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The Life and Death of Bill & Ted

June 3, 2009

I was reading a post today by the wonderful and talented Cherie Priest. Her fish, the aptly named Howard The Fish, died recently, causing her much sadness.

It reminded me of the deaths of my own fish. It began like this…

For a while, all was good. The sun would shine through my window in the morning, easing me awake with its gentle, warm caress. The rays of life-giving light would illuminate the goldfish bowl on my shelf, where my fish, Bill S. Preston, Esq. and Ted “Theodore” Logan, known affectionately as Bill & Ted, lived. The fish would swim laps around their little bowl. I’m not sure whether they were training for the Round-Bowl Freestyle in the 2008 Fish Olympics, held in the warm waters of the Caribbean every four years, or whether the old adage about a goldfish having but 2-human seconds worth of memory was true. I’m beginning to think it was the latter. Like the movie characters after which these fish were named they didn’t seem to be the brightest tools in the drawer.

But they made me happy, and really, for a 19 year old guy stuck in a dorm room the size of a closet and trapped in a dead-end long-distance relationship, what more could one ask for?

I would sit and watch them swim for hours, their little mouths opening and closing as if they were trying to express their gratitude to me, their benevolent god, with voices too tiny to hear (not all benevolent gods are omnipotent). As boring as watching fish swim may be, it was worlds better than writing a political science paper, or talking to my very strange roommate (more on him later).

But one day, tragedy struck.

I woke up, but something had changed. There was little sunlight. The air felt chilly. Something was wrong.

Bill was dead.

Maybe Ted was dead. It was hard to tell the difference.

I wish I had reacted appropriately. I should have cried. Maybe I should have even fell to my knees, screaming at the sky, “Noooo!”. I could even have added a, “Whyyyyy?”.

Instead, I went “eww” and found a cup to scoop Bill or Ted out of the bowl. I had a small funeral for him in the nearby communal toilets where I spoke of his love for Ted or Bill, and his devotion to his shared home. In fact, I like to think of myself as helping to ushering in gay marriage, at least in the goldfish community.

I went back to my room and comforted Ted or Bill. I took solace in the fact that I had one fish remaining. The rest of the day was dark. I rocked back and forth in the corner, holding back my sobs of anguish.

The next morning I woke again, knowing there was something else wrong. The sky was near black, and there was not a sound. It was as if the entire animal community was mourning. For I found another dead fish floating in the bowl.

So distraught by the death of his partner, Bill or Ted had followed Ted or Bill to the great fishy beyond, a warm turquoise blue ocean where they could swim together forever, without fear or hesitation.

You’ll be shocked to learn that people have blamed me for the deaths of Bill and Ted. “You shouldn’t have dumped both fish into cold tap water right away” they said. “You didn’t even change the water after one fish died? No wonder the other kicked the bucket!”

To these charlatans of concern I say, “Do not blame me. For it was their time. The great fishy god of the sea (a licensed subsidiary of the Flying Spaghetti Monster) called His children home. They lived together, they died together, and are as united in death and they were in life.”

Peace be with you, Bill. S. Preston, Esq., September 2008 – September 2008.

Peace be with you too, Ted “Theodore” Logan, September 2008 – September 2008.

May you rest eternal.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sebastian permalink
    June 11, 2009 12:33 pm

    Oh, they didn’t last long then…? How many days of blissful sunshine did they actually see? Two?

    About half way through I wondered if you were going to buy another fish, and thus, unbeknownst to you, have two Bills or two Teds swimming around the same bowl.

    It bothers me a little that you think sitting and watching fish putter around a bowl is as good as student life gets…

    • sleepwalkingwriter permalink*
      June 14, 2009 6:38 pm

      Yeah, Bill & Ted saw roughly two days of sunshine in their new home.

      My student-awakening happened in my second year of uni (of 4 years). I was going through a weird phase at the time when I wasn’t very social.

      I also exaggerated slightly, as I am prone to do.

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