In between my Tinder dates, I like to go down to Bloody Mary’s to troll for men. While the dating scene in South Dakota is pretty limited, it does provide some entertaining stories. One such story is that of The Exotic Fish Guy.
I met him at Bloody Mary’s one night after a couple of my guy friends left me alone at the table with him. He was just a few years older than I and wearing a nice shirt.
“So what do you do?” I asked him.
“I’m an accounting executive at a firm up in Sioux Falls.”
“Do you live up there?”
“Actually, I live here. I tried living up there after graduation, but I hate it there. I’d rather just commute. The drive isn’t really that bad and the gas isn’t that much out of my paycheck, so… I’d rather just live here and party with my bros. My rent is only $500 a month.”
“Fascinating. And how do you like your job as an accounting executive?”
“It’s cool. I make a lot of money doing it. I have so much money. I don’t even know what to do with it all. I’ve never had this much money in my life. I just kept working and working until I got it, and now that I have it, it’s just like… I don’t know what to do with it all. Like I’m set for life, you know? I just buy random shit on impulse and I have no idea why.”
“Like a fucking aquarium. I went to the pet store to pick up dog food one day, and there was this bigass aquarium for sale right at the front. It had all these special features and it was self-cleaning and like, it even had lights on it, bro. I was amazed! So I bought it. I just fucking bought it. Just like that. I don’t even know why.”
“What happened next?”
“Well, I took it home and realized I forgot to pick up the dog food, so I had to drive all the way back to the pet store and that really fucking sucked. Anyway, so then I just had this empty aquarium sitting in the middle of the house, right? So I thought… I should put some fish in it! So I went back to the pet store, again, and bought a bunch of random fish. Well, it turns out you can’t just buy a bunch of random fish and put them in a tank together.”
“Yeah, who even knew that, right? So after all my fish died, I started doing a little more research. It’s crazy how many different kinds of fish there are. I got really into it. I bought a bunch of books about fish and read, like, a fuckton of articles on Wikipedia. Then I made a list of what kind of fish I wanted and went back to the pet store.”
“Yeah, dude. It’s so awesome to like, sit there and just watch all of them interact. It’s like it’s own little world, you know?”
“So like, nobody else I know understands my passion for fish, right? I mean, this is South Dakota, okay? Everyone thought I was a total weirdo! That’s where the internet came in. I started going on message boards and talking about my aquarium with my fellow fish enthusiasts. I learned how to buy, sell, and trade exotic fish online. I specialize in exotic fish from Southeast Asia. I’m up to three aquariums now! I’m going to the International Exotic Fish Convention next week.”
“Well, good luck at the convention. I hope you meet a nice girl who is just as passionate about exotic fish as you are.”
Luckily, right at that moment, my other guy friends returned to the table. I used the opportunity to excuse myself from the table for the rest of the night.