Friday, June 10, 2005

deathwatch: guppy

In the name of R&D I have a poor little guppy in a small fishbowl on my office desk. He swims in solitude unaware that I’m there to see how long he takes to perish. I feed him once a day, in the morning, but ignore him for most of the time. I need to know how long he lives without an aerator because some of the new aquarium product lines I’m introducing to the pet store from Taiwan have none. Instead, the organic system relies on the natural world’s combination of sunlight and oxygen-producing plants. I’m skeptical, being used to aquarium systems that have bubbles blowing out of plastic tubes or treasure chests, but it seems to work (and really, it should, given the fact that that’s how things work in the real environment, but an aquarium is by no means natural).

I chose the humble guppy because it is a sturdy species, and inexpensive to procure. After this poor fellow gives me empirical data by dying, I’ll morbidly move on to swordtails, goldfish and other more delicate and expensive species.

It’s important that I am able to answer customers’ questions regarding fish lifespans in the context of the new product.

But it still makes me a little sad.

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