Waiting for "the package." Our shared geeky affliction.

Don't you just kind of "geek out" when you order something fish related online and it's going to be delivered today?

It doesn't matter if it's a part for your RO/DI unit, a bunch of pelleted food, 10 pounds of activated carbon, or- on those truly special days- that breeding pair of Apistos or rare Gouramis- you still get this childlike excitement, like the night before Christmas or something, right?

If you're like me, you track your order  online ("Oh, honey, it's in Memphis right now!"), you watch your porch, you listen for every "delivery-truck-sounding" vehicle coming down the street (damn, just a school bus!), and look for an email from USPS, FedEx, or UPS with that beautiful subject line: "Your package was delivered..."

If you're at work when the shipment is due to arrive, of course, it's even more exciting, distracting, and nerve-wracking, isn't it? Your mind runs wild with every scenario: "What if it's a new delivery guy and he puts my package on the wrong porch?" Or worse, "What if the delivery person misreads the instructions and needs me to sign for the delivery? Where and when can I pick it up?"

Or even worse yet- the online status indicates that a "Delivery Exception" has occurred  What does that mean? Is it a weather delay that has held up your package, or is it damaged and undeliverable, or...?

Need to call...but can't get out of that meeting.  Feeling sick...

You know, stuff like that.

It's such a weird thing that many a good fish geek will simply take the day off when he or she knows that a package is set to arrive. We can't risk it being handled by ANYONE else, not even our long-suffering spouse!

Even the word, "package", brings up some visceral, child-like feeling in a fish geek like me. A "package" is a magical thing that contains cool stuff that can help you really geek out even more! I love that word.

And when the package does arrive- when it all comes together and you are there to receive it from the delivery person (who has no idea that you were stalking her while she parked the main truck at the curb, took out your package from the back of the truck, and slowly- agonizingly slowly- walk up the driveway to your porch), your pulse quickens...

And it takes everything you have NOT to open the door half a second after the doorbell rings...No, you're too cool for that- you wait another second or tow, and casually open the door to grab the goods. And of course, you are hoping- praying- that the delivery persona doesn't engage in any small talk greater than the usual pleasantries or comment about the weather, because you've got to open that package!

And you casually close that door...and run to the drawer where your scissors is...Where is it?

And you finally open that package- a complete sensory experience, the feel, the sound, the smell of cardboard and packaging tape- all seared not your brain circuitry from a lifetime of waiting for and opening packages...

What a moment!

And even if it IS just a 6 pack of new filter socks, it might as well be that rare Pleco you ordered from the guy in New Jersey. You admire your prize, and feel...well, content. For now.

It's the culmination of a long process. The pinnacle of an experience filled with all sorts of emotions, impulses, and rituals. You feel something. Relief, perhaps? Or the desire to go through that whole thing again next week.

And you go back online and peruse the vendors' offerings..."Hmm, how much do I have to order to get free shipping...?

You are a fish geek. Through and through.

As for me, I need to go now. I have a package arriving today, and I need to check on it...

Stay excited. Stay alert.

And Stay Wet.

Scott Fellman

Tannin Aquatics


Scott Fellman
Scott Fellman

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