6.03.2009

racism in the aquarium

On Monday, I got made fun of by Pet Smart. I got made fun of because I returned a fish back to the store. A black fish. And I didn't return him because he was black. It was because he was the biggest jerk I've ever encountered, of the fish variety. I know plenty of humans that are jerkier than this fish. We'll call him Big Mean.

It started off innocently enough. On Friday Taylor and I went to the store to get some cleaning supplies for his fish tank. He's had his 5-gallon fish tank (with 2 great orange molly fish and a frog) for a month, and it was time to clean it.

While we were there, Taylor asked for one more fish. The sweet and timid fish-girl said that one more would be fine for our tank, and to pick out another molly fish, because they are easy, nice and school together. Easy enough. I picked a black fish. He was big and beautiful. Ahem.

Well, the tank gets cleaned and in goes Big Mean. At first all is fine, and then minutes later, things take a turn. Big Mean is chasing the other fish around and biting at their tails. I thought I'd give him a bit to get acclimated to the new tank and his tank-mates.

Turns out there's a chip on Big Mean's shoulder. There was no getting acclimated. He had the other two fish so scared they hid behind the filter, all stressed out. And didn't come out. Ever. The frog was fine, by the way. If one fish tried to leave it's hiding spot, Big Mean charged at it and scared it back into submission. This tactic is kind of the same one I used to get proposed to, but that's another story.

Well, the chip on Big Mean's shoulder, I feel, in all of my fish psychology and expertise, stems from him feeling singled out, being the only black fish in the tank. While these two orange fish were nothing but welcoming and friendly, he was angry. Angry at Aquarium Racism. He couldn't get past the..., well..., past the past.

After a whole weekend of violent behavior, it was time to take the fish back to his other friends. He DID come from a tank of all black fish, so perhaps he was uncomfortable. He lashed out out of fear. Perhaps. It doesn't matter. What matters is that Pet Smart laughed at me for returning him and said that molly fish are the nicest fish ever.

I simply told them 'not when they are victims of aquarium racism.'

That shut them up.

The aquarium is back to normal. 2 orange fish and a frog.

9 comments:

sassypackrat said...

OMG! That was the funnest post I've ever read! I've had black mollys and other color fish too and never had a problem so I think you're right he just wasn't comfortable or he was a sociopath. Yeah I think I'll go with the sociopathic fish story. Sounds good to me!

w said...

well. that's just the saddest story ever. if i were big mean, i would take it to the newspapers.

hey. what's black and white and red all over? big mean on a plate of radishes.

Angela said...

lol! I had a spotted mollie once (named Molly McSpot) and she was terribly mean. She killed a baby shark once...

Kearsie said...

I am back to total and complete adoration of you. I have a fish, his name is Darby. He acts like he is starving all the time. When he tires of that, he likes to lay on the pink gravel underneath the tiny model of Italy, and lays like he is dead. He gets a big kick out of me panicking and pounding on the tank shouting "Darby! Noooo!" and then he heaves himself off the gravel and comes right up to me and gives me his "I'm hungry, can I have some more food?" look.

streetsmart said...

Hi there! Saw this blog while browsing.

When I was still living with my parents, my dad used to maintain an aquarium too. So fond of keeping his aquarium colorful and lively, he kept on buying different fish. Having observed my dad's aquarium back home, I also believed that fish are territorial and they boss around the new ones that my dad puts in the aquarium. Fish war inside an aquarium may sound funny alright, but this is true. :)

Kristi said...

I love these posts from you!! Miss you friend!

J said...

I hope he did not violate the other fish in a sexual way. Soon you might have a whole tank of black mean fish, and they would be raised with out a father. I would go back to the pet store and get some fish pregnancy tests. They never have them out so just ask the fish girl for one. Good luck!!

Amber said...

what a jerk! That made me laugh almost as much as your post about Sid and his missing tittys.

Fish Tanks said...

That is pretty interesting that the Big Mean attacked the other fish especially since they were the same species. Maybe the girl from Pet Smart didn't give you the correct fish.