Something Smells Fishy Here

We’ve had our fair share of goldfish. Most of them were won at a local fairs and carnivals so I could understand if they may not have been the healthiest fish in the world. However, I’ve had friends who’ve had pet goldfish like mine that lasted for a dozen years (the fish, not the friends), so maybe it’s not the fish… maybe it’s us.

Either way, we haven’t had the best luck with fish to the point where I was afraid if my kid told someone we were on our 11th goldfish in as many months, they would call the fish police on us and they would take away our tank, our air filter, and our goldfish license. (Yes, there is such a thing, but most people own a goldfish without having a license because the length of the license usually outlasts the life of the fish.)

Unlike most people who come up with new names for all their fish, we named all our goldfish “Larry,” because the first one looked like a Larry and all the ones after him looked exactly the same, so we named them all Larry, too. This was never really a problem for us until the handyman came to fix our dishwasher and noticed the fish. When he asked what the fish’s name was, I said, “Larry.”

Sign Up for E-News

“Oh, my name is Larry, too,” he replied.

“He’s actually our 11th Larry,” I said.

“What happened to the first 10,” he wondered.

“They didn’t make it,” I replied.

And with that, handyman Larry packed up his tools and left, figuring it wasn’t safe to be in our house if your name is Larry.

While all of this may make it sound like I’ve been a bit cavalier about the death of our fishes, in reality, that is not the case. We are all very sad when another one of our fishes pass, especially because it usually happens quickly and without warning, giving us no time to mentally prepare for the loss. It’s actually kind of amazing how attached you can get to a fish in only a month, especially if you have taught it little tricks like “fetch” and “roll over.”

Anyway, we finally decided it would help us enormously if we could detect some early signs that the fish was not doing well. So we made a list of warning signs to help us spot a doomed fish.

How to Tell If Your Fish Is Not Going to Make It:

1. It is swimming in circles, upside down or sideways, on the top of the tank, or NOT swimming upside down or sideways, on the top of the tank;

2. Someone has written “help” in algae on the inside of the bowl;

3. The other fish have taken up a collection for the memorial service;

4. Your fish gets dropped by his life insurance company; or

5. Your dog is waiting patiently by the toilet bowl in case you miss the drop.

Lastly, and most obviously, your fish is probably not going to make it if his name is Larry.

Become a fan of Lost in Suburbia on Facebook at and on twitter at

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Here's What You Missed Last Week

Last week, the Daily News ran a headline, “When is our father coming home?” This dealt with a person here illegally, married to an American woman with a family, who was arrested at an Army base while delivering pizza. You are supposed to think that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under Trump, is tearing families apart. As usual, it was a crock of cow pies. It was ...

Watergate Analogies Apply to Obama, Not Trump

My liberal counterpart in this publication is about my age. Maybe I am the baby of the group, but we all have had the same seminal experiences of our youth: Vietnam, the civil rights movement and Watergate. These are what shaped our political perspectives.

Looking back, maybe, just maybe those who thought Nixon was really deserving of his fate cannot be faulted for thinking so. It was once ...

Reagan on Trump

The party of “Honest Abe” has now become the party of Dishonest Don, and what follows are some disturbing displays of a Republican Party that has become devoid of conscience:

• More than 4,600 American citizens dead in Puerto Rico—a postscript to the government’s abysmal response to the widespread devastation of Hurricane Maria; 
• The underhanded ...

The Rich Get Richer, and We’re Paying For It

According to a Harvard University study published late last year, most Americans believe that the richest 20 percent of Americans own just half of the nation’s wealth. Wrong! The top 20 percent own 93 percent of the nation’s wealth, and the top 1 percent own 40 percent of that wealth. Additionally, the top 10 percent of earners in 2017 took home more than half the nation’s ...

Competing—Against Yourself

This is the time of year when students are recognized at public ceremonies for notable achievements in their studies, their sports and in their extracurricular pursuits.

Where we live, there are awards in various sports that are named for our son, who also is memorialized by town ballfield Harrison Apar Field of Dreams and a charitable foundation of the same name.

Due to a rare dwarfism, ...

Honoring Our Veterans’ Freedom of Speech

Memorial Day is over, but writing about America’s veterans doesn’t have an expiration date.

My dad, George, was as proud a veteran as you’d meet. He served in the Army in World War II and loved our country no less than the next veteran. I am proud of him, as is my brother, Robert, who served in the Air Force.

Growing up, the one vacation we took each year was spent with ...

I Come from the Land Down Under

I know this is a family column, so I’m going to put this in as delicate terms as possible.

This morning I woke up and I knew, as sure as the sun shines over Bora Bora, that something was very, very wrong in that place in my body where the Bora Bora sun doesn’t shine.

It’s that place I used to refer to my daughter as her hoo-hoo. But it certainly wasn’t a happy ...

Mouthing Off

When I went for oral surgery last spring, the doctor told me he could only do one half of my mouth that day or I wouldn’t be able to eat for two weeks. Considering it was almost bathing suit season, I didn’t think that was necessarily a bad thing. But he convinced me otherwise, and told me if I was really gung ho about getting it all done, I could come back in a month or so to have ...

Upcoming Events


Wed, June 27, 9:00 AM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

PCDOH Free HIV Testing Day

Health & Wellness