Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Death of Budzilla, Queen of the Salt Water Desert

Let me tell you about Pennywise the Killer Clownfish I have in my salt water tank! Yes, let me tell you about the bad seed fish I purchased.

My aquarium was such a lovely and relaxing place. The hermit crab (Erikus Maximus Crabulosis – that’s a whole other story) minded his own business. The snails (Jack and Daniels) inched their way along the sides of the aquarium. And, Budzilla Queen of the Salt Water Desert (my cleaner shrimp – named after our friend Bud and the movie Priscilla, Queen of the Desert) frolicked all over the aquarium. Life was good.

Then, I added Pennywise (though, in my defense, I had no idea I had purchased a serial killer clown fish with a taste for fresh shrimp). Yes, I see, you're beginning to get the picture.

All Budzilla wanted to do was her job - clean the new fish. She tried and tried, and Pennywise (lulling his victim into a false sense of security) allowed the delicate ministrations. Oh, but that was all an act on Pennywise's (the killer clown from Stephen King's It, just in case you're wondering) part. Soon, Pennywise began to chase poor Budzilla all over the aquarium.

Still, I held hope for peace in the deep sea.

All the internet blogs said that clownfish could be aggressive toward other fish, but not to the poor Budzilla's of the ocean deep. Well, the blogs lied!

I came home Tuesday night and found that Pennywise had brutally attacked poor Budzilla and ripped her in two. Yes, poor, delicate, generous Budzilla met an untimely end. I was, of course, devastated. My devastation turned to horror when Pennywise realized I knew what he had done while I was away at work. Did Pennywise show remorse? Did he go and hide in the rocks? Did he beg for forgiveness? Oh, no, that would not be befitting of a serial killer. Pennywise swam over, picked up one half of poor, generous Budzilla, looked directly at me, and then (like a dog with a toy) shook his head - Budzilla firmly clamped in his jaws - back and forth, laughing his evil little laugh all the time.

Pennywise knew what he had done and was quite proud of himself.

Flash forward to yesterday morning. Pennywise is still proud. He sees me looking at him and - yes, the audacity of dear Pennywise is quite amazing - he swims leisurely around the tank, picks up Budzilla's legs and (again, like a dog with a toy) looks at me and shakes his head back and forth. Well, dear Pennywise almost took a vacation - an extended vacation I might add - right then and there, down the swirly water event known as the toilet. But no, I'm too softhearted - unlike the vicious killer in my salt water tank - to do such a horrible thing. I called the fish store yesterday and they agreed to take Pennywise back since I'd only had him a week.

My tank will soon be occupied by a new cleaner shrimp and other crustacean/invertebrate type critters. I have sworn off fish for my tank. The shrimp are too dang cute and quite funny at that. It will - hopefully - be a gentler aquarium once Pennywise is gone. I swear, that fish knew what he had done. You could see it in his eyes.

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