Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Survivor Goldfish Edition

goldfishPerhaps you read my post about our newest additions to the family. Perhaps you've been on pins and needles, waiting to hear how Aristides and Sally have fared in our humble home.

Well wait no longer, it pains me to report that they didn't last a week. It was five days or so into their familial induction when our love became too much for them and they shuffled off this mortal coil in search of a better world.

It was Lillian's first experience with death and there were a few heart-wrenching sobs about her love for Sally--her first pet--and her inconsolable loss which was felt all the more keenly because Aristides ate Sally, nibbling off her tail and fins bit by bit until she was struggling around the tank. All the goldfish in the world and we get the cannibals. Great, just great. But as is common at age four, twenty minutes later Lillian was hiccoughing and smiling and asking for string cheese.

The next week the kids were bequeathed 11 goldfish which had been part of the table decorations at the annual Blue and Gold Banquet. Eleven. Sally and Aristides seemed to be reproducing from beyond the grave and I found myself swimming in pets.

I tell you eleven goldfish--Holmes, Esther, Odysseus, Penelope, Avocado, Guacamole, Einstein, Newton, Poseidon, Sushi, Sally the Second and Aristides Jr.--stink up a tank much faster than the previous tenants so my life has been not-so-pleasantly enhanced by becoming Head of Aquarium Housekeeping. But my woes may be at an end.

First it was Holmes, then Avocado, then Esther. One by one our fish were found resting serenely on the tank bottom, moving gently with the currents. Each day the kids wake up to see which fish has been voted off the island until we're now down to four fish and the kids have become remarkably hardened to the sight of another dead goldfish.

So much for tribal immunity, I came back from the gym today and found another one waiting for me in a Dixie cup on the bathroom counter but for some reason Spencer had scooped him out and hesitated to perform that Final Flush. Later I heard his singing echoing off the bathroom tiles as he reenacted the burial scene from Lord of the Rings, complete with Eowyn's funeral chant.

At this rate I except to be fish-free by the middle of next week.

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31 comments:

Amber said...

Sniff. That burial scene gets to me everytime. And to think your son gave it even more meaning. Sniff.

How CUTE!

snarflemarfle said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about your fish but I just about fell off the sofa about "waiting to see who was next to be voted off the island!"

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

Ah. The pleasure of fins. Just love that they are so disposable and cheap. How many 'Chloe's' has SF had? Well, since The fourth of July...I think 3.

Ask her how many she's had and she'll look at you crooked. No clue.

K T Cat said...

Good Lord! It's the Great Fish Massacre of 2007!

:-)

Maria said...

You may not want more ichthic pets after this, but in case you do: Beta (betta?) fish are far hardier and easier to keep alive than are goldfish (and imo, prettier too). You do have to keep them separated from each other, but otherwise they're very accomodating about not croaking at the slightest provocation.

kim said...

See? You've hit on the one GOOD thing about having goldfish as pets.
Says the mean calloused anti-pet mom.

meredith said...

LOL at "who was next to be voted off the island." Poor fishies. We had two goldfish that lived almost six years despite the sparse care we gave them. Both finished with proper burials and lots of tears.

Jami Leigh said...

My children finally packed up the tank and threw in the towel. When asked if they wanted to try again my oldest told me he was quite sure God didn't want our family to have a fish. He said he didn't think we were a "fish friendly family".

Undercover Angel said...

That's sad. Those poor kids watching their pets die off one by one... I wonder who'll get voted off the island next...

Jenn in Holland said...

Ah, fish. Ah, flushing. My youngest loves to flush them and is always a little disappointed when I tell him he can't scoop out the live ones and send them on their way to the happy fish bowl in the sky.
I have myriad fish stories but will settle to tell you this one. "Goldie", the goldfish won at a church carnival one fall lived with us for over 7 years. Perhaps I should repeat: SEVEN YEARS! She left us just before we moved across the ocean. We miss her stamina. Since getting a fish tank here we have lost several to the final flush. I guess Dutch fish just don't have the staying power...

Jeana said...

Oh I'm cracking up! "shuffled off this mortal coil in search of a better world." Love it.

I mean, um, so sorry for your loss...

And I'm glad you had string cheese available because what if the only snack food you had on hand was Pepperidge Farm goldfish crackers? Salt in the wounds.

Say, it's still cold up there. Got a fireplace? Because he could totally re-enact the fires of Mordor. "One fish to rule them all"

Christie said...

awww! it's so not funny but it's funny! goldfish survivor! poor fishies! poor kiddies!! my goldfish experience as a kid was coming home from school and seeing little parts of the fish scattered everywhere and the tank on the floor smashed in a million pieces. cat was hungry.

Amy W said...

I had no idea they ate each other...

Heffalump said...

