Hi, It’s me.

Hey there! I’m the other-other-other organism that lives in this house. I cubed the “other”, because I’m certain that you know about the fish; you’ve probably heard a rant or two about the goldendoodle, and you have probably seen the post-lavished praise for our gem of a dog, Cutterjohn. Personally, I don’t mind being out of the public eye on this one – it affords me some privacy and flexibility. Yes, I’m the significant other, the S.O., HeWhoCan’tStandBleach, the temporary caretaker of the menagerie that is my home. I say menagerie, because it gives a bit of Victorian sensibility and it’s easier to repeatedly type than “My Lord, Look At All The Neurotic Beasts In My Home – For Pete’s Sake, I Willingly Eat Uncooked Macaroni Noodles And I Am The Sane One”. Want to know the craziness that gets enabled in my home? Come on down, let’s have a tour!

For example, there is a fish that must be hand fed. Yes, you read that correctly. A fish, who does not often leave his shell, requires food to be brought to him in a bizarre aquatic room service kind of way. Every day, I grab a few flakes with some tweezers and hold it down at the bottom of the tank. If I’m lucky, I’ll find the shell he’s designated as his home on the first time down. Should Mr. Smithers grow weary of his current domicile, he’ll go somewhere else. No forwarding address, no call to the concierge, no txt message awaiting me on my phone. Just me, wading elbow deep in an environment filled with crabs, snails and live rock hoping that this little teeny fish will allay his fears of the big people long enough to poke his head out and eat. (In his defense, if I were to see God’s forearm emerging from the clouds gunning for me with a Wendy’s Baconator at the end of stainless steel forceps the proportionate size of Airbus wings, I’d probably switch houses too.) Once I find him, I hold the food there long enough for him to have a few nibbles. Otherwise it would float away and he would have to, you know, swim after it – like a fish.

Then there’s the other two saltwater tanks. (Did I mention that we have more tanks in our house than toilets? For someone that is afraid of the water and frequently eats TexMex this balance is not in my favor.) Smithersland is the smallest. The next one up is a little number I like to call Tank number 2. This one looks like an underwater paradise. Pretty plant-looking things that seem almost grasslike; other pretty plant-looking things that look like plants. If I were a little more myopic or a little less aquaphobic, this cthulhoid terror field would be really beautiful. As for now, it’s the big tank of tentacles that I have to get uncomfortably close to when I want to use the kitchenaid mixer. For some reason, our homemade cookies always seem to have the salty aftertaste of tears.

In this one, we have some fairly low maintenance fish. That’s high praise for the critters in this house. Feed twice a day and no vacuuming necessary. I don’t have to worry about the grass stains on the pristine white rock; I don’t have to hose off their fins as they come in from playing; I don’t have to yell at the clownfish for bubbling at the neighbors at 3 am. Every night, I do have to turn off the lights and drip 20 drops of one of the bottles in the refrigerator. I wasn’t told which bottle, but I’m hoping it’s the one next to the milk labeled “Algae” and not the one in the door labeled “Kikkoman”.

In tank number 3, (affectionately known as ¡Aquario Numero Tres: Super Mercado!), is nothing. I say nothing, because if you took out the rocks and water, it would be a $1000 glass sandbox. I am told that there are three stages of life growth, each pooping out and exhaling the buffet for the next invisible noun in the cycle, but I don’t see it. I keep adding water to it anyway. Got to keep it up to the Green Line! That water goes somewhere – probably into the dry landlocked atmosphere of North Carolina.

Meanwhile, there’s another smaller box, filled with nothing, connected to and underneath the larger nothing-box. She calls this a Fuge. (I can’t hear the word “Fuge” without thinking of The “Nuge” a.k.a. Ted Nugent, The Motor City Madman, but that just shows my classic rock upbringing.) This box is a little waterfall pouring onto a loudly whirring pump. At night, we leave the blue lights on at ¡ANT:SM!, and boy are they bright. If you were to walk down the hall towards the living room you would think the mothership of incontinent alien bees had landed in the east end of our house, just buzzing, dripping, gurgling and blinding their way to enslaving the human race.

So, I’d say it’s interesting. I do willingly watch the Discovery channel with a fondness for things like this, so I applaud Mike Rowe – but safely at a distance. There’s no way I could work with this freakshow for more than a week or so.


~ by KBSpangler on April 17, 2009.

3 Responses to “Hi, It’s me.”

  1. I just wanted to say the God’s forearm with a Wendy’s Baconator line had me giggling like crazy. Thanks!

  2. Oh please, convince the Mistress of the Tanks to let you post more often. This was wonderful.

  3. I wouldn’t mind a random arm from the sky handing me burgers once in a while actually…would save me having to get up and go get them, and also save me spending the money. Hm.

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