Okay, so before I start, let me just say: you're probably going to call me a jerk for this. Yeah, I know. But you have to understand, you can only push a man so far. You guys know this. You've probably been in a similar situation. Now I don't want to say something like, you know, the way I choose to deal with this situation makes me a bigger man than any of you are. That's not what I'm saying. But we know this, we know – a man is defined by his actions.
So you could say that my actions make me a bigger man than you are.
Anyway, you guys all know the way this story starts. Beautiful wife, ten years younger than me. Two beautiful kids, girl and boy, the dream, right? And that's where that ten years comes in handy, because after having two kids, it makes all the difference, you know? Who am I kidding, you've seen her. I've seen the way you look at her when you do. You guys know. We know this. It's fine.
But that ten years, it makes all the difference in terms of, in terms of the sound decision making behind things. It's like, I'm not talking gender politics here, I'm talking age politics. Hell, I'm not really talking that either, I'm talking – it's just experience. Right? Respect your elders and all that. Guy – or gal's – been on this planet ten more years than you have, you ought to respect their opinion on things.
So it's like, we decide to get married. Good decision. We decide to have kids. Good decision. We set up college funds for those kids. Great decision. I decide to buy a fifty-inch LCD – skip the 3D and go bigger, you know? – another great decision. Unanimous. We know this.
She decides to buy the kids a fucking pet bunny? Bad decision.
Let me go into the rationale of why that's a bad decision. Is it a bad decision because it makes the kids happy? Of course not. Is it a bad decision because it gives those animals a loving home to go into? Nope.
It's a bad decision because, let's get down to it, at the end of the day, the burden of looking after the damn thing falls on me. Sure, it teaches the kids about responsibility, teaches them how to look after the thing – for about a week.
But then what? What when they get bored of doing the heavy lifting and they just want to go and play with Bubbles – Bubbles is the thing's name, by the way – and not have to worry about all the other stuff? And yeah, I know, 'play' is a bit of a stretch… the thing just sits there, maybe shuffles about once or twice a day. Even with the biggest hearts in the world, there's only so long the kids can be expected to sit there and be entertained by this.
And I can't exactly begrudge them this, you know? They're kids, damnit! I can't honestly expect them to shoulder such a large responsibility at such a tender age. You can instill values into them but there comes a point where it's just damn cruel. You have to let 'em go have their fun.
So it falls on me to feed Bubbles, to keep her healthy, to clean her shit. And I'm a good, hardworking, decent guy, you know? I love the little things. What am I supposed to do? Let Bubbles starve to death? No, I'm not a cruel man.
So it falls on me to provide for this extra little member of the family. Have you seen the price of pet insurance? Pet insurance! No thank you.
So you can imagine my delight when the vet tosses us a free consultation and tells us that Bubbles is ill. Endocryoplasmowhogivesafuck. So you can imagine my delight when he tells me that, far from being cruel, the humane thing to do is to put Bubbles down.
The humane thing to do. I'm all for that.
I let her tell the kids. She brought Bubbles into this world, she can deal with the repercussions. It didn't go down well, but then, what would you expect? I suppose that's one good thing that comes from it all. There's something about pets that can – you know, it can help teach kids about life and death. So maybe it was a good decision after all. I don't know, that one's less unanimous. You can fight it out amongst yourselves. And don't let your feelings for my wife cloud your judgement, you sly bastards.
So anyway, after I came home from the vet I stopped off at an underpass next to the river. Nice night. Warm. It was pretty, you know, I guess you could say pastoral. The sun was just going down on the horizon, birds were chirping, waves were sparkling. It was humbling, you know? I felt really good about things.
Oh, so here's the crux of it all, time to tell me if I'm a jerk or not. Because the vet, he tells me that the consultation is free, but the injection's gonna cost close to a hundred dollars. And I stare at him, and I have this look – you know the look – this look on my face. He can see it. I wonder how many times a day he sees it. And I just said to him, that ain't humane. That's cruel.
So I rooted round the car a little while when I got to the river, found a plastic bag, a cable tie. There were already some pretty decent rocks waiting for me when I got there, I guess they were the key ingredient. And then bombs away.
I don't know if I was making sure or if I stayed for so long because I was truly enjoying the ambience of it all. I don't know. I just remember staring down at the face of the water a little tense like, a little worried, all the while wondering if Bubbles would rise to the surface.