Rocky’s Side of the Story

It turns out that I inadvertently insulted Rocky the Fish, a.k.a. Rocky Utama, in my last post. On two heads I feel the charges against me are most heavy: 1) I said that Rocky was my idea, and 2) I posted Roland’s response on how he felt about getting a Chinese Fighting Fish, a.k.a. betta fish, and made no reference to Rocky’s response on how he felt about being adopted by Roland. And so today I will fix that.

Rocky was originally the idea of his to parents. He was born in the open sewers of Indonesia, and shortly after his birth was orphaned when his parents were caught by a couple of school children to be used as professional fighting fish in the tough world of the Indo primary school fighting fish gambling rings. Rocky probably would have just been eaten by his parents anyway though, so perhaps this was all for the best. Rocky enjoyed his early life in the sewers. He scavenged for meals, and his favourite being the strange algaes that grew as a result of all the refuse. This is where Rocky first got his taste for vegetarianism. He also enjoyed the occasional durians that made their way into the gutter.

Rocky’s happy early existence was suddenly shattered one morning when he was caught by a traditional Chinese medicine merchant. He was very nearly skinned and dried, but using a spatula, soccer boot, and a clove of garlic, managed to overcome the medicine man and made a daring escape in the mouth of a vegetarian cat. As you can probably tell from this beginning, the years ahead were going to be rough for Rocky. The tales of woe that I could tell! Enough tears would fall from your eyes to fill all the open sewers of Indonesia if you heard all the trials that befell Rocky during this time (as you can tell, I’ve been reading a lot of “A Series of Unfortunate Events” lately. Book 13: THE END is out people!!!! -Ed.)

After all these misadventures, Rocky eventually ended up in AquaPets Aquariums at Bondi Junction in Sydney, Australia. And this is where Rocky’s path crossed that of Martha Lenio, a rather common-place PhD student in a mad rush to find a birthday gift for a friend who’s party was that afternoon. She selected Rocky from among all the other available betta fish at the back of the store, because Rocky was clearly the best. He had character, built from his many misfortunes, and it showed through is gloriously colourful scales. That day Martha took Rocky to her friend Roland, and at last Rocky had found a last safe place, a place he could call home, and where hopefully one day he will be able to once again indulge in the joys of vegetarianism.

I previously wrote to you about the joy of Roland upon receiving Rocky. Now I would like to share how Rocky feels upon being adopted by Roland:

Hello all,

It’s me!! Rocky the fish!!

I just thought that I prefer a direct way to communicate with all of you, so I opened a gmail account! Please, don’t be shy and send my mails, I read and write English (have some problems with speaking, due to water in my mouth). I also know some Hebrew from my long vacation in the Mediterranean Sea.

Thank you all for choosing me, as a birthday gift to Roland. He’s a really nice guy and I think that I will like him. The only problem is that I want to be a vegetarian fish and he insists that I’ll eat meat (and a lot)!! Can you help me convincing him to allow me to be the first vegetarian in my family? Please send support mails to: xxx (you can also send SMSs).

Remember: You don’t show the fish to the crowd, you show the crowd to the fish.

Love you all.
Rocky Utama (previously - Rocky the fish).

And so Rocky, I hope that we’re friends again.


Okay peoples. In other news, I celebrated Hallowe’en here, mostly by my lonesome, but I think everyone got a kick out of the traditional blue hair. Photos are in the gallery. Paul and Karo and Jamie made pumpkins with me, and any day with blue hair is a good day. Right now I’m sitting at school listening to Charlie Brown Christmas music, because I’m in holiday mode, and now that Hallowe’en is over I think it’s okay to start listening to Christmas music. Although I do usually try to wait until December. Ciao peoples!

2 Responses to “Rocky’s Side of the Story”

  1. Dad Says:

    I have to assume that the lab wasn’t ventilated the day you wrote this. By the way we have snow on the ground, Nov. 3rd, it valiantly tried to stay but Mr. SunShine convinced it to go away. I’m near the end of the workday, looking forward to making supper and Friday night comedies on the CBC. Any ideas what you and Susan want/need for Christmas? Talk to you soon, no worries, just open a window please. Love Dad.

  2. Philip Says:

    Mr. SunShine hasn’t made it out Edmonton way quite yet. We’ve still got a few inches of snow on the ground, and more is falling. It first fell the night of October 27th. The bad news is, we can’t make snowmen out of it, since it’s too, uh, dry.

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