Third Shift Shenanigans, and Fishy Dealings.

So, it’s Wednesday morning and I’ve been at work now for three hours with nothing to do and no supervision. Obviously this means I get to do whatever the fuck I want, and lucky you- that means I’m actually writing something!

See, there was a rash of post-holiday robberies at other stores and corporate freaked out and instituted a permanent third shift in Electronics. This meant I could get a full forty hours a week, but ultimately only about fifteen of them actually wind up with anything to do. 

There’s not much stock to run because no one is buying shit, and the only people who show up in my little midnight fiefdom are wandering goons who always look and never buy a damn thing. Luckily I have a shiny new phone and plenty of games to keep me entertained.

Some nights I manage to wrangle a bit of conversation or get some light RP writing done for one of my many PotP projects. Some nights I just laze about and grind levels in Final Fantasy Record Keeper. Most nights, that. 

The simple fact is there is no point in me working this shift. Or anyone. But I get money, so I endure the vast hardships that come with the title of Overnight Overlord.

The most excitement I’ve had here since the holiday madness wore off, however, turned into a somewhat life-changing event that has no doubt annoyed everyone I’ve come in contact with over the last week. Since most of them read this blog; I’ll probably annoy them some more now!

Two weeks ago I went walking randomly through the pet department in my way back from dropping a modest pile of cardboard into the compactor. I just figured on taking a spin past the fish tanks to see what was there when I noticed something odd about the Betta shelf.

One empty bowl. One bowl with two male Bettas going at it. Instant rage.

Some fucking miscreant, some misanthropic piece of shit, had dumped them together to see what would happen. I suppose it could have been a roaming pack of teenagers who thought they were being funny, but I suspect some of the less savory third shift stock team, myself.

Either way, I grew up with fish of all types (and three snakes, a snapping turtle, a salamander, a number of cats and dogs over the years, and at one time live piranha) and I hate to see any animal abused in such a way. So, like the good superhero junkie, I leaped into action. Saved the fucking day. 

I set the fish who was clearly losing the fight aside with a note explaining what happened and told whoever read it that I’d take the fish if they couldn’t sell him otherwise. Well, no one ever got back to me on that, but I saw him still sitting there a couple days later.

By the third day, he’d disappeared, and I wasn’t sure whether the blue Betta sitting in his spot on the shelf was him or the lookalike who had been behind him on the shelf the night I found the gruesome scene in progress. Regardless, I resolved myself to taking that one home just as soon as I could afford a nice tank.

Most people keep male Bettas in those crappy little bowls or a vase with a peace lily and a few pebbles, but in the week I waited for my tax return to come in I’d done enough reading to convince me that was no way to treat a fish; especially one that you presumably want to keep healthy and good looking.

So, I wound up buying a nice three gallon tank, a heater to keep the water closer to tropical temperatures, a few crappy plastic plants, some gravel, and one beleaguered blue Betta with a veil tail. I’m still not sure this one is the one I saved, precisely, but he was looking just rough enough around the edges to convince me he needed to get the fuck out of that piss-poor plastic bowl and into some real fucking luxury.

By last Friday I got him situated in the new tank, and he seemed a thousand times happier and healthier for it, but I wasn’t quite ready to call it good enough. Those plastic plants were too bland, there wasn’t enough cover for him to really relax, and it just looked cheap and unflattering.

Again I ventured out determined to pimp my fish tank.

The most important item on my list was a skull. I’d named the fish Gorak, after my PotP Trolloc character (and my D&D Water Genasi Monk) and Gorak needed a properly brutal little hiding spot. I hoped to find him a battle axe too, but alas, no such luck. Yet!

I did, however, find a big ass skull with a trauma wound in the back he can swim into: so, win!

After much deliberation and back and forth that no doubt bored the shit out of my roommate while I grappled with serious decor decisions in my headspace, I snatched up the skull and a few leafy silk plants and made for the door. After paying, of course, though I left my wallet at home and had to pay back said roommate once we got home.

Then I went out again!

I needed sandpaper to take some of the edges of the skull, and to pick out a tank backing that I had forgotten in the first trip, but this time went alone so as not to wake up stabbed in my sleep.

After I let all the new things soak in clean, conditioned water overnight and cleaned them again the next day just to make sure all the potentially harmful bullshit and germs were eradicated, I went to work on the tank again. 

Gorak was none too pleased to have to sit in his crappy store bowl for the process, but I let him watch instead of locking him up in the bathroom like I had for his first two days of waiting for his home to be ready.

NOW he’s all set, and has thoroughly explored his new villain lair and found it pleasing, but the ornery little bastard still insists his favorite spots to chill are the inch of water above the filter and the space between the heater and back wall. Goofy shit.

Anyway, I find myself compelled to just sit and watch him swim around and tell him he’s doing it wrong when he slithers under the cheekbone of the skull instead of using the blunt trauma hole or one of the eye sockets. We’re just about a week into this strange new life, but I’m already convinced he’s a better pet than that damn noisy cat.

I don’t normally do image posts here, but this time I’ll make an exception to get the scope of Gorak’s villainy across:

Yeah. Maybe next time I’ll write something useful.


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