Before I begin, I must apologize to my devoted readers who expect weekday Crazes to give them a brief break from the grind. I had this week all ready to go, beginning with a craze involving something called a “scrumplet.” Turns out that’s not what I thought it was. Anyway, the whole thing threw me for a depressing loop and I shirked. Sue me, sue me. What can you do me? I love you, dear reader.
But today is the dawn of a new half-week, and I’m back, baby. Let’s begin again with my buddies, Ribbit and Ribbit, a pair of African Dwarf Frogs that we rescued from a Brookstone. Well, I say “rescued.” My wife says “bought on rash impulse.” As G. Gordon Liddy says, we’ll have to agree to disagree.
I admit a weakness for pet frogs, beginning ten years ago with the Surf Frog Habitat — a debacle in which a good friend admitted many years later that he had replaced the surf frog while I was on vacation (“you mean that’s not Bolt?”). He only admitted this after I revealed that I accidentally, uh, misplaced the replacement frog shortly after he replaced it. So that was a mess.
But I was determined to try again, and Ribbit and Ribbit came in something called the Frogosphere, a self-contained, self-cleaning plastic environment with a bunch of pretty gravel, a bamboo stalk, and a tiny snail. All I had to do was feed the frogs twice a week and I could enjoy two beautiful froggies swimming in crystal-clear snail-and-bamboo-cleaned water. How could that go wrong?
I’ll tell you how.
Almost immediately, the snail disappeared. I don’t know exactly what happened to it. Part of the problem is that a tiny snail shell looks a lot like gravel, so it may have simply hidden. Just the same, I suspected that the frogs murdered the tiny snail. I started to resent them.
Compounding my resentment was the following CDC report, released shortly after we purchased the frogs: Investigation Announcement: Outbreak of Human Salmonella Typhimurium Infections Associated with Contact with Water Frogs. So not only did I worry that Ribbit and Ribbit had murdered the snail, they were out to get my family, too. These were diabolical amphibians, indeed.
Nevertheless, I got the froggies a new snail — this one slightly larger — and continued to feed them regularly. The new snail also disappeared, but I was able to identify the larger shell among the gravel. It was empty. My suspicions were confirmed.
Not wanting to feed the froggies’ bloodlust, I waited a while to buy new snails. The water turned brown. I blinked first. I found four new snails and cleaned the froggies’ little plastic tank. My little serial killing friends offed the four helpless snails within weeks.
Now the water is again turning brown.
I am at crossroads. Do I sacrifice more tiny snails to these demon frogs, or do I find them a new habitat that cleans itself via more conventional means (like a filter)?
I’ve decided on the latter. And so, Today’s Craze is aquaria suitable for my African Dwarf Frogs. There are all sorts, from traditional fish tanks, to ones that look like a little television, to wall hanging aquaria. I’m quite fond of the wall hangers, but I think I like the little TV one the best:
I’ll make a decision soon and be sure to update all of you. I know you’re waiting on pins and needles.