Every now and then my daughter Linda asks if she can get an aquarium. It makes me shudder. You see, I was a fish owner once during my residence hall director days at Bowling Green. Never again.
I really wanted a dog, but the only pets allowed in the dorm were fish. So I bought an aquarium, complete with a filter and a little motor that blew air bubbles into the tank. And I got cute little fish toys for my fish to play with: a fake treasure chest, a mermaid and scuba divers. And, of course, I got some fish.
It didn't take me long to realize that fish make horrible pets. In fact, they are gross. They swim around in circles in their disgusting water with the same vacant looks on their faces. Their little fish lips open-close-open-close-open-close ALL DAY LONG!
And my fish never played with their toys. All they did was eat and swim around in their poopy water. Brats.
What I hated most about owning fish was cleaning their aquarium. In fact, just thinking about it invokes involuntary irrepressible gagging.
Speaking of kitchens, my apartment came with one. I've never been much of a cook (see post: Cooking a Porcupine- 8/29/09). That's not to say that my kitchen was never used. One of my R.A.'s loved to cook and I let him use my kitchen whenever he wanted. Of course he paid a nominal kitchen usage fee (I got the leftovers). He also agreed to do any cooking for events where I was required to bring a dish.
One afternoon I came home from a class and found John in my kitchen. "I made your cake for the R.A. appreciation dinner tonight," he said. “Chocolate swirl!”
Before I had a chance to thank him I noticed that he was washing the bowl that I had left in the sink.
The one that I had used to clean the aquarium earlier that day.
My stomach started to turn. "John, did you use that bowl?"
“Yep. It was just the right size. Why?”
I gave him my best open-close-open-close fish lip imitation.
He dropped the dish cloth… “Shit”
“Exactly,” I said.
We evaluated our options: John could make another cake. Or I could run out and buy one. Or we could put a lot of frosting on the fish cake.
It turned out to be a very entertaining evening. In fact it was probably the best R.A. Appreciation dinner I’d ever attended.
I was terrified that I would lose my composure and confess my faux paux to everyone, so I made John sit on the opposite side of the room. It was safer that way. Had he sat at my table he would have said things like, “Lou this cake tastes great. What's in it?” or “Will you pass the tartar sauce? My cake is missing something."
Even with 5 tables separating us I had a difficult time holding back my giggles. Every time I glanced his way he gave me open-closed-open-closed fish lips. After a few inappropriate snorts I had to change seats so he was no longer in my line of sight.
Somehow I made it through the night without leaking the truth- probably because there was no alcohol served.
And everyone loved the fish cake!
Unfortunately, I didn't have room for dessert that night.