A funny thing happened on the way to the coffee-maker Saturday morning. I was blurry-eyed as usual, anxious to sip my first cup of joe, when in my haste to select a coffee cup the fishbowl caught my eye. It was still. Colorless. Something was missing. And since it’s a relatively small fishbowl with just a few rocks and a “skull” to provide entertainment for “Spock,” the goldfish my daughter won a few weeks ago at a church fair, it didn’t take me long to see what was missing. “Riley, what happened to Spock?” I said, assuming he had gone to that big aquarium in the sky with the three other fish found floating at the top of the fishbowl 4 days after we got them. “What do you mean?” she said, genuine surprise-bordering-on-panic spreading across her face. We both stared at the bowl, as if we weren’t really seeing what we were seeing but there was no mistake: Spock the goldfish was GONE.
When we first got the fish, my girlfriend warned me they can jump right out of the bowl. She said it happened to her more than once until she started keeping a lid on the bowl. I couldn’t really picture it happening to us, especially because our fish rarely even SWAM around the bowl, opting instead to stay fairly still inside the skull head. Turns out “Spock” was biding his time in there, plotting his escape, and he chose Saturday morning to make it. Okay, we thought, if he jumped out of the bowl, he couldn’t get far. Even if he flopped around a bit, it shouldn’t take us long to find him, right?
WRONG. For the better part of an hour, Riley, my mom and I looked all over the area. We got on our hands and knees and looked under the table and other furniture, under the kitchen cabinets, and in the carpet. No Spock. It started to freak me out a little. We expanded our search, thinking maybe someone kicked him, unknowingly, across the room. Still no Spock. I accused Riley of playing an early April Fool’s Day joke, and flushing the fish. It took me just a moment to see the truth in her distraught face. “Spock was right here in this bowl when I went to bed last night,” she almost cried. “What happened to him?”
And that’s the million dollar question. The great “Unsolved Mystery” of our household. What happened to Spock? Was he abducted by aliens? Was he sick of the fish food and went out looking for a better meal? Did “Scotty” beam him back to Vulcan without our permission? We might find him one day. And when we do, I imagine he’ll have a whale of a tale to tell. I wonder if he’ll be wearing a couple of the mismatched socks that disappeared from my dryer?