Mr. Grouch has decided to pick up a few hobbies recently. One of these hobbies is maintaining a freshwater fish tank. This tank has been chock full of drama from the beginning – a replacement for any soap opera on TV, I would argue. I give you evidence in the following examples:
PRETTY CHARACTERS: A Platinum Blond Angel, a beautiful Striped Angel, gem colored Blue and Sapphire Rams, striped Barbs, flame red Platys, a colorful Gourami and a boldly spotted Plecko. All of the characters are well-manicured and an overall attractive cast.
A CHARISMATIC MANIAC: Originally one of our favorite, most active fish (“oh, look how curious and active he is!”), the Gourami quickly became a terror. He would swim back and forth across the entire length of the 5 foot fishtank, very effectively pushing the other 13 fish into the 4 corners of the tank. Several of the fish cower and move aside every time they see him. I didn’t realize how creepily still a fish could be, or how it could back up or maneuver itself sideways to get out of the way.
VIOLENCE: The Gourami used head-butting and fin-nipping to take over the tank. The Platinum Blond Angel took the brunt of most of this nipping and the once long and pointy elegant dorsal fin became blunt and shredded.
AN ACCOMPLICE TO CRIMES: The Striped Angel quickly joined forces with the aggressive Gourami and the two would double team the Platinum Angel, following it around, headbutting and nipping.
INCARCERATION: The Gourami got put into “time out” – a second tank created solely for his isolation. The Striped Angel got off with a warning.
VICTIM BECOMES VICTORIOUS: With the Gourami behind bars, the Platinum Angel turned the tables and began fighting back against the Striped Angel, chomping on the Striped Fin until it became the noble victor.
BABY MAKING AND UNKNOWN PATERNITY: We quickly learned that platys give birth to live young when one became a mother. It is unknown which Platy is the father. Teensy orange specks with adorable giant globes for eyeballs emerged, only to be very quickly consumed by the other fish in the tank. I couldn’t watch as one wee cutie trembled in the rocks, post-poning his inevitable demise.
HORRIFIC, UNSOLVED HOMICIDE: Mr. Grouch counts his fish every night at feeding time. One day he noticed one less in his count, and then a half-eaten Blue Ram gruesomely stuck to the filter. Who killed him? The mystery remains unsolved.
A SUICIDE: Stressed to death or so saddened by the loss of her pal, the second Blue Ram refused to swim around or eat much and quickly kicked the bucket after the death of the first Ram.
What drama will unfold next? The entire Grouch family watches the show daily, waiting to find out.