The Sad Tale of Mr. B Gourami

I have an impromptu diaper changing station in the floor of my living room.  I say impromptu because I literally just plunk her down on the floor and change her.  (As opposed to taking her to the official diaper changing station in her room, which would mean carrying her up SEVEN. WHOLE. STAIRS, and I think we can all agree that I'm not going to do that if I can possibly help it).  Plus the whole living room floor thing works because not only do I have a little canvas cart for the diapers and wipes and creams and all, but it is right next to the fish tank, which means that ZB can lay there calmly and be distracted by the fish while I change her (instead of flopping and rolling like an electrocuted alligator on methamphetamine, which is her normal modus operandi). So see? Win-win for everyone.

Anyway. Yesterday she's running around doing her thing (dumping cheerios in the floor) when I catch a whiff of a certain eau de baby poo.  And I'm all, "Calling Dr. ZB to the changing floor. Calling Dr. ZB to the changing floor STAT!" (which doesn't really make any sense because if anything, I'd be the doctor in this scenario, but ZB thinks my intercom voice is funny and I want her to get used to the idea of being called doctor since it will be up to her to take care of me in my twilight years, and I'm angling for the nice home with the brand name jello instead of the generic stuff).

But I digress.

So I lure her over to the base of the fish tank with the aforementioned interview voice and toss her (gently) on the floor.  I gave the fish a pinch of flake food so they'd be nice and active for her viewing pleasure, and got down to the business at hand.  I'd just gotten the old diaper off and was mid-wipe when something odd happened: An unidentified flying object hit me in the head.  Make that a wet unidentified flying object.  One that bounced right off of the top of my head and landed in the entry way by the front door, where it was quickly one of the fish from my fish tank.

I'm not sure who was more surprised, me or the fish.  (ZB seemed to be taking it all in stride).

Now, I had my back to the fish tank, so I can't really say 100% for sure what transpired, but my guess would be that the blue gourami, feeling both physically and emotionally blue, had become tired of the taste of slightly stale tropical fish food flakes.  So tired, it would seem, that he would come to actively detest it.  And that it just so happened that this was the straw that broke the camel's back.  After swimming excitedly to the surface, hoping for whatever it is that the sophisticated fish foodie hopes for, he was once again disappointed to find the same old crushed fish flakes AGAIN.  And filled with fishy despair, he concluded that he had nothing left to live for and dove through the one inch opening of the open lid and onto the floor below in an attempted suicide.  It probably would have been a successful plan too had his fall not been softened by my hair (ewwwww! Fish hair! Gross!) and had I not immediately (well, almost immediately...I had to slap a quick diaper on ZB before letting her go) scooped him up and dumped him back into the tank.

(Of course, I suppose that technically it doesn't have to be suicide.  It could have been attempted fish murder for all I know.  For it is true that the blue gourami has been occasionally known to defend his corner of the tank (home to his favorite plastic plant) by chasing off interlopers.  And sometimes these chases involve a nipped fin or two.  So it is possible that someone or someones felt that blue gourami had gone a little too far with that last tail nip, and that something had to be done.  They could have waited until my back was turned and the other fish were distracted by the food, and then floop! they grabbed the unsuspecting blue gourami and heaved him out of the tank.  An almost fool-proof plan too had it not been for the unfortunate head bounce and my benevolent nature.  There is that, I suppose).

Either way, after a few seconds of flopping around on the floor while I speed-diapered a baby and grabbed a fish net, the blue gorami was returned to the tank, none the worse for wear.  (Except for maybe a few brain cells lost due to near-suffocation, but I am not really counting that because c'mon, he's a fish! How many brain cells does a fish really need?)  And before you start feeling bad for the stupid brain-dead fish, know that when I put some flakes in the tank for their evening meal, he went right to the flakes and ate with great gusto just like all the other fish.  So apparently the area most damaged was his taste receptors, because now he loves the flakes.  And since there was no way he was ever going to get anything other than flake food, this is a very good thing indeed.

Ever since "the incident", I've had this amazing craving for freeze dried fish flakes!