The Internet has really changed life on earth. It used to be when you had a decision to make — a big purchase to make or a relationship to choose a path for — you’d ask your parents, closest friends, the old guy in the rocking chair at Cracker Barrel. And if you really didn’t have anybody, you’d ask your dog or goldfish or composition-notebook diary.

Now tons of poor-grammared advice is at your fingertips. Everyone has something to say, and you can listen to as much of their advice or as little as you want. And never even know who they are.

This morning I woke up and my goldfish was having a bad day. I fed him and he came to the top for food, and then sank to the bottom, his belly resting on the tank gravel. I turned on the bubble-blower tube, which usually excites him because it makes a current he can swim against, but the bubbles made him tumble and knock against the side of the glass, like a rag doll.

I changed his water, to no avail. Still settling on the bottom, staring at me unblinkingly. Do fish get depressed? Could he be constipated, and his backed-up poop is weighing him down? Maybe he’s just tired of swimming. People sit down after walking a long ways. Maybe fish want to relax sometimes, too?

I did a Google search. Turns out fish do get depressed, but not usually because of some crisis of their existence. They tend to understand that they exist to eat fish food and be stared at daily. And swim. They get depressed from losing a loved one. But my fish is a determined bachelor; he’s never loved and lost.

Fish also get constipated. Feeding them peeled peas helps loosen them up.

Fish do get tired, but not from working out too much. They get tired after fighting infection or fighting to breathe in stale water. So maybe my fish is sick. Sad day.

I’m going to Petsmart after work for some advice, and maybe new fish toys or a filter. And someone said a gravel vacuum, for sucking fish poo out of the rocks at the bottom of the tank. Maybe a heater for the water? Maybe I’ll get him a happy orange, finned companion. Maybe they’ll fall in love and hold fins. Do fish have sex?

Google search: Turns out they don’t. When it’s time to make babies, everyone sprays their reproductive products into the water, and some of the products match up and make fertilized eggs. Man, fish have sad lives.


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