Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Goldfish hit man



Since my son has entered kindergarten, I have formulated several complaints about his school all of which are about the way they choose to raise money for the school. The ones I will not discuss in this post have to do with my kids being marketed to (hey if you buy dinner at Chick-fil-a on this day .00000001% of the sales will go to our school, so beg and plead with your parents, because if you don't go, you will be uncool and fail all of your classes) and believe me, I could write forever on that subject.

Instead, today I thought I'd focus on the carnival they decided to have to raise money. What's wrong with a carnival you ask? Nothing! Except for the goldfish ball toss put on by the Kindergarten classes which I naively thought Gabe would not win. But for some reason they decided to make it really easy and before I knew it, they were dumping our new goldfish into a plastic bag filled with water and thrusting it in our hands with a baggy full of fish food. Don't they make fake fish anymore? Or what about a bag of Swedish fish? Well, anyway there I was with a blissfully happy 5 year old and a new pet. Reassured by my friend's story of her son's goldfish of last year who only lived for two days, I decided to go along with the charade.

So we came home and because we didn't have a fish bowl, we found a Tupperware to put him in. I then prepared myself and my son for the inevitable fact that his goldfish would not last very long. The next morning, I went down and expected to see a little goldfish floating at the top waiting to be flushed, but alas, there he was swimming happily. It has now been 11 days and each morning I look at the fish and he is still swimming happily. So now we have decided that it is time to fish or cut bait if you will pardon the expression. The only option I could think of at the time was to upgrade "Jr.'s" (my son named him) habitat and purchase a proper fishbowl for him. As I began to look online, I realised that Jr.'s makeshift tank had become absolutely disgusting in a matter of days and as I am not fond of cleaning anything, I decided that if I was going to get a tank I was going to get one with a filter so I wouldn't have to clean it. I found a few all in one 2-5 gallon fish tank kits for about 50 dollars each when I stumbled upon a goldfish care guide that informed me that A) Goldfish can live for 50 years and are very "hardy," and B) They require 29 gallon tanks at the minimum for ONE goldfish. So after a good laugh, I convinced myself that I must have been given a gold colored fish of a different species because there was no way I was spending 700$ on a 29 GALLON TANK for this stupid fish. Then I made the mistake of asking for my husband's opinion which was very typical male "Just flush him." "Honey, I can't just kill the fish" was my very female answer. "He's not going to die" My husband insisted. So then I had to dispel my Husband's lovely vision of Jr. sliding down the sewer pipe and landing in the sewer only to become the teenage mutant ninja goldfish. He then gave me the worst answer of all which was "I don't care, do whatever you want to do." Well, now it was too late I had permanently fixed on my shoulders an angel and a devil just like in old cartoons. If I flushed the fish, the devil would say, all my troubles would be taken care of and I wouldn't be out 50 or more bucks. But, the Angel would interrupt, you'd have to answer to your son which would either be lying or telling him that you killed his fish, and what about the value of life? But come on! I tried to reason with the Angel, who knows how long this could go on? Years? Decades? And theoretically, I'd be neglecting him without the proper size fish tank anyway which would eventually kill him right? So here I am, stuck between two roads unable to move in either direction. Does anyone know where I could find a goldfish hit man? I'm sure my cat would take the job, although the fish has been in an open container on the kitchen counter for a while now, and the cat has not even noticed him.

Next time I think I will just save us all the trouble by refusing the fish in the first place and deal with the subsequent crying and whining. Oh what we parents do to avoid said crying and whining!!

Seriously though, if anyone has any ideas, please let me know!

9 comments:

Becky O. said...

In my 24 years I've had several goldfish. I loved them when I was a kid, even a teenager, but now I'm not so fond of them.

When I see you next I'm going to bring a picture of Moe! The surviving goldfish I got for my 11th birthday! I'll have you know he was part of a tank full of fish I got that year and part of a trio of goldfish I named after the three stooges.

That's right this fish has been alive for nearly 14 years! He is still hanging out at my parents and my mom feeds him every night!

If I were in your situation I'd just buy a fish bowl. Many of my fish were in regular bowls for years. Jr. will be fine, just put some fun rocks in the bowl. :) Maybe you could get Jon and Gabe to clean the bowl each Saturday.

Anyway, kids love goldfish, what can you do!!!?

ali said...

Becky!! Nice to see you around here! I was just going to email you to chastise you for not visiting my blog...

Natalie said...

look on craigslist for a bargain tank. it that proves unsucessful, buy a bowl at Walmart for $1.88. Next time you find yourself at the school carnival wondering what in the hoo hoo to do with a gold fish, bribe your son with chick-fil-a. Tell him that a portion of his proceeds will go directly back to his very own classroom. He will feel like a hero!

Sarah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarah said...

Ali, We had some carnival goldfish too. We started with 6 and then got down to one and that fish lasted for almost 15 years.....I think he killed the others although I can't prove it....
I think you should just buy a little bowl and see how long the fish lasts. Then you only spend a few bucks but your son is happy.
Maybe you could point out the fish to your cat?

Andy & Jessica said...

Ali I love reading your blog, always makes me laugh. I have had gold fish that have died very quickly and some that seriously lasted forever. Isaac is totally wanting a pet. I did think of goldfish but then the thought of cleaning the tank just made me ill. I say let Jon and Gab deal with it. You are pregnant and therefore have enough on your mind. If that doesn't work, well flush it down the toilet. Oh that sounds too harsh doesn't it? Sorry I really don't know what to tell you. But you have taught me a very good lesson, never take the goldfish in the first place. :-)

ali said...

Seriously Jess, I think that should be emblazoned somewhere in everyone's home:

"Never Take the Goldfish in the First Place."

I'm going to put that where I can see it forever!!

Adam said...

Ali- Just teach Gabe to do this:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=zTYXCEO6bxE

(You may have to copy and paste the link)

ali said...

Adam! Shame on you, you know I'm pregnant with a sensitive stomach! I couldn't even get past the description. This just makes me even more determined to teach Gabe the value of every living thing. Boys are disgusting.