The Corner

Pet Disclosure

I should have let the 7 Corner readers interested in this sort of thing know sooner. But the Goldbergs, too, have a new pet. His name is Buster. Though it should be Mises, or Shumpeter or Friedrich. You see, he’s a betta fish. He came with the table centerpiece at the CEI dinner I emceed a month or so ago. Fred Smith, president of CEI, always wants to serve fish at the annual dinner. The staff is tired of fish. So, they assuaged him by promising fish, only to provide it live in a vase. As, to be expected, my daughter was very excited to have a fish, for about 48 hours. Now, that free five dollar fish has cost me north of $150 in equipment, toys, food etc. (Yes, I was excited too and got carried away, buying the largest betta tank ever. Yes, I was ignorant as well, as I learned only later that Buster can’t have any tankmates, lest they have a deathwish). He’s a very pretty red fish. We like him a great deal. I’ve been surprised how much I enjoy keeping a fish. Cosmo doesn’t seem to care about him save when the whole family clusters around the tank, at which point he becomes vexed.

We are not confident he will survive our long absence this summer, even though I have taken several steps to see that he does, with timed feeders, house guests, and several other redundancies built into life support. Still, it’s nice to have him around. And, should he not make it, we will of course buy another red betta fish and call him buster too (not buster two), so as to protect my daughter from grief.

Update: From a reader:

I have been trying to convince my wife and friends for years that it

would be an absolutely BRILLIANT idea to stage betta fish fights, just

like cockfights. Lotsa’ sweaty guys standing around a big tank in the

basement of a hardware store throwing money around betting on their


We certainly wouldn’t include your fish in the activities. Unless, of

course, you think he’s got what it takes. I’m just sayin’, izall…

10,000 Quatloos on the red one! 


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