It was just a simple funeral for a fish, something I'd done several times before.
Miriam and I have long preferred fish as pets. They don't shed. They don't mess up the floor. They don't eat the sofa. And when their time is up, burial is just a flush away.
But Sunday night, when one of our new clownfish was wedged upside down under one of the rocks in our saltwater aquarium, it was tough. We'd only had the little fellow - a Nemo clone - for a few weeks. (And that's certainly not the way I expected to "find Nemo.")
I scooped him up and did the duty: put him in a plastic cup, carried him to the bathroom and pushed the handle. A second later, he was swirling away forever.
This time, though, I'm pretty sure the pipe doesn't empty into the ocean.
Meanwhile, Gene Walker fared a little better than my fish in recent weeks. It seems my sports columnist let the heat get the best of him on a recent afternoon - leaving him feeling like "roadkill."
The old coach worried us a little initially, but he's better now, and getting excited about the coming football season. (And, for the record, his column this week is one of his best ever. It's on page 1D and certainly worth a read.)
While I'm on get well wishes, I've got to send a little to Thomson High School Head Coach Luther Welsh. However, I'm not real sure Coach Welsh needs any encouragement. After all, he got a pacemaker over the weekend and was at football practice Monday morning for the start of two-a-days.
And I complain when I breathe heavy as I walk between the Depot and The Mirror's office.
Maybe I need a pacemaker. (Or just a little exercise would probably help - but let's not get crazy.)
I've spent a couple of days at football practice this year and just don't see how the players do it. After taking pictures for 30 minutes or so, I'm exhausted, and they've got hours and hours ahead of them. In full pads. With no hope of just walking to an air-conditioned space during breaks.
Their dedication says a lot about the local programs and the coach staffs that have worked so hard to develop proud traditions. But it also says a lot about the individuals: members of an often-maligned generation who are willing to stick with something and put the team ahead of themselves.
And that just helps add to the proud traditions.
Meanwhile, The Mirror's subscription drive is off and running. It'll continue through the end of August, and you know how it works.
All you have to do is sign up for a year of The Mirror, we'll handle the rest. We'll donate $5 to your choice of one of four groups: the Thomson High School Athletic Booster Club, the Thomson High School Bulldog Brigade, the Briarwood Academy Athletic Booster Club and The Old Frontier Camp. Renewals count too, no matter when your subscription actually expires. (We'll just tack 12 more months onto the end.)
So, if you haven't, join the ever-growing ranks of Mirror subscribers. You'll get a great newspaper - and the opportunity to help some great groups.