A Case of Mistaken Identity

Veteran’s Day was a holiday for Tara but I had to work. It had snowed the evening before and our high never made it above 12º, so the roads were a mess. Tara offered to let me drive her pickup and I jumped at the chance, since it’s got 4WD. Everything went well until it was time to go home and I could not get into the truck. I hit the remote button to unlock the door, and…nothing happened.

Tried again. Nothing. And again. Still nothing.

At least I’ll never be accused of having a lack of persistence (though some might, and do, call it stubbornness. Whatever. I own my Taurus-ness!).

I was flummoxed at that point, afraid the battery had died. Even more afraid of calling Tara and asking her to come get me, knowing she probably wouldn’t be too keen to leave the cozy, warm confines of our home. When I couldn’t disable the alarm, I at least figured I could unlock the door with the key, but even that didn’t work. By now I was totally confused, wondering what kind of strange sorcery would cause a dead battery to prevent a key from working. I tried several times but to no avail. “What the hell?!” I said out loud…

…and then realized, woopsie, I was trying to break into somebody else’s truck.

Gah. But in my defense, what are the odds that there would be two red pickup trucks parked next to one another?! And okay, fine, maybe the one I was trying to drive away in was a Toyota and not a Nissan like my wife’s, but hey, in the overall scheme of things that is an easily-overlooked detail.

I’d even been nice enough to knock off some of the ice that had accumulated over the wheel well of this stranger’s pickup. I hope he appreciated that.

When I got home and told Tara, she laughed about it for days. In fact, she’s still laughing. I’d be annoyed, but she’s making pumpkin pancakes and bacon, and the house is filled with those heavenly aromas.

Besides, it was a pretty funny case of mistaken identity.

I was finally able to add fish to my new aquarium yesterday.

Actually, I’m not sure I even mentioned the fact that I bought a new aquarium. (Spoiler alert: I bought a new aquarium.) I have long been a tropical fish aficionado. Call me an a-fish-ionado! Bought my first tank when I was 15, and my first job was working in a tropical fish store. I graduated from a 10-gallon glass tank to a 55-gallon plexiglass  and even ventured into saltwater for a while, though the maintenance and expense proved daunting. When we were downsizing back in 2014 after I sold my townhouse, I reluctantly got rid of the fish tank. But I missed having an aquarium, and with my freelance income allowing me some luxuries these days, I decided to reignite my hobby. Bought a 50-gallon acrylic tank and got that all set up at the end of September, but then I had to let the aquarium cycle. It’s complicated to explain, but essentially you have to let harmful ammonia and nitrite levels build up and then drop before it’s safe to add fish. The process can take up to two months.

I’d been diligently testing the water for weeks, and it was finally good to go on Thursday. So I made a PetSmart run yesterday and bought some fish. Tiger barbs (always my faves), a couple of rainbow sharks and a pair of algae eaters. Provided they do well this week, I’ll add more next weekend. The general rule of thumb is, you can have one inch of fish for every gallon of water in your aquarium. So, I have room for plenty more.


I just love having tropical fish and didn’t realize how much I’d missed them until I added them to the tank yesterday. They are just so peaceful and fun to watch. Good stress-relievers, too. The aquarium is set up in the basement, so we’ll have to make it a point to hang out there more often. Which is easy to do when you have such an awesome basement!

Last evening, we went to the movies. This used to be a favorite pastime of mine; back when I was unemployed for a long stretch, I went nearly every Tuesday to take advantage of $5 flicks. But we’ve really fallen out of the habit lately. This was only our third or fourth movie since moving to Rapid City. A new, luxury theater opened in town, and we wanted to check it out, so I bought us tickets for “Doctor Sleep.” Funny thing: I did not care for the novel all that much, but I’m a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, and Mike Flanagan did an admirable job combining aspects of Stephen King’s book with Kubrick’s movie, which the author famously hated. I think it was very well done and a real nostalgia trip. Tara and I both enjoyed it.

