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Friday, April 19, 2013

I Had the Eulogy Half-Way Written



I’ve been watching the tank for a good 20 minutes.

And Cuddy hasn’t moved.

Cuddy, AKA The Pleco, AKA The Itty Bitty Fitty, AKA Sixth in Line for the Presidency (Chuck Hagel?  HA!  Let us not speak of Chuck Hagel), lay atop one of two available rocks, motionless.

I peer into the three available sides of the fish tank – the back having been obscured by the double-album cover currently serving as backdrop, Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy – looking for signs of life.  No movement.  Not a fin, not a gill. 

Nothin’.

And suddenly it all fits:  the algae build-up, the listless movements of the goldfish, the eerie feeling I had the other day after eating my weight in Shepherd’s Pie…

My eyes go wide as my mouth opens in a disbelieving “O”.

Cuddy is dead.

I frown.  Less than two years old. 

That fish cost me four bucks!

Lady G’Agua stares at me from behind the glass, iridescent ornamental fins rippling in indignation. 

Impertinent fish!  Does she hold me responsible for Cuddy’s death?

From my place on the couch, I lean back.  So many arrangements to be made.  Cuddy was, as so many fish are, a Unitarian, although non-practicing.  And there should be music, of course, and a memorial with proper lamentation…

A memorial.

I run to the fridge.  Surely Cuddy would want me to pour a 40 for him?   There are no 40-ounce malt liquors in the fridge, although I do find a Fox Barrel Pear Cider and the last four of six-pack of 12-ounce Miller Lites.

I pour three Miller Lites into the kitchen sink.

I twist the front of my shirt in agony and lift my face to the kitchen ceiling.  “Cuddy!  Ah, Cuddy, we hardly knew ye!”

I return to the living room, where Liza Bean Bitey (of the Minneapolis Biteys) sits atop the fish tank. 

“You smell of confusion and cheap beer,” she purrs. 

“It’s Cuddy,” I say, returning to my seat on the couch and twisting the top off a beer.  “He’s dead.”

“Mmm,” she says.

“Well look at him!” I say.  I turn, point to the tank.

The fish is gone.

Liza Bean chuckles, stands and stretches, one back leg jutting straight out behind her, then the other.  “Those Fox Barrels still in the fridge?”

I sigh.  “Help yourself,” I say. 

25 comments:

Simply Suthern said...

I spose along with burial, creamation, and flushing there is always that 4th option.

Pearl said...

Simply, filleting? :-)

Shelly said...

Is this a fish who plays possum?

Juli said...

We have had quite the fish fatality issue in this house as well. My salt water tank (Hunky and Dorey the clown fish) are doing well, but my son's tank has had nine casualties.

We're running out of room in the backyard cemetery. Not to mention the painted rock head stones...

joeh said...

A Cat preditation....easier than a creamation

Pearl said...

Shelly, I had not thought of it that way. :-)

Juli, fish: they can't be trusted.

joeh, nicely done. :-)

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari Om
Okay, so not happy with best shrimp Liza Bean Bitey's gotta eat the family carp? Methinks a chook-wire covering might be a fine idea or Lady G'Agua could be smirkless on the other side of the glass...

But you have my felt-heart feelings for the feline's fish funeral :-<

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

A beautiful, sentimental way of saying goodbye to a loved one. Cuddy would have loved it.

jenny_o said...

Wait, now - what just happened?

We're always told there are no stupid questions, but maybe that was one right there.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Pearl .. I slightly have to agree with Jenny .. I'm struggling to get my head round this ..

Thanks for coming by my blog though .. cheers Hilary

Lorna said...

MIght have been a migraine.

Geo. said...

I've never been to a Unitarian funeral. Sounds like they take some getting used to.

Jacquelineand.... said...

Well at least Ms. Liza Bean Bitey reused and recycled so it isn't a complete cat-astrophe?

Susan Kane said...

Liza Bean was sparing you the cost and anguish of a funeral, dear thing.

Leenie said...

At least Liza Bean didn't help Cuddy make the trip to burial at sea by tossing him on the carpet. We had one fish who got tossed out and discovered just in time on three occasions before we put a cover on the tank.

Daisy said...

Cuddy is now re-incarnated in Ms Lisa. Cuddy has become a ... god.

sage said...

So Cuddy goes out with three Millers, definitely a wino's heaven. Did you have to run the garbage disposal? I know that isn't a question to ask one in grief, but inquiring minds want to know...

The Savage said...

The most ponderous thing is how you could eat your weight in Sheppard's pie? I mean that's what? 95 pounds at the most?

wellfedfred said...

we know many non-practicing Unitarians, glad to learn their inclusivity extends to fish.

Rose L said...

OH Liza!!! Naughty girl. As a child I once made a coffin for a fish out of a matchbox. I painted it, glued on sequins in the shape of a cross, lined it with a scrap piece of fabric, and placed the limp body of my fish, Goldy (what else do you name a gold fish), into it. She was buried under one of my mothers rose bushes and a rose placed on the . My brother made a cross for me.

Elephant's Child said...

I have kept Jazz n Jewel firmly away from this post. Some ideas should not find their way into their furry minds. And almost any idea planted by Liza Bean would fall into that category.

Francene Stanley said...

Mmmm. Weird. Well done with your intriguing writing.
Francene.
A - Z Challenge
http://francene-wordstitcher.blogspot.co.uk/

River said...

Tsk Tsk Liza! But at least she was quick about it, Cuddy probably didn't suffer.

Eva Gallant said...

Your posts and the comments are always entertaining! Thanks for the chuckles this morning!

jenny_o said...

Okay, I just had to come back and comment again, after a day of pondering this enigmatic post.

I think the problem is me. I just don't want to believe that Liza Bean would eat Cuddy. I'm just having trouble processing that.

And it raises so many questions. Okay, two questions.

One, how come her "fishing" arm wasn't wet up to the armpit? Or do you suspect she used a fishing net, and if so, where is it now?

And, Two - wait, that's Three, I guess - are you sure Cuddy isn't just hiding in the foliage? He might be having an existential crisis, or a bad fin day, or maybe he's on holiday in the Caribbean or in Hawaii.

HOW DO WE KNOW, HUH?!