Meet Enrique. He's the Beta Fish who lives in a bowl in Madison, Wisconsin.
Enrique's been hanging out with Ella Numera Una for going on 2 years now. He almost didn't make it to Mad City, though.
Enrique replaced another Beta, who lived in a recycled rum bottle for a couple of years. Isn't 2 years a long time for a fish like this to hang around? And no, I don't think Enrique's predecessor floated around in an inebriated state. I'm told the bottle had been thoroughly washed out before the fish took up residence.
This parable has a point, I promise. But first I must tell you about Enrique's almost-early demise.
This good-lookin' guy had been swimming around in another college town over the summer. When it was time to move to Mad City, Ella Una's little sister saddled up to make the trip. She put Enrique, in his bowl, on the front passenger seat. He likes to ride shotgun, you see.
Thing about my youngest chica is that she's not too swift at directions. And this day~the day of Enrique's debut on a new stage~was no exception.
As Ella Numera Dos neared town, she whipped out her cell phone to get her bearings. She was distracted~natch~from trying to get directions & drive at the same time. A car tried to cut her off in the intersection. Dos slammed on the brakes. Enrique, bowl & all, somersaulted to the floorboard.
Did I tell you that my youngest is creeped out by fish?
As Enrique gasped for breath, Dos sprang into action. She couldn't show up at her sister's pad with a dead fish, now, could she? Luckily for both, this chica doesn't clean her car out much. There was an empty soda cup lying right there on the floorboard, beside the flailing fish. My kiddo scooped up Enrique and plopped him in the 2 or so inches of water that remained in the bowl.
All these months later, Enrique is the picture of perfect health. Except that he sometimes floats in one position for hours on end. Or swims around on his back. Or floats up to the top of the bowl, only to suddenly divebomb the little tchotchkes decorating the bottom.
Enrique's an odd duck...er, fish.
This fish tale is brought to you by Our Humble High School. I'm headed back there today, after almost 2 weeks off. I imagine I'll feel a little like Enrique. More than slightly out of my element.