We had a little betta fish. His name was Midnight, and my daughter loved him. He died. She was crushed, and to be honest, she laughed at first because she didn't understand what death is.

I took him out and buried him by a little stream, in the cool and the shade where the ants promptly ate him. I didn't tell her that part. Because I'm not a complete dick.

She was heartbroken and needed another fish, stat, so we began the hunt for a new fishie. You know how these things go.

We tried to do it the normal way and I guess the "normal" way involved mail order. They're really fast about it, no worries there, but we discovered that the fish was still in Thailand. That takes a bit of explaining to a little one used to the concept of instant gratification. It died there. The second one developed a tumor. The third got lost.

We got our money back.

Then we had one sent from Virginia. He's awesome. His name is Neptune. Then Momma wanted her own little fishie and the runarounds started again. She ordered from Petco. You know, where the pets go. I know I just called them out. You'll see why in a minute.

So we got the jerk around again, with several excuses of why they couldn't send him just yet, and we canceled our order and got our money back. It was time to take a drive and get one where we could see it and nobody could come up with a good reason to deny us.

A two-hour drive later, we had another pretty little boy named Rollo. Yes, Clive Standen, a fish has been named in your character's honor. And if you saw the little guy, you'd probably approve. I'm waiting for the little rascal to storm France.

Everybody's happy.

I go to the mail office to pick up a parcel I'm expecting, and the mail lady absentmindedly tosses me a box. I'm not thinking anything of it until I see the green label that sends a shock through my system:


WTAF? I realize at that moment that I have an actual life in my hands that I don't know what to do with. I also understand that no way in hell am I putting the little creature through any more trips.

The poor little guy was scared shitless. Luckily we had a spare temporary tank to put him in.

I'm keeping him.

His name is Leo, for lepidolite, because that stone is supposed to calm anxiety, and believe me, he was anything but calm for that first day. After all, I understand that you're supposed to name for the desired outcome, not the current state. That's what saved him from the suggested name of Spazz.

"Today has been a bunch of total bullshit."
"Whatevs, Petco. I'm cool now."

After a few days, he's calmed down and seems quite pleased with his new environment. He also keeps an open eye on the five-gallon tank I bought him.

Lil dude knows what's up.