I got my first goldfish (two of them) in first grade...and I remember crying so much when they croaked. After that the fish deaths are a blur over the years. We did have some success eventually though.
You want a good pet? Try snails. We have one that has been with us almost a year. Feed it a carrot or some lettuce every few days, spray a little water in the fish bowl (a couple inches of dirt on the bottom, along with a rock or two and a lid with holes on top) and you have a low maintenance pet!

kailani said...

I don't know why but handling fish kind of freaks me out. That's why we don't have any. I love watching them, though.

It's actually cute that your son put so much meaning into the funeral.

allrileyedup said...

Cannibal goldfish!!! I've never had such an experience. And believe me, I've been through MANY goldfish.

Kristin said...

Oh, the curse of the Carnival goldfish... we have flushed many away in our home version of a burial at sea...

I'll be tuning in... does the winner get a little plastic treasure chest?

my4kids said...

We've had several fish and a little frog in the last year and none seem to make it more then a couple weeks. We apparently weren't ment for aquatic pets. My kids don't really say anything about it anymore and Izzak is the flusher.

soccer mom in denial said...

We also won fish at a dinner right when we decided to "try" for kids. Fred and Ginger were dead within days. It made us seriously question whether we were fit to be parents.

Fortunately kids cry when they need something.

laughing mommy said...

Oh sad!

My daughter wants a goldfish and I'm worried about the death thing too.

Deena said...

"waiting to see who was next to be voted off the island!"

I know it's supposed to be sad, but *choke* I can't stop laughing!

Susan said...

Awww, poor Lillian. It's heartbreaking for a 4-year old. I know. I remember when my Dad bought me my first goldfish (I was 4 or 5). We were cleaning the bowl out near the kitchen sink, when all of a sudden it jumped out of the bowl and straight down the garbage disposal, which my father had had running the entire time. I think he felt much worse than I did. That was the last goldfish in our house.

JennyMcB said...

I totally forgot about the fish from the carnivals! We are a fish "friendly" family and have had an aquarium for awhile. We never did goldfish, but we go through a lot of plecostomus, the algae eating fish.

The rerun of Everyboyd Loves Raymond was about fish, deaths and aquariums last night.
Like the snail idea!

Mike said...

I once had two goldfishes. I named them Jack and Jill. I also had a 9-volt battery.

An hour after getting Jack and Jill, my brother flushed in the toilet. And my mom bought me a poodle.

Of course, what happened to that poodle is another story.

Sorry if I sound cruel. Do understand that I was 5 or 6 years old then.


Mike
http://somethingaboutparenting.typepad.com/

Loralee Choate said...

What, no "Watson"?

Something is afoot.

Carinne said...

We received 3 goldish from our BLue and Gold Dinner. I was thrilled about it to say the least. At first the kids hovered and wanted to feed them every other second. I kept having to say "no" then "No" and finally "NO!". However, after over 2 weeks and they are still around, now when the kids ask to feed them my answer is "sure! - go ahead." Maybe I should ask Andrew if that counts as first degree murder or just depraived indifference. I keep meaning to tell you too that Ethan proundly namly them Spencer, David and Ethan - although I am disheartened to give you the sad news that a couple days ago David left us and went to live in that great toilet bowl in the sky.

Blondie said...

What is happening?? Fish deaths abound! I had lots of gold fish growing up. Pez, my betta, had been alive for...many months now. He's fiesty. But I know he would kill my cats if I let him.

Damselfly said...

Aw. It's hard to lose a pet. What is it with goldfish, though?! (I once heard a comedian say hamsters were the bic pens of the pet world....)

How did you keep track of all their names? ;)

jeanie said...

lol at your post, scribbett - which I am sure comforts you in your grief (both past and impending).

When we got our free fish, they were "Con" (fish under conjecture), "Eric" (hats off to Monty Python) and "Gilla" (other fish singular).

Our neighbours then saw we had 3 and gave us 2 more - Julian and Clyde.

Eric's parting view of the world was upside down as Con (the Killer Fish) munched on his luxurious tail.

Con got life in the cattle trough on my parent's farm for that - and there are some very big, mean goldfish there!

Julian died mysteriously after ailing for a big - we tried putting him into a hospital tank, but it turned out to be a death tank.

Clyde also had a half-munched fin when we decided that Gilla was also a killer fish - Clyde died.

Gilla lived happily alone for 7 years.

MC Milker said...

That is too funny. My sister and I had goldfish when we were young and had the exact same cannibal scenario..my sister still balmes me because my fish ate her fish's tail. I think my Ds will get a turtle or parrot- I hear they live longer than humans...but them what do you do?

Watch Survivor Online said...

Survivor Goldfish, the voting out process is more coldblooded than ever. :(