Honesty Time

Keeping it real since 2013

An Empty Pond is a Sad Pond


Happy Memorial Day, all you bros out there! I hope everyone is enjoying the long weekend (safely and responsibly) with family and friends and also celebrating the lives of all those we are remembering today.

I almost forgot that today was Monday, actually. Long weekends definitely mess up my sense of days of the week. But that’s ok, because I already had something written up for today! I wrote about one of my cats last week, and I was going to write about Jasmine this week, but I still have that terribly depressing Sarah McLachlan pet commercial running through my head on a loop, so let’s not go back there just yet. Instead, I have a new pet story to share that I’m super excited about.

If you haven’t realized it by now, it’s safe to say that we at Honesty Time are really into our pets. Cats, dogs, horses, fish, the sloths and quokkas of our dreams, and teacher’s pets. We love them all.

Meet Daisy and Violet and the rest of my new goldfish!

Oh man, fish! If you don’t think fish are cool, it’s over between us. They are so much more entertaining than most people realize. When I was little, we had a 10 gallon hex tank with a bunch of freshwater fish. My brother and I definitely named all of the fish after dinosaurs and characters from Jurassic Park. No shame. My aunt and uncle have always had multiple fish tanks and they put an amazing koi pond into their backyard. Their koi have gotten so big that it’s hard to believe that some of them were once shorter than my fingers. Now they’re ferret sized. No joke. It’s amazing.

So I’ve definitely been a fan of fish all of my life. Obviously, I love animals in general. Most people who know me are always slightly afraid that I’ll end up on an animal hoarder show. I just want all of the pets. I do. I can’t help it.

Naturally, I needed a pet when I was in college, and I’m talking about the days before I got rebellious, back when I wouldn’t dare get a cat in the little rooms I had my first few years. So I got a goldfish, as many others do. My first goldfish, Edmund Dantes, died of starvation, because his bowl mate was a food hog. Poor guy. So of course I needed another fish.

The next time, I got a cute little goldfish named Groucho. He was built to last. We formed a fabulous friendship right away. Look at how cute he was!

Groucho Groucho2

You know that the myth of goldfish having awful memories is just that – a myth? Groucho was one smart fella. He would follow my finger around the glass. He knew that when the top was opened, it was time to eat. When anyone came up to the tank, he would turn into such a ham and swim all around so everyone could see how pretty he was.

My junior year roommate and I used to sit in front of his tank and watch him all afternoon long, especially on bad days when we needed to cheer up. He would swim upside down and around in circles and blow bubbles at us. She thought he was so special and I was just glad that my roommate loved him as much as I did.

Sometime around that summer, my dad finished making a small 100 gallon pond in our backyard. We bought 10 goldfish and 2 koi. My outdoor fish pets were awesome. We all got really attached to them, but of course I couldn’t bring them with me to school.

Unfortunately, in my senior year, poor Groucho died due to a combination of swim bladder disease and what I think was being absolutely scared to death of our new roommate, Licorice.

I was so heart broken. Unless you knew Groucho, you wouldn’t understand. Fish people understand, though. I tried to fill the void in my heart with two Beta fish, Lance McQueen and Bruce Ugg. They were pretty, but just too boring. They kept the cats and I company through the end of my senior year and through graduate school. They also got a new housemate, after my students bought me a little goldfish, who I named Vince Paddington Algernon (aka: VPA). He didn’t last that long. Bruce died. Lance died. We had to give our koi to my uncle because they were getting too big for our pond. And then, this winter, none of the pond fish survived the freeze.

This was little VPA. He was shy.

This was little VPA. He was shy.

I had been fishless for far too long. This couldn’t go on any longer. As soon as our pond water tested safe for the fish, my dad and I were eager to fill up the pond with new pals. When my dad came home for lunch the other day, he was all “What time are you getting home from the gym so we can go get fish?” And I was all “WHENEVER YOU WANT!”

Most people know that it’s just not even safe to take me to a pet store. I lose my mind. What happens to me is similar to how the characters in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory feel when they walk into that room made entirely out of candy. It’s very hard to control me. Here’s what happens:

This beta fish was super pretty. I named him Opal, even though I didn't buy him.

This beta fish was super pretty. I named him Opal, even though I didn’t buy him.

  1. I walk in the doors and immediately look for the cat adoption kiosks to see if there are any cats living in there. On this trip there weren’t any. Sad face.
  2. I scan the store to see if anyone brought their dog, as if the pet store is a petting zoo. None.
  3. I’m pretty sure I frolicked to the wall of fish.
  4. I always look at the Beta fish first. They’re just so pretty. I look at every. Single. One.
  5. I look for Nemo and Dory
  6. I ask whoever I’m with (this time it’s Dad) if I can have a saltwater aquarium. He shut me down pretty quickly.
  7. I look and make faces at all of the tanks of goldfish.
  8. I run around the fish section and look at all of the fish tanks. This time I said I wanted a Barbie fish bowl. I set my sights low and still got shut down.
  9. I finally stood still long enough to help my dad pick out our 8 comet goldfish and Daisy and Violet.
  10. I ran to the cat section and got hairball snacks and Jasmine’s new anti-anxiety collar.
  11. My dad told me that Mom asked us to pick up dog cookies for all of the dogs that we don’t have. At this point, I had definitely worked up an appetite both from the gym and all of this scampering around the pet store as if I was on Supermarket Sweep. I almost ate a dog cookie. They smelled like real cookies! But I stopped myself.
  12. My dad waited in line to pay and I immediately went over to look at the guinea pigs. Did you know that I can imitate the guinea pig noise really well? Woop woop woop woop.
  13. Then I made friends with the ferrets. We bonded, actually. I want one. My dad realized this and called me back over the register. Rats (I saw those too).

And now we’re here, home with 10 fish in our pond. They’re so pretty. But I not-so-secretly really want to take Daisy and Violet and make them indoor fish so that I can stare at them all day long. That would certainly make my days off much more exciting. Oh yeah, I guess I have cats for that.

This is our humble little pond. Don't Blink, that's definitely a Weeping Angel on the left - yikes.

This is our humble little pond. Don’t Blink, that’s definitely a Weeping Angel on the left – yikes.


Author: Allyssa Ellen

A costumer, a makeup artist, an educator, and a librarian, all rolled up into one convenient, fun-sized package.

5 thoughts on “An Empty Pond is a Sad Pond

  1. Lance and Bruce! The best names ever. And I also always look for Dory and Nemo in any fish tank I see. Oh the things Disney has done to us.

  2. the fish holders miss groucho too.

    and nice use of quokka.

  3. Pingback: The Fish of My Life | Honesty Time

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