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I CAN BLOW BUBBLES THROUGH YOUR ALIBI

[NOTE: To really understand this story, you have to start at the beginning…]

When one fish dies, one can say many things… 

But when two fish die, suddenly it goes from unfortunate circumstance to serial fish killer.

Darla – was she misunderstood or a true fish killer?
(C) Disney/Pixar

Though not a word has been said, I still stink of the crime committed. While going through the irrational emotional roller coaster that these two little fishies set me on, my family laughed at me and empathized, laughed with me and ridiculed, laughed and told me to suck it up. Now that both fish are history – silence.

Did she or didn’t she?!

Paul Jr., the bigger, heartier fish, lasted 2 days longer than Paul. His emotionless stare seemed happier that he swam the full circumference of the tank.  He bobbed around enjoying his pirate ship. We discussed getting Paul a companion, but wanted to see how this fair fish would fare first.

I tried bribing the kids with hamsters because I prefer furry and sawdust mess to fish any day.

Fish vs. Fur

We concluded that while our cats were blissfully unaware of the fish at this point, we knew that wouldn’t be the case if we had hamsters.

Sadly, Monday morning before school, Carson said “Where’s Lauren’s fish?!”  My mind immediately thought:

  • Oh Carp! The kids are joking
  • If it jumped out of the tank, the kids better find it
  • If we can’t find it, the cats better find it because I don’t want a zombie fish apocalypse

Thank you Sparky for showing me I am not alone in my zombie goldfish terror.

Quickly without much fanfare, the fish was flushed. This was becoming too familiar a scene and we still made it to work on time.

Same routine, different day.
Swim free little fishie!

I would never intentionally hurt animals. I floundered with fish ownership but it’s just not something I do well.  My family forgets that my childhood fish were thanks to my dad’s TLC.  My family has fallen silent, no last words, no condolences. Perhaps they’re suspicious that a double fishicide took place here and afraid that if they mention it that I might send them to… sleep with the fishies.

Seriously my worst nightmare!

 

R.I.P. Pauls

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A LONG FISH TALE

After returning to earth and disembarking Knott’s highest ride,

Wandering free, wish I could be
part of that world…
301 feet above sea level!

the stink of fish permeated my thoughts. I was in over my head with 2 new goldfish.

Ending this first day of Lauren’s 8th birthday celebration, my kids were exhausted! Usually I’d encourage sleeping on the way home. This time I kept conversation flowing, sang songs, “Fish heads, fish heads, roly-poly fish heads…” and warned that if they fell asleep dropping the tanks, the fish wouldn’t survive against zoobles and pokemons inhabiting our car floor.

After making it home intact, the fishies spent the night locked in the bathroom – safe from our cats, and me.

Paul Jr. (left) and Paul (right) laying low.

My son was anxious to add water, since my dad taught him the proper technique, but I reminded him it must reach room temperature first. I insisted I knew how to care for sturdy goldfish. Before bed, I found our old tank, rinsed it out (no soap – duh!) poured fresh water in to sit overnight.

Saturday morning the kids couldn’t wait to introduce the Pauls to their roomier home.  I carefully scooped each fish into the bubble tank.

Enjoying their new water front home!

They swam, ate and napped – a familiar pattern in our house. Carson thought differently, “Is my fish dead?” I denied everything, “He’s sleeping! He’ll move, just watch!”

Instant panic washed over me, as my phobia stems more from dead fish than living.  My mind flipped between pain I caused and flushing him too early. My vet tech sister said “Poke him!” Ew, I was definitely not touching him!  Besides we had a date for part 2 of Lauren’s birthday.

My gift this year was dinner and a movie in Hollywood!

After a night of sundaes, stage shows, prayers for fish miracles and beautifully restored movie theatres, we returned to the sad realization, Paul was dead.  Being the horrible ichthyophobic mother that I am, I hid in the hallway avoiding seeing the corpse as Carson fished it out and dropped it in the toilet.

A few kind sentiments before setting him afloat.
WTF: Way to flush!

Carson said a few words of prayer, Lauren boasted her fish was still alive, and Carson reflected upon the somber moment.

YOU did this, Mom! You forgot drops to neutralize the chlorine!

I tried to comfort, “We did the best we could! Please hold the handle down for 5 seconds so he makes it to the ocean.”

The End, or is it?…

 

As with any good fish tale, this one keeps getting longer…

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