Monday, December 29, 2008

Anthony The Angry Goldfish

We spend a lot of time during the holidays celebrating with really good friends. We gather any where to celebrate anything. It is always a great time, and the reminiscences and rants and raves amongst us are great reminders of why we love all these people. And we do love them. Each and every one. And every once in a while, one of us/them will share a small slice of their life, and this will occasionally give us pause, as in "Wow, some of our friends are wackos!" Then we remember, this is why so much alcohol flows at these little get-togethers. And we realize that life without wackos would be really, really boring. Then we drink some more.

We have one friend, lets call her Dona (not because she is in witness protection, but simply because that is her name!) And Dona, well she is an amazing artist. She can create the most wonderfully artistic things out of metal, pine garland, beads, and now, thanks to her new Christmas gift/ chain saw, trees. She is no ordinary friend. And as she recited a tale from a previous life (of which she has many- tales AND lives!), her uniqueness was never more apparent.

Dona had a goldfish a few years back. She named him Anthony. This right here should have set off some major bells in the something is not quite right department. I mean, who names a goldfish anything? And if you feel so inclined to name said goldfish, Nemo or maybe Goldy seem logical choices. But Anthony? I was worried already.

Dona swears that Anthony didn't just spend his days swimming back and forth, forth and back across his little tank so prominently displayed on their kitchen counter. Nope. Anthony had personality. And a few anger management issues. He would rap his thermometer against the glass if he thought his dinner was behind schedule. He would displace his plastic plants and other underwater furniture (think scuba diver attached to an air hose) if he was feeling a little neglected. Some times these little tantrums (?!!) would result in a little fish-time out. How do you put a goldfish in a chair in a corner, you ask? Or I'll ask, because the question BEGS to be asked. Well, during Anthony's destructive moody episodes(?!), dona would remove the offensive items from his tank. The old, you can't toss around what you don't have any more technique.

During one such period of forced isloation, Dona noticed that Anthony was not swimming happily back and forth, forth and back, and at first she thought he was angry with her. Is anyone out there looking up the number of a good therapist out there? Perhaps one who could handle both her AND our fickle fish friend? Alas, upon closer inspection, Dona realized Anthony was not angry with her as she first believed, but that he was in distress. She surmised that he, Anthony the Angry Goldfish, was actually choking on a piece of gravel.

Quick thinking, and maybe just a little strangely(?), Dona immediately calls the animal help hot line. I have had pets all my life, including many unnamed, but otherwise psychosis free fish, and I did not know there was such a hot line. She, however, not only was aware of it's existence, she knew the number. And she maintained the level headedness to place a call during Anthony's time of need. She explained the problem to the person who would volunteer to man such a hot line (can you imagine what kind of time THAT person must have on their hands, just waiting for a fish in distress call?!!). This fish-crisis interventionist calmly explained to Dona that she must REMOVE the choking party FROM HIS TANK and perform a fishy type of Heimlich maneuver. At this point, I suspect that the person manning the animal 911 center is rolling on the floor in great heaves of belly laughter.

But Dona, true to her endearing nature, is on a mission to save her attitudinal fish. She removes Anthony from his soon to be watery grave, and places him on a towel on the counter as instructed. Now, as I see it, Anthony now has TWO problems. Number one, he is still choking, which must have been awful for the poor little piece of bait- I mean fish. But now that his loving keeper has thrust him out of his tank and on to a towel, he has NO WATER!!!!! He is the proverbial, no make that, he is ACTUALLY a fish out of water!

With a delicacy I obviously don't possess, Dona is able to palpitate our little neurotic Nemo's chest(?), and after two little pumps, the offending piece of gravel pops out of Anthony's little fish mouth (think Pierce Brosnan/Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire). Dona replaces Anthony to his home, where I imagine he immediately starts praising and cursing the psycho human who is his master. And as with all heart warming tales, they live happily ever after. At least for a little while.

It appears Dona's life saving technique caused a bowel obstruction (which I assume was determined at autopsy(?), and little Anthony expired six months later. Personally, I think it was a suicide. True to the tumultuous life that he led, Anthony had the poor timing to pass from this life to the next in the dead (oops) of winter. The ground was too frozen to bury him (BURY???? A GOLDFISH???-Whatever happened to the old flush-a-roo????), so Dona ceremoniously wrapped him in a Ziploc shroud and stored him in her freezer till the spring thaw whereupon he was buried with the highest of honors and dignity.

And so, at this most wonderful time of the year, as we remember our milestones and those whom are no longer here to swim amongst us, we toast to you, our nearest and dearest friends. Of course we love each and every one of you. And when we laugh, rest assured we laugh with you (sometimes at you, but always with you!). And of course, we thank you, dear, dear friends, for with you in our lives, life will NEVER be boring!

No comments: