Shaken, Not Stirred: Billy.

October 23, 2016
Jim Bond

Jim Bond

Shaken, Not Stirred: Billy.


A blog by Jim Bond.

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Billy entered my home in August, 2015. He was the result of some little carnival game at the Western Michigan Fair. I took my young son Nelson.

I have always paid for the ‘Day Band’ for my children at carnivals throughout the years, with the warning that extra expenditures will be limited, except for food.

“Whatsa matter Grandpa, afraid you can’t shoot the duck?” just irritates me. First, I’m the DAD. It was so when my eldest Thomas was 5 and I was 50. It is still so now that Nelson is 7 and I am…well, almost 20 years older.

But I understand. How could these barkers know any different when they are 20 and already the father of two children.

But back to Billy.

Nelson really wanted me to enter the contest on ‘Carnie Row’.

So I did.

And won a goldfish, which I had to carry around for several hours in a sealed plastic bag in the blazing heat. Which, I did. I knew the little fishy wouldn’t dehydrate, but thought I might.

The drive home was uneventful, the little goldfish swimming merrily in the front seat while Nelson sat in the back, peppering me with questions.

“When are we getting fish food? Do we have a tank? Won’t he be lonely? Why didn’t you get another one?”

A stop at Rite-Aid solved the first issue with the purchase of ‘Poissons Rougets”. FRENCH! Stinking fish will eat better than I do…ingredients include wheat germ, fish oil, vitamins, and mineral supplements. It cost me about five bucks as I recall. Plus another five bucks for a temporary plastic tank which leaked. Ten dollars for a free fish.

So, Sunday morning dawned and Nelson was worried about Billy being lonely. Off to the local super-store to purchase a roomie…who died within hours.

Monday sent me back to the same store with a corpse and a receipt. Purchased another roommate (well, ‘exchanged’ might be more accurate.

After the replacement died (and I had figured the amount of money spent for gasoline) I determined that enough, was enough. Billy now had a glass bowl and some décor. I posited he was a bully who tormented his own kind, and just wanted to live the single life.

I understand that. I feel the same way.

So now it’s over a year later. I’ve gotten grayer and lost some more hair, but Billy is thriving. He glistens in the sunlight with youthful vigor.

I’m noticing however, that as he approaches middle age, he’s become affectionate. Well, affectionate’ is probably not the right term, but upon my return from several hours’ absence, he perks up. He starts a quick Michael Phelps-esq dash around the bowl as if glad to see me.

So we chat for awhile. Then we return to our solitary lives…the way all good roommates should.

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