You may recall I mentioned our latest house guest. Good to know that it is still alive and well. Thriving, actually. I think :). At least it's not brown and crispy yet. Yet.
Anyway, I had to laugh the other day when I returned our DEAD neon tetras for a refund.
I am wedded to a man that refunds things whenever possible. It is a mighty good habit and has probably saved us hundreds of dollars.
And the things I DO for this aforementioned husband of mine -- really :). We're bonded, I guess! When I cleaned the fish out of their tank, I actually, yes, put them into a plastic baggy and froze them. I saved a sample of water and froze that too (you need both ... specimens... for a full refund). And then the day of the trek to the city, I took the fish out of the freezer and let them defrost on the counter (but still in the plastic baggy). Ew. Double Ew.
I'm not sure how many people go to such lengths to return their perished fish for a refund. The Petland people thought I was a bit odd. However, I had three kids with me, a no-nonsense attitude (blech, I was just trying to look brave in front of the kids) and they humored me.
So Petland Girl #1 tested my water. "Your water is extremely poisonous. It is totally toxic for fish. I cannot send any more fish home with you until you treat your water properly."
Oh. Uh. Okay. I'm sure glad we DRINK THIS WATER. That makes me feel good.
I also explained that we didn't have a heated tank, but proudly mentioned that our aquarium has a light bulb built into the bottom (didn't mention this particular point, but it casts a cozy glow when the rest of the house is asleep and the aquarium is lazily humming away and I am allll about cozy) and we left that on to keep the water at a constant temperature.
Both gals looked at me from behind their little Petland counter.
At first I wasn't sure if they thought I'd stepped off of planet Mars or if I'd grown horns or something.
They were HORRIFIED.
With a slight gasp, Petland Girl #2 breathed out "You have stressed your fish TO D.E.A.T.H."
Yikes. That sounds.... bad.
I blinked and blinked again.
Little M looked at me, a tad concerned. I put a gentle, reassuring hand on her shoulder, just for good measure.
Petland Girl #1 recovered the moment with a brief explanation: "Fish are creatures. And just like any other creature, they need a DAY and a NIGHT, like dark, and having a light on all the time totally stresses them out. You probably stressed them to death."
Yeah. Like DUH. Any fuddy duddy should've figured that one out!
BAAAA I feel sheepish. Sorry. Can't take credit for that. It's off a movie - Disney's Hercules, I think!
Have you ever found yourself in an AWKward moment and got the giggles, which only makes it a little more awkward which only increases your need to snicker and snort and have a full out gushing tears laugh!?
Yup. That's how I felt.
I swallowed hard to regain my composure.
Oh dear. Whatever should I do to remedy the toxic water situation? Next time I will buy fish that don't require a heated tank and remember to ALWAYS turn the light off.
I walked out of Petland with a full-fish refund, a promise to treat my water for THREE FULL DAYS before attempting to buy any more fish, and some fancy chemicals for my poisonous water. That sustained 1 comet fish for over 5 years, I'll just have you know. And a siamese fighting fish for a long time. He'd have likely lived longer, but alas the feeding routine just wasn't as consistent as it should be. Good thing I didn't mention THAT to the Petland Girls!!
I respect all God's creatures, or try to anyway, and am in no way advocating for careless pet management. We have a lovable little pooch, whom we take very good care of (in fact I spent an entire hour giving him his regular haircut today so now he can see where he's going again!). However, I walked away from this experience with a little more fish-knowledge (more things I never thought I'd know!?) and a really really hearty chuckle!!!