The Saga of Professor Ballard’s Suicide Attempt or Better Luck Next Time, You Aquatic Bastard

So, my dear galleons, as I went to Tweet it up about receiving my Ingrid Michaelson ticket today (…I’m only a little bit excited), I started a bit detailing that, upon grabbing said ticket out of the mailbox, I proceeded to gleefully sing the “Golden Ticket” song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (I know a disturbing amount of the lyrics to this particular ditty despite the fact that I’ve hated the movie something fierce since I first saw it) to my fish.

Unfortunately, the last message I left in the Twitterverse about my fish involved him being dead. So, either I have completely lost my shit (which is likely enough) and am keeping a dead fish around as company, or there was more to the story than I had let on.

The latter is the case (I haven’t completely broken with reality yet). And so, I decided to share with you, my dearest galleons, the emotional rollercoaster that was the events pre- and post-Tweet.


It all began in the usual fashion. It had been a week since his bowl was last cleaned, and Professor Ballard’s home was starting to get rather grungy. So, I plucked it off the table in the living room where it normally resides and hauled it into the kitchen for a scrub down. The Professor and I went through the normal song-and-dance routine of him flitting around the bowl in terror as I removed all the decor. I filled up his cup (because the idea of using a cup my disgusting fish has been in, even if it has been thoroughly washed, makes me want to vomit non-stop for three months, my fish has been given his very own cup for Cleaning Day), grabbed the net, and proceeded to stalk him around his bowl until he was trapped in the insidious green device.

During net-to-cup transfer, The Professor managed to twist, flop, and somehow contort himself so that he could leap at previously unseen angles from the net to the cup to the sink, despite the net covering 98% of the top of said cup.

So, there he is, my stubborn dick of a fish, flopping around in my sink while I freak the fuck out. I’m keening, making these horrible screeching, wailing cries as I alternate between trying to gently (so as not to hurt him) scoop him back into the water and splashing a little water on him in the hope that it will prevent him from suffocating in the harsh, dry air of this non-watery world.

Somehow, I did manage to get Professor Ballard back into his stupid cup. He spazzed out upon being back in the water (whether from rage at me thwarting his end or joy at being able to breathe again or some combination of the two), then slowed way down. At this point, I’m crying, because I am a woman and am strangely attached to this creature that hates me (which I think is probably true of 99% of my relationships). Sniffling and roughly swiping the tears from my eyes, I try to examine the fish for evidence of trauma.

And oh, was there evidence. He seemed to be down his right fin, from which a stringy bit trailed. At the end of the stringy bit was a red lump that looked like it just had to be a vital organ (for the record, I know nothing of fish anatomy, but that looked like a heart or a spleen or some fishy organ I don’t know about but is crucial to their little lives).

There was no way he was surviving this.

In fact, as I watched, he slowly slid upward, turning onto his side. Just floating there at the top of the cup. Not moving.

It was at this point that I Tweeted:

My fish just killed himself. I inspire aquatic life to suicide. This is who I am.

The rest of the story, however, never made it to Twitland.

After morosely Stumbling for a few minutes, I decided to get up and take care of the problem. However, upon getting over there, I couldn’t bear to look in the cup. Instead, I finished cleaning the bowl, got it all set up again, filled it with water, added the purifying drops, and put it back in the living room. I figured that, after disposing of The Professor’s little body, I’d go to the store and get a new fish.

I have a fairly short mourning period.

But when I looked in the cup, I saw The Professor swimming around. True, it was some awkward-ass swimming, what with the missing fin and all, and I could tell he was getting pretty pissed at the fact that he slowly floated onto his side the moment he stopped swimming around (all of which was rather hilarious, by the way… I’m a bad person), but he was still hanging in there.

That stubborn bastard refused to die unless it was on his terms. I respected the crap out of that, and carefully transferred him back into his home. Maybe he wouldn’t survive long, but I was willing to take the chance.

Just a day later, he was at full mobility. And I mean full mobility. Despite the fact that I saw the ragged scraps where his right fin used to be, he now has two whole, working fins. In fact, he’s acting as if nothing happened.

What. The. Fuck.

There are some lingering psychological effects. It was Cleaning Day again today, and there was some legitimate fear the moment that net lowered into the bowl. Still, we managed to get through it, and my life continues on, as does The Professor’s.

Which I’m sure has him thoroughly pissed.

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