Manila Bulletin Publishing Corp

Aqua Basics

Driving back home, you are filled with excitement once again. Whenever you encounter a stoplight, you peek inside the plastic bag to check on your latest Fish. The traffic does not even annoy you because it won’t spoil your day. No, not today. You just got your Fish and you are eager to release him in his new home. It is such a wonderful day. You are on the way home with a new Fish and nothing will spoil your day. Once home, you follow the acclimatization process that has always worked wonders for you. You float the bag for 15 minutes. Then the moment you’ve always wanted: It’s time to release the fish! Except that you can’t. You pull with all your strength but the rubber bands won’t come off! Try a second time, but still nothing happens. From someone excited, you are fast becoming a frustrated beast. Why in the world did that shopkeeper tie the plastic bag ever so tightly? Why do shopkeepers have the biggest biceps in the world that they bind the plastic bags with all their might? The rubber bands are so tight, no mortal can untie the bag. It just does not make sense. In my many years of taking care of Fishes, I have not encountered a Fish escaping from the plastic bag the way Harry Houdini would escape a tank of water! A Fish may puncture the plastic bag with dorsal or pectoral spines, teeth, or even thorny spikes and armor plates like with some Catfishes, but he can never escape from the plastic bag because he has untied the rubber bands… That will never happen! Even if the bag were not bound as tightly, the Fish in the bag still cannot escape. This is totally absurd. You are so excited to release this Fish, but you can’t.