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Tilapias Nibbling

I was in a top administration conference-cum-get-together last Friday in this public resort in Pansol. Just informal discussions, really, and most of these were in the pool.

The perfect place for most of the discussions was the corner of the pool, where hot spring water was pumped in through vents in the wall. Make no mistake; the water was hot! In fact, since there was a drizzle practically all day long, there were moments when that corner of the pool was steaming.

Remarkably, there were small schools of palm-sized tilapia underneath the steaming surface! “Madalî nang malutô ang mga ‘yan,” somebody quipped, “half-cooked na…”

Then, somebody thought it would be a good idea to drop some tomatoes into the pool. Kinamatisan na

In truth, the water was cooler near the bottom of the pool. Erick found that out after dunking himself under the surface. “Maglublob kayo Sir! Malamig sa ilalim ang tubig!”

“Ayoko ngâ!” Unlike him, my legs have nerves…

But those tilapia, they were an insolent lot. They nibbled at people’s legs! It didn’t really hurt; instead, it tickled when they did.

The wily tilapia lulled one into complacency then dove in swiftly, drawing shrieks from those nibbled.

Erick, who had nothing under his beach shorts, had a hand to his crotch, worried one tilapia would be bold enough to take a swipe at the crown jewels. That would have been one fresh tilapia!

The tilapias were picky, seemingly tending to nibble more on some people’s legs than others. “It must be because I’m diabetic,” was Br. Jun’s hypothesis. That made Erick, Eugene and Maurice diabetic as well. The tilapias liked them.

They nibbled dry skin away, was somebody’s alternative hypothesis. “Malibag ka lang,” somebody got told.

“They seem to be attracted to white feet,” someone else volunteered. A quick look down the crystal clear waters of the pool showed everyone had white feet.

The most viable hypothesis was that the tilapias would dive in to take a bite if one stood still long enough for them to get close. That made sense! In fact, Eugene and Maurice tried to prove the hypothesis by standing still to be nibbled at.

That was perverse! For their efforts, the two were ganged upon by the brazen tilapia and both shrieked like little girls.

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