Memoirs Of A Fish Caretaker – Part 2

To read Part 1 click here.

One of the scientists in the lab spoke of the history of the fish, how the cichlids got to the lab in Palo Alto, California all the way from Lake Tanganyka in Africa.  He was a big man from Germany with a thick accent. which i have tried to do justice.

” Twenty-three years ago zee fish were captured from a thousand-mile lake in Africa. Four countries border it. Two you shouldn’t visit unless you don’t mind a slit neck. It iz a dangerous place. Not counting zee murderers vit guns, there are three very real dangers. The first is the hippopotamus. Zey vill not rest if they feel threatened. It iz lucky they are easy to spot. Zey are very rude and constantly burp and fart. Zhere are twenty-foot crocodiles that move much quicker than any creature that size should. You have to svim vithout splashing or the crocodiles could confuse your little feet for fish. The third danger iz the water cobra. They svim like eels and carry enough venom to knock out a hippo. But it iz a safe lake compared to its cousins in Africa. In ze other lakes that are not as deep there are parasites that will tear you a new asshole. Does it sound like a place you vould like to visit?”

I laughed because I was sure he was joking. As I went home I imagined how good it would be to push myself to my limit in an area of the universe where I had no right to be. I wondered how those little fish could survive all these monsters and how benevolent they must see humans as being. But then I remembered these fish along with their fathers, grandfathers, and great-great-grandfathers were born on the fifth floor of the psychology building. These privileged children knew nothing about the harsh realities of Mother Africa.

The next morning I hinted to the scientist that I was interested in joining his expedition. I was already scheming how I would convince him to sneak the prostitute along. But I had gotten ahead of myself. He quickly reversed his offer and it became apparent that he was a king of empty promises.

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