One of my favorite episodes of The Cosby Show was when Rudy’s goldfish dies. The entire family dresses up for the funeral, and, as they are all gathered solemnly around the toilet, Rudy asks if she can go watch TV instead of attending the funeral she insisted they have for the fish.
Today we had our own version of this episode. The events started last night when I did a double-take as I passed the fish tank if Robbie’s room. It took a few minutes for me to realize what had happened. But, after my eyes recovered from the bright orange of the water, I realized what had happened. Robbie had fed his fish. The entire canister. Every last flake. The tank looked like it had been hit by an epic snow storm. Even the firetruck was up to its windshield in flakes.
Concerned about the welfare of the fish, I took the tank downstairs with me after Robbie went to bed. The fish went into a glass on the counter with as little of the sludge as I could manage. I painstakingly sorted through the gravel and decomposing fish flakes. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any water treatment, so the fish had to spend the night in the glass.
As soon as we got home this afternoon, Robbie raced to the kitchen to check on his fish. He was no more. The sludge had claimed him. So, we opted for a burial at sea. Robbie and I headed to the bathroom, glass and fish in hand. Robbie helped me pour the glass into the toilet. He said a few words about what a good fish he had been and then looked to me. I asked Robbie if he wanted to say a quick prayer, and he nodded his head and folded his hands.
“God is great; God is…” Then it occurred to him that we weren’t eating. He looked up a little confused and unsure of what to do. We managed to finish the prayer together, and then it was time to flush.
We tried to do it together (the handle sticks a little). Unfortunately, it took two tries to get the fish all the way down, which may have been a little traumatic for Robbie… And me. I loved that fish…