|Huge Bayern Munich fan.|
DREXEL HILL, PA
Franck Ribéry Jr. – my pet fish – passed away on Wednesday. He was 5½ months old.
Franck (also known to his friends as Fwanck, Franky and Franck Ribéry Joons) was an avid swimmer who also liked to eat bloodworms, make bubble nests and rest in his little fishbowl tree. He was a caring friend, a loyal companion and a semi-interesting Twitter follow. Franck was my best friend.
Franck loved to swim. He lovvvvvved to swim. Forward, backward, darting from one side of the bowl to the other … and he was good … probably the best swimmer I’ve ever seen. Watching Franck swim around his bowl was like watching a young Mozart conduct a symphony – smooth, always in control, but also possibly on cocaine.
My wife brought Franck home for us in late April, a present for my 35th birthday. Legend has it that when my wife scanned the betta fish at Petco, deciding which one to bring home, Franck kept swimming up to her and fanning out his blue and red fins to show her how dope he was. My wife inspected every fish in that place, but Franck kept swimming up to the front of his pathetic, plastic Tupperwear container to make his presence known. Then he’d swim away by doing some sort of Carolina Corkscrew move. My wife couldn’t resist. Francky was ours. It was the best present I ever got. And that includes the WWF Wrestling Ring that Joe Dabakis got me in 3rd grade. I’ve never forgotten that, Joe.
Every time I came home for the last five and a half months Franck would swim up to the front of his little bowl to greet me. He would totally freak out, shaking his entire little fish body like a goddamn lunatic, doing whatever he could to let me know that he wanted some bloodworms. That guy couldn’t get enough bloodworms. Sometimes he’d take a bite of one that was too big and swim around with it hanging out of mouth like a blunt. He was a total gangster – Franck didn’t care about waiting 20 minutes to swim after he ate – he swam on his terms. If there were female fish in his bowl with him, he probably would’ve impregnated every one of ‘em. Either that or he would’ve tried to kill them. You never knew with Franck. He was a loose cannon.
In his last days, Francky suddenly stopped eating. I thought it might be that he needed new water, so I changed it. I gave him different food, checked his water temperature … nothin. Soon after, he was swimming less and spending more time lounging in his little fish tree. On the morning that he passed, I noticed that his breathing was labored. I didn’t know how to help him. I thought about making him a mini-snorkel. Instead I made myself a bagel.
When I think back on Franck’s life, I hope not to remember the struggle of the last few days, but instead the fact that he lived every day of his life to the fullest – or at least as full as it could be for a guy who lived in a goddamn bowl. A fish who the loved the water … a fish who kept my brother-in-law company when he was fish-sitting … a fish who when I’d walk into the kitchen late at night, I’d sometimes find my wife leaning over his bowl, looking down at the greatest swimmer who ever lived.
I’ll miss you Franck Ribéry Joons.