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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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One Fish, Two Fish...

One Fish, Two Fish

"Okay, stupid fish! Be still and smile." It was no use, the fish insisted on swimming around the tank, giving me the fish eye, and making it impossible to focus and click.

We were at the Tennessee Aquarium. On the spur of the moment, we had decided to drive to Chattanooga and take my grandson to the aquarium. He has been before, but kids donít care, they like to do the same things over and over.

Somehow it looked much larger than when I was there before. There also were many more parking lots now, but all were full. I thought we would never find a parking place until we finally resorted to the top deck of the parking garage.

My grandson insisted that he wanted to see the I-Max movie, a tourist attraction packaged with the aquarium tickets for an additional charge. He wanted to see the "shark movie." Wouldn't you just know it?

Anyhow, to get back to the aquarium, the building was dark inside with long corridors winding round and round and the only light coming from inside the giant fish tanks. The first display was the seahorses, which were sort of cool.

But the fish just wouldn't cooperate. By the time I finished taking my pictures, I couldn't find the rest of my party. I peered around in the
darkness, but there were too many people to find anyone. Who would think so many people would want to see fish?

The next display was up an escalator. I looked around and waited, but my folks didn't come, so I decided they had gone on, and I was probably getting behind. I wound around through the dark corridors, looking at the fish, room after dark room, tank after tank, display after display.

Where had my family gone? Finally, I remembered that I had a cell phone and so did they. I called and got no answer. "Where are you?" I asked the voice mail. I found a bench and sat down, lost at sea and with no idea where anyone was.

My phone range, "Where are you?"

"Getting ready to go in the Discovery Hall, just past the alligators," I replied.

"Weíve been waiting for you at the escalator," I was told.

"Iím way past there! Just take your time and Iíll wait." They couldnít possibly get past here without me seeing them. In the meantime, an older lady was taken into a back room. I heard someone say her knee gave out and she couldn't make it. Well, at least I know there is a back door on this tunnel of doom.

Then a couple came and sat down beside me. I heard them discussing where the rest of their party could be. Apparently, Iím not the only one that gets lost in the dark. Finally, my daughter and grandson showed up.

After we got through the aquarium, it was time for lunch and then the I-Max. I slept through the shark movie. I can't believe I paid extra to see a documentary on how wonderful sharks are.

We returned to the aquarium and my grandson spent the rest of the time pointing out all the sharks to the unknowing adults. At least he had stayed awake in the movie. He darted from one tank to another looking for even more sharks to show us.

I snapped a few more pictures, still trying to figure out how to get my camera to take pictures through glass. The sharks would not smile either. The alligators, however, smiled a lot.

Somehow I have a feeling they were planning their next snack, a thought that made me a little bit nervous. I don't know why.

Copyright 2005 Sheila Moss

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