Joanne’s gold fish, Betty, passed away a couple of weeks ago. I didn’t know Betty very well, but I am sure she was special to someone.
I first met Betty one Monday, when I visited Joanne for lunch. Betty floated in the middle of her large bowl, familiarising herself with her new surroundings. The forceful removal from her previous tank had obviously been traumatising. The transportation from the pet shop in a plastic bag must have been a real eye opener. She set up home in a large bowl on Joanne’s coffee table, where she eventually floated lifelessly.
I wasn’t too taken with Betty at first. She did nothing but stare out from her bowl. I guessed her life span would be short. She deemed a nonchalant attitude as de rigueur. She didn’t eat or sleep. She merely floated, opening her mouth in a glugging motion over and over. One evening, a couple of weeks later, I was again in Joanne’s apartment. I was chatting away when I noticed movement in the gold fish bow. Betty was swimming around like a fish on acid. “She’s alive,” I cheered in excitement.
Joanne arrived home one evening to find Betty doing the side stroke in her bowl. This took us by surprise since she seemed to have settled into her new home. Betty was taken from us just as we came to like her. After the wake and an adequate mourning period, we gave her a dignified funeral. Joanne salvaged an old jewellery box from her depths of her junk box. In it she did place Betty’s remains and bury her in the communal flower bed of the apartment block.
Betty will forever live on in our memory as the crap goldfish that didn’t really do much. The goldfish on whom a perfectly good jewellery box was wasted. I hope her replacement, Gordon, proves himself more than she ever did.