Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Time To Tell The Fish Story

We're going way back today. Back to a time when life was much simpler, back to when I was a kid, back to the day my brother and I won goldfish at the community carnival. Oh it was a great day, after we talked our mom and dad into letting us pay a quarter to throw a ping-pong ball into a little goldfish bowl. Every parent knows that a kid will say anything to acquire a desired pet. 'Yes, we'll take care of it, feed it, clean up after it, yada, yada, yada'. And every parent knows that they will either end up taking care of it themselves or nag continuously until the task is complete. Mom choose the latter. The goldfish that we bragged about to our friends, that we won with amazing skill at the carnival, were becoming a chore. And mom wouldn't let up. The woman was relentless. Didn't she know about our kickball game we had tentatively scheduled for after lunch or the cartoons that were on Saturday morning? No, I think not.
What a drag it was to carry that goldfish bowl, that replaced the tiny ones, down the stairs to the laundry room. And then we would fill one side of the stationary tub with water, dump the fish in there and on the other side clean the bowl. It was taking up a good 15 to 20 minutes of our day. About the fifth time we schlepped down the stairs to the laundry room we had to talk loud because the washer and dryer were in use. Uh huh. Some of you might have already caught on to the horror that unfolded next. Let me tell you that no goldfish deserved what happened to ours, I don't care how much they smelled or how much work it was to take care of them.
Right about the time we had the bowl clean the washer decided to go into it's spin cycle. There was a slight pause, my brother and I locked eyes, slowly our heads turned to the ominous, black hose connected to the washer and one second later hot, soapy water began to spew from it. Pandemonium broke loose, there was some screaming involved, jumping up and down and some crying. Mom, that dear woman, was there in an instant. She slung the hose over to the other side of the tub. But by then the goldfish side was filled to the very top with hot sudsy water, mom must have been doing whites. My brother babbled incoherently and mom and I peered into the tub. She took her hands and gently scooped suds out of the way. We saw the first goldfish, floating on it's side with it's eyes bugged out, "Is it dead mom?"
"I'm afraid so, honey."
"What about mine?" The first dead one immediately became my brothers, he was in a state of shock and I took full advantage of it.
"There it is, it's dead too."
We buried our beloved carnival goldfish in the backyard and made crosses out of sticks for their grave sites. To this day when we speak of it, the goldfish incident, we bow our heads slightly and have a moment of silence. The horror of that day will stay with us forever.

11 comments:

papercages said...

"The first dead one immediately became my brothers." That's what is so great about kids, in the middle of chaos they have the temerity to think of themselves first. I love it. Great story even if it didn't end so well.

Relax Max said...

Sort of like Ralphie's old man burying the broken "leg lamp" behind the garage. Except no cross, just taps. Only with more trauma, I mean.

Relax Max said...

For a tough-talking babe, you sure insulate yourself from the outside world. Turn off that comment moderation crap. I can't read those wavy letters. You can send any porno spam to me if you get any. You won't. :)

MA Fat Woman said...

Our goldfish had a tendency to jump out of their aquarium. One morning my mom was wondering through the living room in the dark and squished my goldfish named after my best friend, Barbie. We still tease her about it.

Sue said...

papercages - My fish was stronger and had a better chance at survival and I'm the oldest.

Relax Max - This tough talking babe is a wuss.

MA Fat Woman - My mom would have freaked if she stepped on a fish!

Dan Brantley said...

Your fish probably had a better end than some. When my kids were little we used to fish at the pond in our local park. There were a few perch, but the majority of fish we caught were escaped goldfish. They all had strange boils and growths all over their bodies, probably from all the fertilizer that washed into the pond from the homes in the area. I refused to touch these mutant fish with my bare hands. Maybe they were trying to commit suicide by biting anything tossed in the water. Your fish mercifully escaped this sordid fate.

Anonymous said...

This sounds way to familiar, The exact same thing happened to me as a kid. Has your brother recovered yet?

Nooter said...

speaking of saturday morning cartoons did you ever see underdog? now that was a great american hero i bet he couldve saved your fish.

VE said...

Ha! WORD on the street is that the fish didn't actually die...it's just plotting its revenge

Sue said...

Dan Brantley - ewwwwww

Anonymous - we got him therapy, LOL!

Nooter - underdog totally would have moved that black hose before it spewed.

VE - great, I'll sleep like a baby tonight.

moooooog35 said...

It was Colonel Mustard in the Library with the candle stick.

Am I right? Did I get it right?

Oh.

That was insensitive.

Did I win anyway?