Sorry, you still can’t have any. Same reason as last time.
You remember the last time, when Your Friendly Neighborhood Amoeba told you how there came to be fish fry in our household.
Specifically, this fellow and his (her?) ten siblings, which are just about a month old now. They remain in the aquarium set out just for them, and they’re still under the watchful eye of Daddy, who has been standing guard since Day 1.
YFNA explained “Daddy” the last time too, how he got stuck with the kids after his mate laid eggs in his shell and then ran off to the bar. On account of because with these fish (Pearly Ocellatus, Lamprologus stappersii – or is it Neolamprologus stappersii, or Neolamprologus meleagris, or … oh, never mind) …
…the parents take care of their fry. Rear cichlids successfully and get a free show, and you have no idea whether youâ€™ll get Leave it to Beaver or Married with Children or Three and a Half Men.
Well, there’s a new batch of fry in YFNA’s aquaria, and a new free show. Which is, of course, none of the above. Would you believe “Under My Thumb”, the oh-so-un-PC tune by the Rolling Stones in, like, 1966? (Look, you already knew that YFNA was around when elephants had fur, right?)
“Hold on there, Amoeba!”
“You just said that Daddy’s still in the special tank where you moved him, while the Lady’s in the big tank where she started, and where she’s been downing Mai Tais all this time. Shouldn’t we be talking about, like, immaculate conceptions here?”
Oh, yeah, right. Sorry. Y’see, when YFNA moved Daddy and the kids into the special tank, he also moved somebody out. That ‘somebody’ was another male Pearly Ocellatus – who had been placed in exile because, before YFNA put a stop to it, he’d killed off three of the original shipment of six Pearlies. Since he’d already shown that there wasn’t room in the special tank for anybody but him, he got shifted back to the big tank, with fingers crossed that The Lady would survive the experience.
She did, but she wasn’t happy about it. Any time Bully got near her space, she went postal on him, sent him off with his tail between his fins.
At least, that’s what happened with the lights on. When they went off, they must have come to some kind of accommodation (blindfolds, maybe?), because a mere three weeks after the move, there were new fry to guard.
And it was The Lady who was guarding them. None of this night on the town in skanky gowns stuff while hubby staffed the nursery, bottles and Pampers in hand. Uh uh. Bully sat in his comfy armchair in the center of the tank while The Lady huddled in the corner, her hair in curlers and the kids squalling and crawling at her feet.
YFNA doubts that Her Nibs was at all happy about this, but the textbooks, which plainly state that the female guards the brood in this species of fish, smugly consider themselves vindicated.
Now, on the previous occasion, YFNA rescued Daddy and the babies from the big tank, which is full of several other kinds of fish, all hungry, and their frypans. This time – well, YFNA likes keeping fish, but not to the point of bankrupting himself and Quilly. Nor has he any plans to open a fish store anytime soon. So he left this new batch of babies to test their wiles against their cold, cruel world.
YFNA couldn’t offer you a fish fry, dear readers. But the other fish in that big tank sure got one.