Fishy Death of the Avengers

Pets. We’ve never really done pets. See, my wife’s not an animal lover.

When I was growing up, there were always animals; in Sumatra we often looked after Orang-Utans or Siamangs or Gibbons to help out WWF friends. We had rabbits and guinea pigs and birds and cats and god knows what else. In Brazil we had a dog who came back to UK with us. We had chickens, too, and the occasional sloth or armadillo that might have wandered into the clearing and needed some help getting back into the forest. There were all the unwanted critters too – the spiders and snakes and bugs.

The Smith Avengers

Not here, though. Uh-uh. No way.

But children . . . y’know how persistent they can be. It was a ‘no’ to the dog (are you gonna walk it in the rain, pay for the vet bills and scoop its turds?) and it was even ‘no’ to the hamster but, well, the children finally went for the last option. ‘What about fish?’

Ah fish. Well, you can’t say ‘no’ to everything can you? And they have to learn how to take care of something, right?

Well, all I can say is, it’s a bloody good job we didn’t go for the puppy, ’cause they’d be sending someone round to take us away. If we went through puppies at the rate we’ve gone through fish . . .


The actual Avengers

So we bought a tank for – What? It costs HOW MUCH?! And then there’s the filter and the heater and the gravel and the plants and the ornaments – gotta have ornaments, right? And then we let it cycle for a week before having the water checked and being officially allowed to take some guppies home. Very pretty they were too.

And we sat back and relaxed and watched the lovely colourful fish swim around and cluster at the top of the tank and slow down and sink and . . . wait. Are they supposed to lie at the bottom upside down with their tiny mouths open? Within 48 hrs four of the five were dead. I’m guessing that 20% survival rate is not good.

As caring parents, we were worried the children would be upset. They had given the fish names and everything. Named them after Marvel’s Avengers, in fact, and Hulk was the first to die.

But you know what? Their only concern was who was going to get to flush them down the toilet.

What kind of monsters have we created?




18 thoughts on “Fishy Death of the Avengers

  1. Haha! Love it. I have wasted hundreds over the years on fish. Then I admitted defeat and gave up on them. (Guppies are no puppies.)

    Then I made a horrific mistake. I thought “I have all the equipment already, why not buy something more hardy? I know, I’ll buy a couple of terrapins!” They were quite cute in a swimmy-reptile way. And they fit into the tank without any problem, they were the size of 50p coins, paddling away. Loads of space. Cute and fun.

    After buying them, I bought a book on how to look after them. Yep, I know, tail wagging dog, horse before cart, arse/elbow mixup. The book told me this:

    – they grow to 12 inches in length
    – when full grown they require a 400-litre tank minimum
    – regular water changes
    – they require special paraphernalia like UV lights
    – a special diet
    – and this was the kicker…. they live for about 35 years.

    So I will be well into my mid-70s when these critters go to the big tank in the sky.

    My kitchen is now mostly taken up by a monster of a tank, and the kids no longer bother looking at them. Sigh.

    • Aww, man, that made me laugh. So no one in the shop let you in on the secret before you bought them? They were probably glad to be rid of them! Actually, I have a vague recollection ofr someone having terrapins when we were at school – wasn’t you was it? I do remember that we had a savage gerbil called Arnie, though. He was the Terminator of gerbils. He and his mate had babies and then ate them over the course of a weekend . . .

    • I know, those poor little guppies. Only one survived. The man in the pet shop couldn’t think of an explanation so replaced them with some hardier fish which are now being bullied by the remaining guppy!

  2. It’s Hawkeye – the one no-one’s heard of! And although Hulk was the first to sink to the bottom and turn over, we have a new Hulk who, as it turns out is a She-Hulk judging by the increasing size of her stomach. We’re expecting baby fishies.

  3. What kind of fish are your new ones? I am laughing at the fact Hawkeye survived – Fiona (@orioncards) is in love with Hawkeye hahahahahaha.

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