I’m Old, Part XLII: Messing With the Landlord

When I was working for Axial/Newfire, we had a decent little offic suite in Saratoga, CA. It was a very California design in that the the building was very much an exterior design. If you wanted to go to the bathroom (or in the words of Cowboy Dave, “I have to go see a man about a dog”), you had to step outside since the entrance to the bathroom was only outdoors.

The building had a couple wings and in the center was a nice koi pond with attractive rocks and plants around it. The landlord was very proud of the grounds and the fish, but there was a problem. Since this was an open area that was not far from wilderness, the koi routinely got poached by something. Likely it was a bird of prey – maybe a red tailed hawk. Could also have been coyotes.

I was talking with the landlord and he was complaining about how much the koi cost. I suggested that he string a lattice of fine wire across the winds of the building, which would certainly sort out the problem if, when he installed it, he didn’t do such a half-assed job. Oh well.

So being gainfully employed, I decided to solve his koi problem and visited the local pet store and bough $20 worth of feeder goldfish. Do you know how many fish that is? At that time, way more than 100. I had a couple of plastic bags of feeders and a jar of food and I let them loose into the pond and fed them periodically. They were initially too small to be a temptation to birds. Over the months, a lot of them died, but the rest grew and I loved that my bargain feeder fish were hidden among his koi indistinguishable to the untrained eye.

Yeah, it was petty, but sometimes I’m petty.


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