Finding Blubber | Patrick Morgan


Finding Blubber

Patrick Morgan

Bertie Beats the Tweet Award


There’s an unreserved stigma in being a goldfish.

I use the term ‘unreserved’ and not another throwaway such as ‘slight’ or ‘passing’, and I certainly refuse to pretend I’m all meta and go with ‘surface.’ If my friends had thought of a word as ingenious as that, they’d hashtag it online. Actually, hang on, that’s brilliant. Maybe I’ll post it now on Blubber:

Today two children made patronising faces at me for the greater part of four minutes #surfacestigma #misunderstood.

I’ve only just started using Blubber. I’m what you might call a resister. But I need to harness it for a very specific purpose: to track down my one true love, the young, beautiful Isadora “Dory”, who by latest intel resides in a tank in a Dentistry in East Gosford on the Central Coast of New South Wales. It’s a hassle getting to her as I live in an artificial pond owned by the Davies’s in South Canberra.

Why did she leave? I don’t know for sure, but I blame social media. Do you know how demeaning it is to have nasty things posted about your family all the time? Since goldfish were enfranchised in the explosion of social media in 2015, the problem isn’t isolated to passing interactions at individual tanks anymore. Fish in every pond, aqueduct, fishbowl and aquaria in the world can see this stuff! It hurts.

It particularly hurts the little fry like my Dory, who are going through enough trouble with fitting into schools as it is. That’s right, I’m attracted to significantly younger fish. I find them online. If I was a human, you might call me a cradle snatcher. What are you going to do about it? We don’t have laws.

Despite what you might think, I’m a passionate believer in issues confronting young goldfish. A year ago, the second biggest cause of death in fry was ‘poor tank hygiene’, as we carp are messy creatures. Now, it’s suicide. The root cause? Cyber bullying. The only reason it’s not the biggest is because the fry aren’t very bright and they attempt to emulate human suicides by drowning, before realising they of course can’t drown.

Forgot to order more #WackyGreen fishfood and now we have a food shortage. The goldfish are rioting.   #foodshortage #3secondmemoryofagoldfish #shortagesweet

Though I chuckle heartily at the third hashtag, I take exception to the second. One of the most prevalent myths confronting goldfish today are that we only have a three-second memory. The truth is we can remember up to three months! After that we sometimes get a bit confused. That’s why my Dory, in keeping with her biology, removed everyone on her friend list for fear that ASIO was stalking her. Including me.

The problem of finding her is compounded by the release of Disney’s ‘Finding Dory’. Everyone thinks they’re so original in their goldfish names. It doesn’t matter that Nemo’s a clownfish and Dory’s a blue tang fish. If I want to look up Dory in East Gosford, I have to filter through several hundred thousand ‘Dorys’ also in East Gosford until I find her. 381,135 search results, to be exact.

My friends keep telling me to move on. Find another goldfish. She’s too young for you, she’s probably dead, and that sort of thing. But my heart tells me she’s still out there, and also because I found a goldfish from East Gosford who started a lobbying group on Blubber called Fins Living Around the World Association (FLAWA). Thanks to FLAWA, Rome has illegalised the use of individual goldfish in bowls as carnival prizes. That sounds like my Dory for sure.

It’s been three months since I nudged her on Blubber, two since I started nudging her in real life, and a month since she left. Due to the three-month goldfish memory problem, I only have two months before I will forget her completely and have to move on to another fry. I’m optimistic I’ll find her, however. I’m narrowing down the search results every day. All my friends are on it. FLAWA is on it. We’ve shared her photos, descriptions, associations, detailed medical records, home videos on Blubber. It won’t be long before Isadora will come back to me.