"No, no daddy! No! I don't want to eat him! Get him out!" he screams, fighting his way out of my hands and jumping to the floor. This was my son's reaction to a little joke I played on him last weekend. I didn't mean to scare him, thought we'd just have a laugh. I'm quite the practical joker with him, and he with me.
I'm in the kitchen cooking dinner. The wife is at Bible study or something, so it's just the son and I. My cooking hasn't evolved beyond boxed Tuna Helper and I have a big pan of it boiling, bubbling over the sides and down into the burners causing the kitchen to fill with smoke. I go to open the patio door to let some fresh air in, passing my son's fish tank that his older sister gave him for Christmas. Mr. Snerdly, as I so-call his beta fish, is barely visible swimming in the cloudy, pungent tank now overdue for cleaning. So while the tuna is cooking, I take the fish out of the bowl and put him into a cup of clean water. I rinse out the fish bowl, wash my hands and return to my cooking.
"Daddy, where's my fish!" the son's yelling as he stands in front of an empty, but now clean fish tank.
"He's in here, man," I tell him, pointing to my boiling and smoking Tuna Helper.
"I thought we'd eat him for dinner tonight." I tease, barely holding back my laugh. He wants to see, so I pick him up to check out the situation from a clearer vantage point.
"He'll be delicious, man, thank you for sharing him with us. Have a taste," I say as I spoon up a small piece of tuna, waving it past his nose. To my chagrin, after his reaction as mentioned above, we didn't have our laugh like we normally do. I apologize.
Fast forward to this morning
Mr. Snerdly is floating on his side at the top of the tank. I think he's dead. Or dying. There's a bubble or two that comes gurgling out his mouth, so he may be alive, but I don't think he'll make it through the day. Thought this might be a good — well not good — maybe appropriate opportunity for the son and I to discuss loss. Losing a pet or a loved one. But after he passed the tank this morning, stopping and staring in wonder at Mr. Snerdly who is now floating awkwardly on his side, I think maybe not. I'll visit a Petco and pick up a beta before he gets home later.
But alas, as I head down to take a photo of The Snerd-ster (I need visuals) he's back to swimming vertical, his nose above the water. I sprinkle in a few red worms, and he fiercely attacks them. Snerdly's not sick, HE'S HUNGRY! Just like a brotha, he just ain't right when he hasn't been fed.
Unrelated thought for the day: Adobe acquiring Macromedia! Wow, I hope they demolish Freehand and simplify Flash.