November 23, 2014, by James

Doc & Chips

Today I learnt the proper way to euthanise a fish.

It’s fine, I’m not a psychopath. I just have an odd housemate. He runs a fish hospital in our living room. It’s as crazy as it sounds, he has everything: quarantine procedures, treatment routines and books comprised entirely of Latin words that translate to ‘something’s gone terribly, terribly wrong’.

Within it he attempts to out-perform Jesus at fish based miracles. Sometimes he succeeds, most of the time he’s too late, either way I have seen some amazing things. I have seen fish return from the dead, I’ve seen a fish’s tail rot away completely and then grow back. I have seen a fish with a malfunctioning swim bladder – it could only swim upside down, and it was hilarious.

I used to watch my flatmate but not get involved. I was worried I’d do something wrong, maybe I’d accidently release a plague on Nottingham, something far more aquatic than the current Ocean Fever (Pestilis Baywatchis). Then my flatmate went on a field trip and I was put in charge. It has not been going swimmingly. It started with an ammonia spike that forced me to make three pretty major water changes, and then… Buck.

Buck was one of my favourite fish. He looked like a hammerhead shark that’d been overinflated and then shrunk to 2 inches in length, and, much like my year nine girlfriend, he was very cute in a goggle-eyed terror from the deep kind of way. Buck had Fin Rot, a disease that does exactly as it sounds; before I took over he had been yo-yoing between certain death and youthful exuberance with the regularity of the number thirty-four bus. Then he went downhill pretty quickly and it soon became obvious that he wasn’t going to make it. Poor Buck.

Here’s how it went down:
1. I placed Buck in a small jar filled with tank water.
2. I added one drop of Clove Oil, a low strength anaesthetic (and excellent seasoning), to the fish tank. This knocked him out.
3. I added vodka up to a quarter of the tank’s size before following maritime tradition: saluting the fallen with a quarter sized vodka of my own.
4. I found a classics student.
5. I used the classics student to make the proper arrangements with Poseidon.
6. I said my final farewell.



29/09/2014 – 12/10/2014
“Dorme con i pesci”
(He sleeps with the fishes)

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