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Big Brass Ones


October 14th 2006 9:52 am
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At one time, the biped tells me, several decades B.D., he and the bipedess were living in sin and a 30s era studio apartment in The People’s Republic of Berkeley. Right at the intersection of Shattuck Ave. and some other mainish street, the name of which the biped cannot, at the moment, recall.

It was not a living arrangement into which one would have wanted to bring a dog. Or even a cat, assuming that one (inexplicably) had some regard for the cat’s welfare.

Nevertheless, the bipeds felt the need for some sort of animal companionship. They didn’t count the German cockroaches with whom they shared the apartment. The cockroaches tended to come out only after the bipeds had turned out the lights, by which time, the bipeds had other things than animal companionship on their fevered young minds. Or maybe they didn’t. It’s a matter of definitions, I suppose. In any case, they found their little German roommates lacking as pets.

So they bought a goldfish. It is some measure of their attachment to said fish that the biped cannot now even remember the fish’s name, though the biped assures me that he had one. For ease of future reference, I shall call him Carpe Diem (which is, I believe, Latin—or possibly Vietnamese—for fish of the day).

The bipeds were actually fairly conscientious in their care of young Carpe. They fed him daily and cleaned his bowl and changed his water weekly—that sort of thing. Well, really, that’s all they did for him. I mean, come on, what else can anyone do for a fish, apart from not eating it?

And yet, despite all their care and nurturing, they came home one day to find that poor Carpe, far from having seized the day, had himself been seized by the cold and clammy hand of Death (which lasts way more than a day, I’m told). He was doing the stationary backstroke eternal and beginning to bloat up like it was the wrong time of the month—is there ever a right time of the month to give up the ghost?

In their shock and grief, the bipeds could only say “Gee, that’s too bad,” or “Huh, how about that?” or words to that effect. And then they promptly flushed poor Carpe down the toilet. Sic transit gloria pesci, Carpe Diem!

I’m sure there’s a moral in that story someplace. I’m just not sure I want to know what it is.


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