March 5, 2014
Netanyahu's inaction to Obama's provocations sends powerful message
Kerry, after apparent criticism by Schumer, seeks to allay skepticism on diplomacy
How to ruin a perfectly good kid in 10 simple steps
2014 Oscars played it safe, but was faith lost in the shuffle?
Apple joins Hobby Lobby in touting corporate values beyond profit
March 3, 2014
Alina Dain Sharon: In the Hebrew calendar, a leap year has extra month, not day
Latest Obama appointment to prove Prez set on emasculating so-called Israel Lobby
Jewish World Review
May 25, 2009
/ 2 Sivan 5769
I've got a few pet peeves about sea creatures
Pets are good, because they teach children important lessons about life, the main one being that, sooner or later, life kicks the bucket.
With me, it was sooner. When I was a boy, my dad, who worked in New York City, would periodically bring home a turtle in a little plastic tank that had a little plastic island with a little plastic palm tree, as is so often found in natural turtle habitats. I was excited about having a pet, and I'd give the turtle a fun pet name like Scooter. But my excitement was not shared by Scooter, who, despite residing in a tropical paradise, never did anything except mope around.
Actually, he didn't even mope "around": He moped in one place without moving, or even blinking, for days on end, displaying basically the same vital signs as an ashtray. Eventually I would realize - it wasn't easy to tell - that Scooter had passed on to that Big Pond in the Sky, and I'd bury him in the garden, where he'd decompose and become food for the zucchini, which in turn would be eaten by my dad, who would in turn go to New York City, where, compelled by powerful instincts that even he did not understand, he would buy me another moping death turtle. And so the cycle of life would repeat.
I say all this to explain why I recently bought fish for my 4-year-old daughter, Sophie. My wife and I realized how badly she wanted an animal when she found a beetle on the patio and declared that it was a pet, named Marvin. She put Marvin into a Tupperware container, where, under Sophie's loving care and feeding, he thrived for maybe nine seconds before expiring like a little six-legged parking meter. Fortunately, we have a beetle-intensive patio, so, unbeknownst to Sophie, we were able to replace Marvin with a parade of stand-ins of various sizes ("Look! Marvin has grown bigger!" "Wow! Today Marvin has grown smaller!"). But it gets to be tedious, going out early every morning to wrangle patio beetles. So we decided to go with fish.
I had fish of my own, years ago, and it did not go well. They got some disease like Mongolian Fin Rot, which left them basically just little pooping torsos. But I figured that today, with all the technological advances we have such as cellular phones and "digital" things and carbohydrate-free toothpaste, modern fish would be more reliable.
So we got an aquarium and prepared it with special water and special gravel and special fake plants and a special scenic rock so the fish would be intellectually stimulated and get into a decent college. When everything was ready I went to the aquarium store to buy fish, my only criteria being that they should be 1) hardy digital fish; and 2) fish that looked a LOT like other fish, in case G-d forbid we had to Marvinize them.
This is when I discovered how complex fish society is. I'd point to some colorful fish and say, "What about these?" And the aquarium guy would say, "Those are great fish but they do get aggressive when they mate." And I'd say, "Like, how aggressive?" And he'd say, "They'll kill all the other fish."
This was a recurring theme. I'd point to some fish, and the aquarium guy would inform me that these fish could become aggressive if there were fewer than four of them, or an odd number of them, or it was a month containing the letter "R," or they heard the song "Who Let the Dogs Out." It turns out that an aquarium is a powder keg that can explode in deadly violence at any moment, just like the Middle East, or junior high school.
TRUE STORY: A friend of mine named David Shor told me that his kids had an aquarium containing a kind of fish called African cichlids, and one of them died. So David went to the aquarium store and picked out a replacement African cichlid, but the aquarium guy said he couldn't buy that one, and David asked why, and the guy said: "Because that one is from a different lake."
But getting back to my daughter's fish: After much thought, the aquarium guy was able to find me three totally pacifist fish - Barney Fife fish, fish so nonviolent that, in the wild, worms routinely beat them up and steal their lunch money. I brought these home, and so far they have not killed each other or died in any way. Plus, Sophie LOVES them. So everything is working out beautifully. I hope it stays that way, because I hate zucchini.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Comment by clicking here.
Some common grammar queries axed and answered
Grads, the world is your oyster and it's shut
It's Barbie's world the rest of us just live here
35 years later, it's a flight of the conned chords
Trout fishing makes me blooping crazy
When it comes to buying, my wife shops and I drop
I've found a guy who can write this column better me
After all these years, still not ready for my closeup
Let's watch out for those conjugal phrases
A trip to North Dakota puts me on the map
Kicking and hugging
This dad has a severe case of wedding belle blues
Thanks to the British, I've suffered another art attack
My vocabulary is just teeming with synergy
A brief emergency
It's time for me to come clean about my dirty ways
A ruff and ready playmate
Sticking it to bad drivers
The gravity of skiing
Warning: DO NOT READ WHILE SLEEPING!
I had fun, fun, fun till someone took my Vega away
Attack on language from Shaq to shark
Defusing the turkey bomb
Driving While Stupid
I'm living in a perpetual state of confusion
Traveling with little ones is just plane crazy
It's time to unmask a more traditional Halloween
U.S. needs to shoot for a better class of criminals
Mountain man training involves some trash talk
Ten rules for making the world a much better place
A slide down memory lane reminds me I got burned
This latest research is enough to drive you nuts
Wrestling with night critters gives me butterflies
Silly songs get this old teapot into some hot water
Kids better wise up, or they're doomed to repeat
Overweight? I'm in training for the next Ice Age
The bleu plate special proves just ducky on this trip
Just weighting for the day I can build a better body
Better to light a single gift candle than to curse your wife
These camping tips will make for some happy trails
I'm shooting the rapids with eyes wide shut
People's bad grammar is enough to make me sic
Toilet water as a weapon? That idea really stinks
The carefree days of summer begin with the ants in my pants
Heartland's moovers & shakers are an udder disgrace
I've found a guy who can do this better than I can
If you really love Dad, give him a big box of nothing
Graduates, the world is your oyster and it's shut
How to look good in a swimsuit no ifs, ands or butts
Trip proves I'm the king of my own castle
The writer vs. the writher beats the Hil & Obama fight
Complain about gridlock? That's just a dead end
New phone tactics help me develop new hangups
For faithful readers, a course in Journalism $1.01
How to speak English very much better
When it comes to laundry, men are all washed up
This houseguest is ready to throw in the towel
Fixing your home can truly be a bonding experience
The lies about this mammal just drive me batty
In spin cycle of love, hard to be delicate
It's just not the time to thumb our nose at bagels
Latest fitness Rx for men is a yawn
My daughter's party, I'll cry if I want to
Sanguine ride on rabid transportation
One experiment worth repeating
Nothing like a good trip to help me see the light
The lord of the dance doesn't have anything on me
Invention clearly worth the brewhaha
Safe on the slopes
A gross national columnist
Mr. Language Person: Weird word
I (cough) was a teenage smoker!
Frogs hop into the headlines
Great American turkeys
Mr. Fixit strikes again
Einstein Gap: It's all relative
Lost in space
The Trojan Twinkie Caper
MR. LANGUAGE PERSON: WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!
Feeding your worst fears
Sock it to 'em, sartorially
The rubber band man
Does public art make sense?
Needling the birthday boy
On calamities (in the sky and on your head)
Modern medical mysteries
Dave's Field of Nightmares
Lewis and Clark stepped here!
The ultimate water gun
Poetic license, with no rhyme or reason
Great moments in science
This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named Tonka
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of Beowulf
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness
© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.