Friday, March 31, 2006

I can't grow squat

... everything I touch DIES. Every. Damn. Thing.

We planted some tomato seeds and they grew like they were on steroids - hundreds of them - everywhere. As soon as I try to pot them? Instant death. I even managed to drop the damn pot ensuring any survivers were well and truly done for.

We planted some strawberry seeds and they are fussy. Got nothing for weeks until three teeny tiny seedlings popped up. Now, only having three you'd think I'd treasure them - but I forgot to water them and one died - the other two were hanging over the edge of the pot begging for water from passing insects. I saw them just in time and watered them, and as we all know plants just *love* to be dowsed in water so hard that mud splatters out of the pot and their 'ickle leaves flatten and wither. Hm.

Grass. Even grass under my loving care dies. I need to re-pot the pot garden. And you think I am exagerating view, if you will, photographic evidence:



Yes, people. I am so bad at gardening that not only do plants die before my very eyes they actually implode in on themselves before kicking the bucket.

Now, given my track record you'd be wondering what I was doing at Notcutts garden centre today? As well as looking for the unkillable plant (it was cactus and something made of plastic) I also thought it would be nice to get Boss a pet fish. The benefits of pet fish cannot be innumerated enough 1) Boss really into animals right now, whales and aquatic life in particular hence the Whale Project (sounds like a code name for my diet), and a goldfish is as close to a whale as he is likely to get without being stranded at sea (God forbid *spits over right shoulder and throws salt in the air*) 2) unlike other pets fish don't bite 3) unlike other pets fish rarely smell. Unless left out of water 4) they are cheap and cheerful and are relaxing to watch.

Right, so I ask the lady at the store, "How much would a basic pet fish and tub thingy cost?"

"For a small tropical water fish you would want a *names a fish and might as well have said WIBBLE because I had no idea what she was talking about* and a tank with filter with some de-cholinater, fish food and *lists a hundred things that sound like something an aviator might find in a cockpit*"

Me: "No I'm sorry, my fault, you misunderstood me. I don't want one of your star-fangled, super-dooper, all-singing, all-dancing, neon-light-flashing, sequin-spangled man-eating fish - I just want your basic, common or garden orange variety and a bowl, please."

Her: *Looks at me as though I'm retarded* Yes. That's what I'm talking about.

Me: So how much is a bowl then?

Her: I'm sorry, but we just don't sell fish like that anymore.

Me: Oh really. When did you stop selling fish like that then?

Her: 1979

Me: Okaaaaaaay. So bring me up todate, because the last fish I had when I were knee-high to a sparrow was orange, opened it's gob a lot, swam round and round in circles in a plastic bowl ooh about this *shows with hands* big and we cleaned it out once a week.

Her: *Stares at me* And how long did that fish last exactly?

Me: Hm... well I'm a bit fuzzy on the detail because I was only four....

Her: Roughly speaking?

Me: A year? Ish? Give or take?

Her: Well they are supposed to live for twenty.

Me: Funk me.

Her: And without a filter you would have to clean the bowl out every twenty minutes by hand using a 10% ratio of water reduction until the bowl was sufficiently clean, and before added the water you would have had to de-chlorinate it with these *shows me a packet of de-chlorinater and anti-bactirial stuff* meaning effectively you would have been emptying the bowl continuously none-stop.

Me: Right. Well we just used tap water.

Her: Once a week?

Me: Think so yeah.

Her: Wasn't it dirty?

Me: Well I remember once or twice some green crap around the bowl but nothing that bad. Looked OK to me. I mean, you know, I wouldn't have drank it but for a fish it was clean.

Her: Well, actually fish deficate quite a LOT and produce toxic chemicals into the water and unless these are purified the fish literally poisons itself to death so we couldn't possibly sell you a fish without the proper equipment.

Me: So which is the cheapest bowl, er I mean, tank there is?

Her: You are looking at £40.

Me: Funk me.

Her: and then you'd need this this and this.

Me: OK. And I could take this *points at a nice gold fish* with me.

Her: No.

Me: *begins to think I'm living in a bad dream where fish rule the world have devised a cunning plan to make us worship them* why?

Her: For a fish that big which will grow to about 5 or 6 inches you'd need a tank THIS big to give it sufficient room *points at a tank worth more than my car*

Me: So what fish could I put in the smaller tank?

Her: These, these and these.

Me: *looks* I can't see anything.

Her: There they are.

Me: *looks really hard* I'm sorry I can't see any... ohhhhhhhh... that tiny bit of floating plankton??

Her: yes. You could have five of those. Six maximum. We couldn't let you have more.

Me: *looks really hard* they're a bit small....

Her: for the tank these are the fish that are appropriate. If you want to take them you'll have to take the tank today and come back in 2 weeks time for the fish

Me: WHY???

Her: Because it will take that long for the tank to be ready

Me: And for the read carpet to be laid out? and the canopes to be ready?

Her: What?

Me: *leaving* nothing. Long live the 1970s......


At 9:24 pm, Blogger Jay said...

How about some of those plants that just need air ? You know they look like grasses & are usually mounted on some rock.Very pretty & not tto many ££££

At 11:37 pm, Blogger 4 girls and 3 boys said...

I was laughing so hard I could hardly read. Gone are the days of winning a fish at the fair and dumping it in your mother's best trifle dish til Christmas, if it lived that long, on arrival home. We had the state of the art lovely aquarium type thing - they still all got sick and ended up going on an adventure down the pipe to the sea.

At 1:51 am, Blogger FOUR DINNERS said...

Had to read 3 times. 1st 2 got blurred with crackin up. Star post D.

All my fish died of some disease. 4 weeks later I emptied the tank n there was still one in there - a little dark maroon one. It lived for 12 years. Fed it on everythin goin. Even a bit of chicken once.

At 2:04 pm, Blogger *~H~* said...

Naw, you can still win wish from the fair in a little plastic bag and it only costs a few quid. But yes fish do poo a lot and you would have to clean that out quite regularly, so maybe they aren't as maintenance free as you think. How about a budgie?

At 2:11 pm, Blogger Qalballah said...

Uh no. They smell. And keeping birds in cages breaks my heart. But they SMELL and thats the main thing. No pets here. Maybe I'll buy that thing Jay was talking about and the rock can be his pet?


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