Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The License Plate Was "Chichlid"

A tastefully brilliant blue car, and a nice piece of work in itself, spends part of the work day outside an ad agency office just down the street from my place. As I am always intrigued with personalized license plates, I’ve tried hard to figure out what “chichlid” might refer to; having given up, I went inside to inquire.

“A type of fish,” an employee told me, on a day when the car was not there. “He likes them. He raises that type of tropical fish.”

Yesterday, Mr. Fish-Lover was feeding quarters into the parking meter and I asked him about the tag. He told me about his hobby, the large number of chichlids he has, and the 7,000-gallon tank in his house.

Seven thousand gallons. With lots and lots of fish.

As a comparison, let me tell you about a production of the Kraft Television Theater many years ago, when it broadcast a live presentation of “A Night to Remember,” the story of the Titanic’s sinking. When passengers were diving overboard into the ocean, NBC’s Brooklyn studio had a 10,000 gallon tank of water into which the cast ended up.

This guy has so many fish he needs one 70% as large as that used for a major tv presentation. You don’t keep this on a table near the dining-room window. Nor do you keep a flotation device nearby for the family cat.


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