Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Barbra Streisand bought our fish!

All our koi (fish) were packed up and taken away a week ago. It was an awful emotional day, and I've felt sad about it ever since. But the cost of the pond maintenance is just nothing we can handle, and we're away so much that it adds to the troubles for a house sitter.

But we've been through so much sturm and drang over the years with fish, and replacement fish, and frogs, and turtles. Once I took a turtle to the vet and they told me it was already dead. euhh. Once I went to a turtle fanciers meeting at the mall with Big Mama in a box. She was a survivor turtle we'd adopted, but she had started eating our koi. She'd been seized in a raid of illegal turtles headed for a restaurant. We found a new home for Big Mama at that mall. I bet she's still alive.

We put the pond in right after the earthquake in 1994. At that time we each picked out a koi that was "our fish." We thought Dinah's was particularly ugly, because it was beige white, and always referred to it as the naked fish. Now it will live with Barbra Streisand. The only fish in the original group that had survived, the naked fish grew to monster size and developed lovely silver blue scales. It sold for $750. Our pond maintenance pal has lots of celebrity clients. Celebrity fish.

But koi are as unlikely a way to make money as investment horses. Along the way you will spend more than you will ever get back for them. Now investment chickens, that's a different story!


Linda said...

This is the saddest funniest post I've ever read.

p.s. I understand now why you were so upset that time when the gardener found "a dead fish" in the garden after the pond was accidentally over-watered.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Big Mama became good turtle soup, or is Big Mama still mean and kicking. What happened to Barbra's fish that she needed your fish? Always a mystery in Hollywood.....Katy

RHSteeleOH said...

I've never heard the expression "sturm and drang" before. I get the general idea what it means from the context of your blog post.

Big Mama is a cool name for a turtle. Just curious, did you speak with Barbara or did you deal with her people?

Have your people call my people. :)

booda baby said...

No kidding?! I'm glad the ugly fish turned out to be nothing more than an ugly duckling. We had a big ol' bunch of koi in the Alice Keck Park garden here in Santa Barbara, but some terrible diseasey thing killed them ALL last year. We were very sad. The turtles? Apparently NOTHING can kill those things.

(PS. I've been so stupid busy, I forgot to come back and thank you for your super duper generous offer to share your AS code. Can I learn it myself or was it very hard? It's a wonderful trick - I loved 'cleaning the screen off.')

Sally said...

Katy, I'm sure Big Mama had or still has a great life, because the woman who chose to adopt her had formerly run a pet store (that burned down eek!) and had built a turtles only pond in her backyard.

Big Mama had been in the L.A. Times, (not named at the time), but I guess you could say she was a celebrity turtle. Her captors went to jail. That turtle meeting at the mall was an odd event. i brought little Dinah along. People who dedicate their lives to turtles are, well, maybe Barbra S can best sing it,

"People, people who love turtles,
are the, uh, the uh.

Can we take it from the top?"

Our pond maintenance pal made the connection with Barbra. I was surprised they classified for the big bucks as we bought them at a local pet store.

There are all sorts of classifications of koi markings that determine value, but being big means a lot too.

Sturm and drang is German, maybe I didn't use it right, but I did study German.

booda baby, or anyone else, happy to share code. The fish on this post is from 2001.

Namowal said...

I'm glad the naked fish found a good home. There seems to be a law of the universe that, given a group of animals, the most lackluster one will outlive the others.
It's ironic how a koi pond looks so tranquil, yet can be such a hassle. Algae, filter maintenance, diseases, leaks, wildlife snacking on the fish...
When I worked at the tropical fish shop I met someone who was losing koi to a mysterious thief. They thought it was a raccoon until they saw a pelican dive bombing the pond!

Sally said...

Namowal, loved your comment. A pelican? Oh NO! The scooping power!