be a lifetime experience. I figured fish live a few years, they die, and you figure out your next move. Which for me would be be a saltwater tank. Well... five years later, he's still alive, and as a responsible pet owner I have to go though this weird fish ritual to find him friends. He is suppose to be aggressive, but he lived happily with one of those goofy glass fish they inject with the color. But like all fish (I thought), after a couple of years he died. So then I decided to get him another friend, a more aggressive breed who should be in its same temperment category who turned out to kick his ass. He had to go, because we have been feeding Puffy all this time. He has seniority. Okay... enough about the stupid fish friend stuff. After all, this wouldn't even be worth telling if it weren't for what happens next.

So my husband and I walked through all the fish, and didn't find anything suitable. But they did have crabs. Crabs are entertaining, but no matter how giant of a crab you put in the tank, Puffy will find a way to eat it. So we decide to blow a couple of bucks to get Puffy a treat. I mean... who doesn't like crab... right? So I have got the salesgirl, net in hand, in the crab tank fishing out our crabs. She asks me "so what kind of tank are you going to put them in"? I say "they're food". Because I know that eventually, they are just going to be Puffy food.

She says "I don't think I can sell these to you". I say "What"? (Let's say it all together: "What?") She calls to another gal and asks "she wants to feed these crabs to a puffer fish. I can't sell them right"? The other girl confirms, that these crabs are to be no fishes food. Then the first girl says something about a guy wanting to buy mice to feed to his snake. Which I kinda understand. I thought pet stores had mice precisely for that, but what do I care? (If I'm being realistic, I'm betting more mice die in their store waiting for homes, than die winding up being snake food.) I try to plead my case again, and tell her I understand about the mice, but these are crustaceans... crabs for Christ sake. She isn't budging. I walk out without them, muttering about political correctness.

My husband and I go to lunch, wind up at another pet store, and I now have six crabs in my tank. Making sure of course when I was buying them that I didn't mutter anything about them eventually getting eaten.