I know Benjamin Franklin said only death and taxes were certain in life but surely that doesn’t apply to goldfish? For starters they don’t drive on our roads or attend our schools (they have their own) and they’re not interested in supporting our pointless and costly referendums so maybe if they aren’t required to pay tax perhaps they could be exempted from dying too? Especially the ones that live in my pond – please, pretty please!
Currently my pond sits empty, it’s immaculately spic and span and the fountain and lights work like a charm, but it feels lonely without any smiling, meandering goldfish, giving it that lived in look. I stare at it like I’d lost my own child and I’m staring blankly at an empty cot. Feelings of guilt wash over me – surely I should have seen this coming? The uneaten fish food, the rapid algae growth and fish showing signs of listfulness – to be honest I just thought it was the winter blues. I’m sure fish get that too and since they have no core body temperature it’s perfectly natural for them to slow down and eat less in colder temperatures. The blame game won’t bring them back. I found the grief of it all surprising – why would I get attached to some cold-blooded scaley things, they’re not like dogs you can cuddle and talk to (ok maybe I did talk to my fish but only when it was a full moon). But when you’ve actually named your fish and your desperately trying to save their life as they slowly go rigid in your emergency salt bath it’s amazing how it tugs at all your heart strings. I miss you guys. I worked so hard to get you home safe from the flower show, riding through town on my bike, bucket in one hand, desperately hoping nobody opened a car door in front of me. And Goldie you beat the odds (until now) and showed such promise. Like the late Michael Jackson sang ‘gone too soon’. I’m getting teary just writing this.
So the question is what do I do now? Get back in the saddle, order some more fish? Part of me feels like that would just be like lining them up in front of a firing squad but perhaps I’ve learnt my lesson. Will I keep a closer eye on the Ph and nitrate levels? Will I regularly change the water and use water conditioner? I just thought goldfish were tougher than that – I guess not. We’re heading off to the States in a few weeks so maybe I’ll wait till after then otherwise it’s just one more thing our housesitter will need to worry about.
Just quickly and completely off-topic my rant for this week is those crazy captcha images that you see on online forms. You know the ones where it shows you a jumble of letters, numbers or both and you have to type them in to proceed. Wow why are they so difficult? I have pretty good eyesight but they stump me on a regular basis. I know they’re trying to stop spam bots but they probably stop a lot of real live humans too. Come on peoples, it’s almost 2010 and we can’t even develop a decent human friendly form?? Why not just use a colour test (suitable for colour blind people as well) or a simple maths test? Stop the jumble of letters, it’s creating extra stress in a world that just doesn’t need it right now! I just took three goes to complete a form because I didn’t get it right. I even resorted to the disability option and it read out some numbers but honestly I’m sure they were speaking klingon (or a garbled version of it).