Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Saga Of John Malkofish

The text
Me: Don't be mad...
Me: I'm bringing home John Malkofish.  He's still sick but he's doing better.  And if he dies I want to make sure he's with people who love him.
Pone: Oh yuh
Me: We are on our way home.

At home
Me: We're here!  John Malkofish and I have been friends since back in July when the store opened.  He comes to the top of the bowl when I feed him.
Pone: Why is he so small?
Me: He's a betta, koi male.  They're just little
Pone: I don't think he's alive
Me: He's doing better.  Bettas are just lazy
Pone: They just sit at the bottom of the bowl?
Me: He's fine.  John Malkofish is doing better than he was on Sunday.  On Sunday he was almost floating at the top of the bowl. He has an infection on his side but he's doing much better.
Pone:  You brought home a dead fish
Me: He isn't dead!
Pone: You spent $16 on a dead fish
Me: He's going to pull thru!
Pone:  You bought a dead fish!

This morning after putting him in his new lazy tank
Pone: He looks hungry
Me: Go ahead and feed him if you want, but literally just a tiny pinch. (watches pone put too much food in the bowl) I said a tiny pinch!
Pone: I gave him just a pinch.  He's not swimming up to get it.  He can't swim very well.
Me: You gave him too much food!  And he sucks at swimming but whatever.
Pone: A fish that sucks at swimming?  Why can't you bring home a healthy creature?

The Saga of Malkofish
A few months ago I saw this fish at work that happened to catch my eye.  He was a Betta fish, a Koi male to be exact.  He wasn't one of those majestic, brightly colored creatures with the fancy tails, he was just this small fish that looked perennially pissed off.  Being the perennial curmudgeon, I took an immediate liking to him.  Every day when I came into work, I would go and see if he was still around, and every day he would still be in his little betta cup looking super irritated when I came to visit him.

"Enjoy your lunch at Panera Bread. It's fine,  I totally don't mind staying here."

They say that bettas are known as fighting fish, in that they are aggressive towards both males as well as females and need to be kept separate from other fish.  The loner fish that needs anger management.  The more I visited this fish the more I began to like him.  He always looked so irritated, like you just asked him for a ride to the airport on his day off.  I imagined him not as being so much of an aggressive fish, as much as a passive aggressive fish.  I pictured him talking to me, sort of like Mr. Limpet, but with the voice and personality of Baby Herman from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.  Every time I would leave him to go to my dog training area, I could envision him saying things like "yeah, you go have fun teaching that class.  Don't worry about me, I'll just stay here in this shitty little  CUP!"

I decided at some point, to start calling him John Malkofish.  A name that amused me and I pictured him hating.  It got to the point that when people were doing the water changes on the bettas, I'd ask where John Malkofish was.  Our aquatics specialist began to know which betta I was talking about and let me know which side of the display he was on, when I came in to work.

On Sunday, before my class I had gone over to see him and John Malkofish was looking pretty sad.  He had this white spot forming by one of his fins and he was on his side at the top of the cup.  I began screaming "NOOOOOOO," which of course startled many customers. I ran to find our aquatics specialist, who told me that he was very ill and she didn't know if he would survive.  This only made me panic more.  She said that there was a chance that he could pull through, but that he needed to get stronger.  

When I came in on Tuesday, the spot on John Malkofish's side was a little lighter, and he wasn't floating anymore.  I ran to tell my manager and the specialist.  Upon hearing the news my manager smirked at me and told me that we really shouldn't be naming the animals, because it's hard if we get attached and they get sold or die.  I responded by informing him that John Malkofish has had this name for some time, as he had been with us since start up in July.  That's when I realized that John Malkofish was probably meant to be my fish, since it was mid-October and nobody else was coming for him. I thought that if something happened to him and I wasn't there, I'd be very upset about not being able to say goodbye to him.  I wanted him to at least be at home among family members if these were in fact his last days.  The aquatics specialist started gathering the items I would need for him, while my manager smiled at me and asked if I was aware of the store's 30 day guarantee on fish.

"I'm not taking you to the airport!"

It's been almost 24 hours now since I brought home John Malkofish. He is doing fine adjusting to his lazy tank and still trying to eat the massive amount of food that Pone put in there this morning.  He is getting used to being in a bigger space and is swimming a little better now that he has the room.  He still floats up and down and Pone thinks he's dead, but I can see his little fins still moving.  I went to check on him a few minutes ago and he looked at me with contempt. In his snarky, passive aggressive fish voice he said: "Really? You're in the office blogging about me?  You didn't want to talk about the horror convention that you went to over the weekend? Or what about getting thrown out of a bar with a former member of Marilyn Manson and Sharon Needles?  I mean she was dressed as Satan and going to a bar to watch the presidential debate.  You were literally following Satan around NYC and you had a maxi pad on your foot?  But seriously, what do I know about what people want to hear? Go ahead and write about this instead, it's super interesting."

Shut up John Malkofish!

"I'm judging you."

Update: John Malkofish passed away last night 10/20/16.  He was at home with loved ones, watching Rosemary's Baby when it happened.  I would be quite happy to go the same way, when my time comes.

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