Contra small fry

My vituperations against little children are world famous. By most accounts these outbursts are second only to my Rant-Concerning-Betrothal on the tirade hit parade.

For something like a hundred years I have been explaining to the expectant and all their wannabes that for a human being to bear fruit is the single greatest act of self-denial available to we mortals. Nothing says "I give up, I couldn't figure it out, you have a shot" like a freshly severed umbilical cord. You and your partner undertake to pop one out, and it's another twenty years at least before you can again utter those terrible words: "right, where was I?" You might think I'm exaggerating, but I am deadly serious. My folks, for instance, only became interesting people again in their fifties.

I'll spare you the rest of the harangue, although those doing the family planning thing might want to send me an inquisitive email. The standard rejoinder is to wink and whisper "whatever you say, Big J, we'll have this conversation again in five years." But they've been saying this for well over a decade. See, what these people consistently fail to account for is my devastating capacity to stick to a dictum and deliver on a vow. Examples abound—collating them is an exercise left to the reader.

My argument is fundamentally sound and you know it. But even if it weren't, there is another reason I could never do the offspring thing.

Yesterday, in a window of inexplicable euphoria (fyi, I suspect there are illicit ingredients in Threshermens' choc-chip muffins, but of course that doesn't explain why I bought one—I'd never before purchased a muffin in my life)... yesterday, in a window of inexplicable euphoria, I wandered down to the Queen Vic Market and bought-and-paid-for a little tank and a couple goldfish.

I got home, toiled for an hour setting up the miniature, paradisal aquarium, and then spent the rest of the day and most of the evening watching two black, boggle-eyed fish frolicking in a glorified bucket of water.

Today at work was unbearable. I really had no idea how they would cope without the reassurance of my omniscient, benevolent gaze. Even so, I got caught up in meetings, and it was eleven whole hours before I made it home to check on them. They were still alive! I fed them, and they ate, and everything was alright.

But these are just two fish! Little, pretty stupid, piscenes. They're completely unrelated to me. I just happened to have the cash and the pique.

Anyway, the fat one is called Murk. I named the skinny one Harrow. They have a penchant for burrow-nosing. Inevitable pictographs forthcoming.

Joseph | 8 Nov 2004

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