I dropped our new goldfish back at the aquarist’s shop and demanded our refund.
‘She’s just not what we expected,’ I explained. ‘She’s upsetting our children.’
‘She is?’ the aquarist said, studying my face for clues.
‘Just look at her,’ I said, holding up the plastic bag. ‘She keeps swimming against the bag, as if pushing to get out. And, to be frank, that’s exactly the approach she’s taking in our aquarium.’
Because, you see, there’s no point mincing your words with these people. But even so the aquarist just looked at me. Some people can be quite inane at times.
‘I’m not quite sure I….’ she began.
‘Look,’ I said, cutting to the chase, ‘everyone reasonable knows that you have to settle for the water you’ve got. Nobody wants to see a fish with ambition. No amount of swimming against the glass is going to make any difference.’
‘Ah, got you!’ the aquarist said, her expression suddenly lightening. She almost smiled. Here was someone who was clearly very happy and settled in her hatred of her own job.
‘I’ll get you that refund now,’ she said.