Shifted Fish

The fish-tank at the Midnight Shift has long been a source of fascination for me. As I’ve sat and had the occasional beer at one of Sydney’s leading gay bars, I’ve often wondered about the fish tank in the downstairs bar. Why are they there? Is it because they have no hearing, and thus won’t be disturbed by the thud of dull, soulless, dance music? Or, is it because they have a limited memory of somewhere between three seconds and three months (depending on which scientific research you believe)?

After three or four weeks behind a baracade, the bar at the Midnight Shift has once again been revealed after renovation. At first glance I couldn’t see a single difference. No change at all. But then I noticed the absence of the fish. There’s a tank, but there’s no fish. “Where have they gone?”, I wondered to myself. “I hope they haven’t been flushed…” I tweeted as I sat and enjoyed a late afternoon/evening drink there tonight.

I was on my way home after an afternoon wandering around Circular Quay. It was such a beautiful day in Sydney, I couldn’t possibly stay at home. And so I walked down to Circular Quay, enjoyed the sunshine, enjoyed the view, and watched the activities of the tourists.

It’s fascinating to see how everyone takes a photograph in the area. The photographs often seemed contrived – a couple of women almost fell into the harbour – but that’s something I can see little problem with, as I also love the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and take a photograph of one or the other everytime I’m here.

As I wandered back home I called in and bought a new wallet from a shop on Oxford Street. My wallet has been falling apart for several weeks and I desperately needed a new one so I called into Sax. I’ve previously bought my wallets there as they have good priced, good quality leather wallets. That said, it’s rather odd to walk into a shop that’s labelled “Sax Fetish”. As I walked into the shop I felt a little overwhelmed by the “leather gear” that was inside. Sensing my unease, the bloke behind the counter asked if he could help. When I asked for a wallet, he seemed kinda relieved.

With a new wallet, I sat in the bar with a glass of wine and transferred over my cards and cash, and threw out the rubbish I’d gathered.

And that’s when I noticed the absence of fish in the new Midnight Shift Bar fish tank, and became concerned about what’s happened to the fish.

I mean, I’m not naive enough to believe the fish that were there ten years ago are the same ones that were there until recently, but I still wondered.

Goodness, can you imagine what it must be like to have spent ten or twenty years wasting your life watching the passing parade at the Midnight Shift? Oh hang on…

P.S. Shifted fish is quite hard to say, isn’t it? A bit like frosts and fogs.