Wednesday, January 6, 2010

SUPER-FISH

Shift #9

SUNDAY, JANUARY 24 -– 9:35 a.m. –- Post/Larkin to 16th/Bryant -- $7.15


SHE WALKS OUT
of a three-story apartment building, a Petco employee badge dangling from a shoelace that encircles her neck. She says she’s been working at Petco for five years, and, yes, Petco has held its own through the downturn. “San Francisco has more pets per person than any other city,” she says. “More pets per person than kids.”

Me: “Do you have a pet?”

She: “No. I have a whole store full of them.”

Me: “We had a goldfish that died just last week. It was about ten years old -- is that any sort of record?”

She: “That’s unheard of!”

Me: “My daughter is thirteen now, but we think she was three when she came home from a birthday party with a goldfish in a plastic baggie. The birthday kid’s mom told all the parents, ‘Don’t worry, they usually don’t live very long…’ Well, thanks a lot, lady! But she was right -- that fish was dead on arrival by the time my daughter got home. She was so upset that my wife quickly went out and bought another one. And a bowl. And fish food. And rocks…”

My fare: “It was probably a koi that didn’t make the cut. And then they grow to their environment.”

Me: “This one grew about as big as the bowl would allow.”

“Probably a koi.”

Me: “And then about…six-seven years ago…my daughter told us she would like to have a dog. She’s always been an easy, very reasonable kid. Hardly ever asks for anything. We said, ‘Well, we’ll have to think about that. Not now, but maybe some day…’ So for the next couple of years, she would every now and then remind us. And then one day when the three of us are driving somewhere -- she’s behind us in her car seat, and her mouth is quivering and she’s trying not to cry -- she says, ‘We’ve been talking about getting a dog…for a long time. I think we should either stop talking about it…or we should get a dog.’”

My fare: “Uh-oh…”

Me: “We got a dog almost immediately.”

In front of the store, when I tell my fare that her ride is free, she says, “We’ve been remodeling and we’re having a grand re-opening on Super Bowl Sunday. None of the guys are very happy about it, but it’ll be fun. You should come by.”

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