Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Curse of the Clampus Cletus

Being the responsible adult I am I decided a few months ago that I would finally take the next step in life: Owning my very own pet. Now, since I live in a dorm with about two square feet of walking space (for serious) the obvious recipient of my tender love and care was a fish and thanks to an old suitemate, Heather, I was soon the parent to a beautiful blue betta named Cletus Oglethorpe. 
Cletus is a ravishing, iridescent blue, about three and a half inches long, and lives in a small fish bowl on my desk.  My excitement and excessive affection for the little fish was, however, short lived. We began to have problems about a week after I adopted him.
 They began with his nasty case of clinical strength fish BO. Now I know betta fish have a tendency to stink up a tank fairly quickly, in fact, I've had a betta before (named scarlet fever to be exact).  However, my little Cletus has the unique ability to spread a whale sized odor throughout a perfectly clean bowl and into my suite, not just my room, but the entire suite in a matter of a week.  I have no doubt that left to his own devices, Mr. Oglethorpe's unique stench will have permeated the entire third floor and eventually all of South Hall.
Next is my issue with his questionable intelligence level.  I have reached a dilemma in deciding whether Cletus is incredibly smart or intolerably stupid.  He has spent the majority of his life running repeatedly into his small, plastic, glow-in-the-dark plant (named Ethel), getting his head stuck under his little glass pebbles, and playing dead by floating belly up at the top of his bowl.  Now I have two theories about this suspicious behavior:
 A. He could be abnormally smart and trying to escape the confines of his little fish bowl by exploring and playing dead (because all drains lead to the ocean). However, this theory does not explain the head smashing with pebbles...a scare tactic perhaps?
 B. He could be abnormally stupid and simply trying to entertain himself through self-harm and bouts of insanity followed by a lapse in his memory of how to breathe.
Now the last and most worrisome of his issues is our growing dislike for one another.  He gives me an unmistakable stink face when I look at him and I swear he has growled at me three times now. Yes. He has indeed growled.
Welcome to my life.
 Now these issues have left me with a dilemma because unfortunately I don't think it's ethical to flush a fish down the toilet on the grounds of body odor and unusual behavior. So here I am, stuck in an owner/fish relationship that neither of us are happy about. So we have made an unspoken pact to ignore one another. I feed him once a day and he doesn't growl at me leaving us with a deal we can both live with.

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