It’s Shark Week: Can We Talk About Ping Pong our GoldFish?

 It’s Shark Week, so I thought I would tell you a fish story…

Cole and I have enjoyed houseguests for about the last four weeks, and today our house seemed rather empty when the last of our summer guests (Abby and Kelly) headed back to the Sunshine State. We were sad to see them go but agreed it was probably for the best, since Chicago temperatures were lingering in the 70s and they had not packed long underwear, mittens and hats. Here is a picture of three kids enjoying the Perseid Meteor Shower in 75 degree weather. One of them lives in Chicago. Two of them live in Florida.

On Sunday, Cole, the girls and I went to a Chicago street fair and one of the games was to try and toss ping-pong balls into small fishbowls.

If you succeeded, you won a goldfish. Cole decided he wanted to play, and we were very proud of him when he sunk a ping-pong ball into the fishbowl and was awarded a small orange fish in a  baggie.

We tried to give the goldfish to the little girl standing next to Cole, but her mom insisted the little girl wanted to win the fish herself. Sounded fishy to me!

When we returned home, I headed over to Walgreens to buy fish food. Ping Pong (a name we felt fit the fish) seemed appreciative when I added a couple flakes to his bowl. I thought he looked like a highly intelligent fish with a great deal of potential.

Monday morno, Abby and Kelly flew the friendly skies back to Florida, and Cole and I decided to head to the pet store and indulge Ping Pong by buying him a larger abode and accessorizing it. Back home, Cole set up the aquarium while Ping Pong watched him intently, wagging his fins with excitement. When Cole was finished setting up the aquarium, we both oohed and ahhed at how pretty it looked. Ping Pong had to wait a few days to move into his new digs because the water had to be aged properly.

You know where this story is going, don’t you?

A few hours later, Cole checked on the aquarium. When he looked in Ping Pong’s smaller bowl, he announced without ceremony that Ping Pong was dead.

I thought maybe he was just napping or had fainted (he was not floating on top of the water), but an hour later I had to concede that Ping Pong had in fact bounced over into that big pond in the sky.

First Cole and I argued about who would bury Ping Pong, and finally we decided to do it together. After the burial, we agreed we would never tell a soul about Ping Pong’s untimely death…especially my sweet mother, who would make fun of us for killing a carny goldfish. (Legend has it that when a goldfish is won at a carnival, it is almost impossible to kill. My mother has two carnival fish, Roy and Froot Loop, that she won at the New Mexico state fair, and they have lived happily in her pond for the last 13 years.)

Our plan was to sneak over to PetSmart and buy another gold fish—Ping Pong the Second to us, but Ping Pong the First to the rest of the world. My plan was foiled when Cole realized he would have to replace Ping Pong with another goldfish and not the exotic $5.00 fish that had caught his fancy at the pet store. Cole said nobody would notice the difference, but I had my doubts: Ping Pong was a goldfish, and Cole wanted a fish that was striped. Cole said I could just give my stock “That happens sometimes” answer when people asked why our goldfish was wide and had stripes. But while this answer covers almost any topic, I was pretty sure my mother was going to think something fishy was up, when actually it was down.

Poor Ping Pong.

Since I’m pretty certain I’m not going to be able to sell a striped fish as a goldfish, let me just sum up the truth for you….

Cole won a goldfish, we set up a palatial estate for him, he lived an exciting 14 hours and then he died.

Don’t you just hate it when things like this happen?

Now please join me in a moment of silence for Ping Pong.

P.S. Mom…before you give us too hard a time about Ping Pong, do your remember the “invisible fish” that you and daddy sent to it’s unjust dimise. . .I do.:-D

12 thoughts on “It’s Shark Week: Can We Talk About Ping Pong our GoldFish?

  1. You are on a roll today! I’m sure Ping Pong was a better fish for having known you. I’m sorry he died but it looks like you are ready to give another worthy fish an amazing home.
    And may I be the first to wish you better luck next time?

    • Thank you Liz. We hope to adopt a new fish on Friday. It was born not to long ago in a family pond. Purebred fish. It’s suppose to come from hearty stock…lets hope so.

  2. I don’t know if I should laugh or cry so I wil just mummer, “Poor Ping Pong” and slowing walk away….

  3. Rest in piece ping pong…. I hope you kept.. the receipt for the aquarium d
    stuff… oh you did get the new fish right?

  4. Boy, that took some doing to do in a carny gold fish. They live forever as your mother can attest. Just don’t get carried away with replacing every fish that meets it’s waterloo. It can become expensive. I know from experience. 2 Grandson’s who got me hooked on an aquarium plus the goodies and buying fish all the time!. I sure was glad when they started school and the fish weren’t important anymore so when the last one flopped on it’s back…..this was the end of the story. I hated cleaning the darn slimmy thing.

    • Thanks Carol..did my mother e-mail you :-D. I like having a “water element” in my home. it makes me feel all rich and fussy but I would like it better with a staff to clean the aquarium! Hard to feel rich and fussy with a my hair tied back and a net in my hand.

  5. Your story made me smile and remember my son’s first pet experience. I truthfully don’t understand how goldfish became symbol of “easy pets”–I can tell you one whopper of a fish tale that begins with my sister-in-law surprising my (then 4 year old) son–and his parents!–with a goldfish as a birthday present. The story ends (several chapters later) with our heroic and desperate attempts to keep the fish alive after we discovered him lolling and listing in the water. We managed to locate the (seemingly) only vet in the area that would take a goldfish as a patient, who diagnosed him with some sort of infection and then taught us how to administer antibiotics with an eyedropper (by holding the fish out of the water ever so briefly in our hand and cupping it just so to get its wee mouth to open). Then, in another twist to our fish tale, we hired a fish expert from a local petstore to moonlight on the side as a sick-fish sitter when we had to go out of town. After all of our efforts and do the right thing, our goldfish died while we were away. I think the fish sitter was too embarrassed to return my calls after he let me know of Goldie’s demise–I left message after message saying I wanted to come retrieve the body (to get closure, right?) but our pet sitter remained silent and just wouldn’t call back. I started leaving messages like “Look, I just want to get the corpse, I don’t blame you for his death.”) But had he flushed poor Goldie? Was that why he wasn’t calling back? We may never know the truth…but I’m here to tell you I don’t think it’s so easy to keep them goldfish alive!

    • Oh Judy that is just too funny. I had a families sick tadpole die on me once but they knew the tadpole was on his last wiggle. It was still hard telling them and I did ask what they wanted me to do with the body.
      I’m afraid I would not put the same effort towards saving a gold fish but I did feel sad when Pingpong died–especially after the tank investment. My brother-in-law told us to come on over and take a fish from his pond. The adoption will take place on Friday and we are hoping for better luck.

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  7. You’ve already killed Ping Pong????
    For God’s sake don’t take Richard’s big Koi! You’d haver to put in a pond the size of a swimming pond. Just so you know, I am totally rethinking leaving,gold fish to you!

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