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