The Boyfriend Forgives a Fish

The Boyfriend and I went to Nightlife at the California Academy of Sciences last week for a friend’s birthday.  Nightlife is an opportunity for grown-ups to look at caged flora and fauna on Thursday evenings with lots of cocktails and no children.  We were drinking in the aquarium when the Boyfriend spotted a fish with its mouth hanging open.

The Boyfriend walked over to the glass and jabbed his finger at a foot-long beige and brown fish. “Look at this guy.  Just look at him.  His mouth is just hanging open.  He looks terrible.  All the other fish have their mouths closed, and this guy’s just like, ‘Bleeeeehhhhhg.’”

“He’s a fish,” I told him.  “He doesn’t know what he looks like.”

“But look at him.  Why can’t he be respectable like all the other fish?”

“He doesn’t have a mirror.”

“Doesn’t he know to keep his ugly mouth shut?  What’s wrong with him?”

“He can’t help it.”

“And look at his tongue.  It’s just out there.  It’s unacceptable.”

We stood and stared at the offending non-conformist.  I noticed that he wobbled when he swam.

“I think he’s sick,” I said.  “Look.  He can’t even move his fins at the same time.”


“He can’t even swim right.  He’s like struggling to breathe.”


“He’s not healthy.”

“If you say so.”

“Fish do that when they’re going to die.”

The Boyfriend squinted at the glass.

“I know because I used to have lots of goldfish, and they all died like that.”

“My pet goldfish Bullwinkle George used to do that until my mom changed his water.  Then he’d get better.”

“You can save a fish after it starts wobbling?” I asked.

“Yeah, he wobbled because he didn’t have enough oxygen.”

“Poor Bullwinkle George.”

“Poor Bullwinkle George.”

We watched the fish wobble some more.

“We should tell somebody about this guy,” I said finally, looking around.


“Is there a picture of his species on the wall or something?  Who do we talk to?”

“I don’t know.  Poor guy.”  The Boyfriend stared at the fish, lost in sympathy.

“See, I told you he was sick.”

“Poor fish.  Now I feel bad for giving him a hard time.”

“He’ll get over it.”

“He can’t even move his fins.  He’s probably old too.”

“Yeah he’s gonna die.”

“Poor fish.”


We never figured out the name of the fish, but it looked something like this:

About awesomebitch

Intolerant, elitist, and awesome.
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