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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Return of the Fish

I remember back when I was a little PT that I always loved to watch fish. When I was in elementary school, my sister and I would bring home goldfish in plastic bags from the Purim Carnival. My mom would dutifully wash out a jar for them. Invariably we’d find them floating belly-up by morning, and then we’d arrange a hasty burial at sea. After this happened a few times, I gave up on my fish dream.

Ten years ago, my kids came back from a Purim Carnival with goldfish of their own, and I decided the time was right to give it another try. So this time, I went with them to the pet store and bought a ten gallon tank, with gravel, a filter, a bubbler, a heater and a light. It made a Gawd-awful racket in the living room, but it was pretty and fun to watch.

The tank had all kinds of problems. It may be more accurate to say that I had all kinds of problems…with maintaining the tank. We had a big algae problem. I probably had it in a spot that got too much sun. We didn’t always match our fish correctly. A group of snails mysteriously vanished one day; all we found were bits of shell. There was high rate of fish turnover. One day, maybe about 6 or 7 years into the life of the tank, The PT, who was 2 or 3, dumped a whole canister of food into it. And that, as they say, was the end of that.

Fast forward a few more years, and now The PT is six, and wants a pet. None of us are interested in taking care of a pet. I’ve blogged about my not being a “pet person.” As far as I’m concerned, The PT served the function of “pet” all by herself. But The PT has a new method for getting us to do what she wants.

“Oh pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease please pleeeeaaaassssse????”

Frankly, I didn’t think Mrs. B was going to go for it, but she did. I had just gotten home from work, and dinner wasn’t quite ready, and she said something like, “well, that quiche isn’t out of the oven for another 25 minutes; I think we have time to go to the fish store.”

Thirty dollars later we were the proud owners of a new fishbowl with a perky little goldfish in it (and various accoutrements). The PT was so excited that she called up her Bubbie:

The PT: Bubbie guess what!

Bubbie: What?

The PT: Uhhh….I went to the zoo yesterday!

Mrs B (standing next to her): What? That’s not why you called Bubbie!

Bubbie: Oh how nice!

Mrs B: Tell her the real news!

The PT: Well…I think I saw a giraffe!

Bubbie: That’s wonderful! A giraffe! Was it tall?

Mrs B: No! Tell her what happened TODAY!

Bubbie: What happened today?

The PT: Er…well…there’s a water stain on the table…and it looks like an “8.”

Abba: Give me the phone!

Bubbie: That’s wonderful!

The PT: Yeah it’s pretty weird…


The PT: Oh, er, and we, uh, bought a fish.

Bubbie: What?

Well, you get the picture. She was…somewhat excited. By next morning, though, the fish (which she named Goldie) was not doing that well. It was hanging out on the bottom of the bowl and listing off to one side.

Over the next few days, discussions regarding Goldie went mostly like this:

Abba: How’s your fish.

The PT: Still alive.

However, I’m happy to report that Goldie seems to have rallied and appears to be his or her perky old self again. We’ll see how long we can keep this up.


Halfnutcase said...

you do know that you are supposed to put the water in the tank and let it sit for a day before you put the fish in it?

otherwise the fishie suffers from flourine poisoning, and you're really lucky it did not die.

PsychoToddler said...

Nah, we got these drops from the fish store that's supposed to take the chlorine out of the water so you can use it immediately. We just waited for the temperature to equalize.

Doctor Bean said...

now you just need a cat

You can call me, 'Sir' said...

I think if you put a treadmill and maybe some free-weights in there it might help. Goldie probably just needs to burn off the excess carbs in order to perk up.

RaggedyMom said...

Oy . . . not a pet. Anything but a pet. Although I did once manage to keep one of those Purim Carnival goldfish for a good number of years.

Thankfully, Ann is still pretty much scared of anything that moves.

I can't believe how funny that phone call to her Bubbie was. Kind of like when we need to call my mother NOW about something and then Ann spends the first 10 minutes asking things like, "So how you doin'?" and "What are you eating for supper?"

Have fun with Goldie, and remember: Never feed her after midnight.

RaggedyMom said...

HNC, your theory sounds intense. Who is pumping you with these wacky fish-related urban legends?

Chani said...

Ok, I was going to get a guppy and a can of fish food and put it in a mayonaisse jar for as long as she was interested in it.

Her father went for the "fish bowl" and chlorine drops and gravel and fish food and dropped $30.

The quiche was pretty good too - and it was done when we got home.

Halfnutcase said...

my kindergarden teacher thank you very much, thats why most of the time the fish people bring home from purim carnaval (or from tashlich if you live in crown heights) die so quickly.

plus you can find it in the encyclopedia.

Miriam L said...

I envy you with your pets that peacefully pass away. We have the oldest living gerbil in the world. And a screeching insane violent cockatiel that will outlive all of us.

RaggedyMom said...

I hope it was a marinated mushroom quiche.

Chana said...

We had the exact same situation in my house- with my sister and brothers- graduating from the simple bowl to the tank- and the fish always dying.

Maybe I'll write about it...

Shira Salamone said...

There's somethin' fishy goin' on at the PT Palace. :) :) :)

RaggedyMom, thanks for reminding us about the infamous marinated mushrooms. So nu, Mark, whence do you think your darling daughter acquired her ability to sweet-talk her mother. :) :) :) She didn't do a bad job on you, either. :) :) :)

Holy Hyrax said...

My biology teacher had the same goldfish in his classroom for over a decade. His trick. He never cleaned the tank of the algae. The fish would eat it and the fish actually grew to about 6 inches.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

be careful who you let name your pets.... my parents never named any fish, and let me name the last ones they had a few years ago.

so i named them Bloodbath, Overkill, and Finja the Ninja.

the apple said...

I want a PT like yours! She's so funny!

We named our goldfish "Stupid" because it never knew when the food was actually in the bowl so it could come and eat it. Dumb fish.

Holy Hyrax said...

>so i named them Bloodbath, Overkill, and Finja the Ninja.

I once had a pet dog that was named "bool-bool"

We'll leave it at that.

household duck said...

My grandmother had a goldfish in the days when the house was heated with a wood stove. On winter mornings the fish bowl would be a solid block of ice. By afternoon the ice would be melted and the fish would be swimming around. You obviously just need to buy tougher fish.

Steg (dos iz nit der šteg) said...

speaking of, erm, that type of reduplicated word...

היי, אתה רוצה משהו לאכול?

אולי... מה יש לכם?

יש קוסקוס. אתה רוצה קוסקוס?

אה... רק חצי מנה, בבקשה.

PsychoToddler said...


Holy Hyrax said...

LOL Steg, LOL indeed.

PT- This is a family blog, I dont think we will be translating that.