Now, THIS is how to enjoy a movie!

And the theater? Man, it just oozes luxury. The seats are the best I’ve ever experienced at the movies. Power leather recliners. It’s one of those theaters where you can order food and they deliver it right to your seat. We tried the fried pickle spears and they were really good. Kinda reminded us of Shanahan’s in Vancouver, WA. Well played, Golden Ticket.

The movie was a 4:30 showing but ran 2.5 hours, so it was after 7:00 by the time we left. We grabbed dinner at a Mexican restaurant we’d heard good things about but hadn’t tried yet. The food was good, and the margaritas were very unusual. Our server informed us that they make theirs with agave wine instead of tequila. I’d never heard of such a thing, but if he hadn’t warned us, I’d never have known there wasn’t tequila in there. They were smooth and tasty.

Today is football and blogs. The weather warmed up after last Monday and has mainly been in the 50s, so at least I won’t try to steal somebody’s truck this week.

11 thoughts on “A Case of Mistaken Identity

  1. I’m embarrassed to tell you how many times I have tried to unlock the wrong car since I got my new one in September. There are way too many silver SUVs out there.

    We had an octogon shaped aquarium for the kids and I thoroughly enjoyed the fish. My faves were zebra fish and neon tetras.

    Agave wine is a new one to me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tara mentioned neon tetras the other day. I like them too, but they are not compatible with the fish I’ve got currently. I’ve always thought it would be nice to have a smaller tank upstairs full of nothing but neons.


  2. I love tropical fish! I used to babysit my neighbor’s fish when they went away for a few days. I remember I had to feed something gross & bloody to the eels, Nikki & Tommy.

    At least you figured out it wasn’t your wife’s truck before she had to drive down there and figure it out for you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “…and then realized, woopsie, I was trying to break into somebody else’s truck.”

    HA! OMG Mark, I’ve done that same exact thing SEVERAL times when I own a car and tried to unlock it in the park lot of the mall I worked, only to discover that it wasn’t my car!!!

    Your fish aquarium is fab-u-lous! I love the cool-looking things you place on the bottom.

    Our family had aquariums at different times of my childhood. But when we moved to Florida, my father decided to try a saltwater tank instead of fresh water and it was a disaster because it takes so much effort and time to get just the right amount of salt. So many of the fish died that my father decided to go back to a fresh water tank. Besides, saltwater fish are SO expensive!

    The theater you went to sounded and looked VERY nice! I used to go to a theater in Orlando called, The Enzian Theater, where they served all kinds of food (and alcohol). LOVED it because it was like sitting at home with your friends on the couch, enjoying a film.

    Have a super week, my friend!

    P.S. we got some really cold weather the past couple of days. no snow, though. only freezing rain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, saltwater requires daily maintenance and testing. And I paid as much as $30 for a fish, but they can get a lot more expensive than that. You know what? I’m happy paying $2.99 per tiger barb!

      Alcohol will be coming soon to our luxury theater. I’m sure that will only improve the whole experience.


  4. I thought you were going to say that you were trying to open her truck with the key to your car. But that story was just as good.
    Happy you got your fish! Enjoyed the fish puns, too, btw. My brother has (had?) an aquarium and reported the same thing about it being so peaceful and de-stressing to watch.
    We also have a theater like that near us. It is really fun. I have yet to have a fried pickle spear, though. I haven’t lived!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Back in my working years I occasionally taught Business Intelligence/Reporting classes, and during breaks I’d sometimes show funny videos. Your story reminded me of one where a guy cleaned off windows and doors on a car off that had four inches of snow piled on it, only to hit his unlock fob and trigger the lights on the car next to it.

    I ran a saltwater tank for years, including corals. It was nice, but I got really tired of the maintenance. I got rid of it a couple of years back and don’t miss it. It looks like your tank is off to a nice start.

    Liked by 1 person

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