PROLOGUE: when i was very very little--maybe four or five--my parents finally gave in under the combined weight of 3 sisters begging to have pets. we had never had any pets in my house before, because my mom didn't believe in them. so when we finally pulled up to the pink shopping plaza that's a pretty long drive away from the house, the one out on brown deer road where they now have the Olde Country Buffet and the Verlo mattress store and the Half-Price Books, we were ready to take on the goldfish challenge. we bought 20 feeder goldfish or some other equally enormous amount, probably because feeder goldfish come 10 for a dollar and my mom knew that there would be casualties.
We put them in a gigantic fishbowl with strands of elodea. My older sister adopted a particular one and named it Sydney Carton and put it in a seperate bowl after the character in A Tale of 2 Cities. In fact, we named almost all the fish after characters in that book. Sydney died after cutting open one of his gills on the bowl's decorative element, a ceramic rose.
The only goldfish that lived was Geoffrey Cruncher, a big fat orange common feeder goldfish, and Geoffrey lived for a good 3 or 4 years. He liked to listen to the vibrations when classical music was played on the piano in the living room.
So, in order of ownership, from oldest-newest:
*(I named him after the TV network and I wrote a whole sad poem & picture about him in first grade when he died. I even cried on my desk. It was a bad day for me, that day: Nickelodeon had died and i had just gotten my first pair of awful, plastic-framed glasses that made me look like a 90-year-old child).
Pearlscale & Buttons
*(we got pearlscale and his buddy buttons at the local Ben Franklin's, a store which I firmly believe should be part of the rights of every child to visit. They looked like this and were so tiny--the size of pennies! I loved them to bits. unfortunately they died after 2 weeks).
*(Andre was gotten at the Ben Franklin store too--he was only 2 inches or so when we got him, but he was a Fantail and he was much prettier than the fish in that link I just provided--a glorious, even FANTA orange with lovely shiny scales. He lived for a really long time because we got him a nice small tank with a filter & plants, and a little tiny jaguar catfish buddy that we named "inigo" so they'd be buddies like in THE PRINCESS BRIDE...right? anyways, Andre was very intelligent: he'd watch for when someone came to work at the Compaq Presario, and he'd start spitting out gravel at the wall of his tank until you fed him some Tetra pellets. We found out he was really a she when one morning there were eggs all over the inside of the tank (???)...it was weird. Andre got to be really big & beautiful--4.5 inches, probably--and was okay until we went to vacation in Italy one summer and our next door neighbour was babysitting our pets and we came back and Andre was dead. Inigo outlived him/her).
Zoomer & Ron
(These were both comet goldfish that people at my highschool were using for a sadistic experiment in biology, in which you'd put the poor goldfish in a piece of wet cotton wadding to keep it alive and then put its tail fin under the microscope to observe the effects when you'd put droplets of caffeine extract on the tail. I rescued them and put them in my nice 10 gallon tank, and I liked them both so much).
I love goldfish, I really want to get one someday. Possibly soon.
Maybe that's why I do my campus cartoon about an imaginary goldfish?