It's been a sad, and frankly rather smelly, weekend as the final two of the Unflushable Fishies took their leave from our household.
Since the Unflushables had an interesting start in life and continued being intriguing fish right up until the end, I felt like they deserved a post of their own as they swam their way up to the Big Guy. Thus, the Unflushable Fishy Eulogy:
In October of 2005, I received a phone call from my younger brother while I was at work. He wanted to know if I still had my old betta fish tank (that fish, regrettably, committed suicide-by-leap some time before this point, so the tank was fishless).
This is the point in which a smart person would have replied yes, directed said sibling to the empty tank, hung up the phone, and moved on with her life uneventfully.
Naturally, this isn't what occurred.
"Why?" I asked (my first mistake).
"So that Turd Ferguson and Chesty LaRue can live in it." said Younger Brother.
"What are they living in now?" I asked (second mistake).
"Why?" (Third mistake).
"Because I rescued them last night after the party."
".................................ok. I'll come by and get them after work, and take them home and put them in the tank." (Fourth mistake.).
Later that evening, I picked up Turd and Chesty and was thiiiiiiiiisclose to being out the front door when the inevitable happened.
"Dude!" said Fraternity Dude. "Is she taking some of the fish?"
"Yeah," said Younger Brother, "she's taking my two home with her."
"Awesome!" said Fraternity Dude. "Can she take any of the rest of them?"
Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that when I walked into my apartment that night, I had not only Turd and Chesty in tow, but an Entire. Black. Plastic. Witches. Cauldron full of approximately 47 feeder goldfish and covered in Saran Wrap for the journey home. Animal lovers, lest you despair, I berated the boys mightily for their purchase of these fish as part of their party decor as I went about strapping them into the backseat, and they haven't repeated the mistake to date.
As you can imagine, the body count began, and by the time I moved into my condo a few weeks later we had sent all but 8 fish to the Big Pond in the sky via flush.
The 8 quickly settled into a comfortable life in the condo, enjoying a massive, 20-gallon tank decorated with several coral hideaways, purplypink rocks, and the first five of approximately 35,981 fake aquarium plants that I would purchase over the next several years. We even named them, although with 8 identical-but-for-size orange fish, we went for ease, not creativity. Thus, Turd, Chesty, Baby, Little Guy, and Small, Medium and Large and one whose name I can't recall went about life, and soon we were 6, as Nameless and Turd went sky-bound.
The remaining 6 set about overcoming their early struggles by living the laziest, happiest, most guilt-free lives I have ever seen fish lead and brought great joy to my life -not to mention the subtle odor of fish flakes in the bathroom, the everpresent sounds of the water tank gurgling, and about $450 worth of various rocks, corals, plants, and other assorted crap to ensure they'd continue to live in the lap of luxury. By the time the first of the 6 passed on, they were the size of small carp.
This brought about the Amazing Unflushable Fish debate of 2007. As we'd done multiple times over the years, Finnigan standing nearby, I pulled the tank top off, swished the deceased into a net, and ceremoniously deposited him in the Swirling Burial Receptacle. I reached for the handle to send Large to meet the Big Guy.....
.....and paused. Man, that fish was really, really large.
......and paused. C'mon, I reasoned with myself. It's a toilet. Younger Brother has stayed here. Paper toweling has gone down this thing. Bigger stuff than Large here has successfully flushed.
........and paused. Shit. Shit shit shit. Motherbleepingshit. I'm going to have to plunge this sucker back up later.
Large wound up buried in more of a "give back to the Earth" style, and thereafter, the fish became known as the Unflushables. Whilst they continued to live in relative peace, harmony and ever-expanding girth, they also began to swim towards the light with increasing frequency, and it seemed that every time one of them began floating sideways for a couple days, inevitably another would start doing the same, and we'd have a few funerals.
This weekend, the last two of the Unflushables were no exception, with Little Guy passing on Saturday and Baby taking his leave sometime in the wee hours of Monday morning- in a plastic bin, no less, as in a final act of curiousness he'd managed to somehow crack their tank, causing a stir of activity at 11 PM last night when I discovered that about 6" worth of tank water was covering my bathroom floor.
So now they are gone, and the tank is gone as well, leaving me (probably thankfully) without the option of bringing home another set of fishies to smell up my bathroom, demand garish decor, and cause plumbing problems.
But I really will miss those guys.