Goldfish Tales

28 09 2014

“Goldfish don’t bounce.”
-Bart Simpson

Ellis came home with a goldfish. I was pretty sure this wouldn’t end well.

She named her “Goldie” because she is creative like that. How the fish was determined to be a female remains unclear to me but Ellis is pretty sure on this point.

Goldie doesn’t look so good. She is in one of those plastic bags they come in from the Fair.

Her eyes are glazed and she keeps making that “O” shape with her mouth. Ellis insists she is talking and that she can understand her.

If Goldie could be understood I think she would be saying “Just kill me now – please!”.

Fish from the Fair are the lowest rung on the fish social ladder. To keep their little kid fish from misbehaving mommy fish tell them “Act right or I will let them take you to the FAIR”. The Fair is the aquatic equivalent of human trafficking.

Ellis made me go the the pet store to get fish food and a bowl. Goldie waited in the car while Ellis perused other, better, fish. She is fickle like that.

She also checked out a hamster and a few birds. She wants our house to become a menagerie. We have an ongoing disagreement on this point. In the end she just had Goldie.

Goldie made the transition to her new bowl. It was decorated by Ellis with a couple of rocks from the yard and one of her toy Octonauts (Professor Inkling if you are interested). Goldie sort of just drifted down to the bottom – fish food sinking by her face like snowflakes.

There are all these little things that our kids pick up from us. Little expressions and turns of phrase that we use without thinking. Like when Ellis was at school last week – she sneezed and passed gas at the same time and told her teacher “It’s ok – I just snarted.” Stuff like that.

Currently Ellis has picked up the tag line “That is NOT good” from somewhere. Okay – it’s from me.

I have always used it with a touch of sarcasm or irony or maybe understatement – say on seeing the Ray Rice video or maybe after paying to stream Lindsay Lohan in “The Canyons” – That is NOT good.

Ellis is more literal with her usage.

If I hear a glass smash on the floor or a bookshelf topple over it is usually followed by a (surprisingly deadpan and low key) “That is NOT good” emanating from my little terror.

The other night I was laying in bed and she ran and dove on me to give me a hug – her knee driving straight into my groin.

“That is NOT good” she said as I rolled around and cussed.

Or when we were at the park among a small crowd and I was wearing shorts and she insisted I carry her somewhere on my back. As she tried to get down her foot caught my waistband and pulled those shorts and my undies all the way to my knees.

“That is NOT good” she said.

Goldie was hanging on through day 2 – barely.

“I think she is very tired” said Ellis.

“I think she isn’t long for this world” I said. I’m a comforting Dad like that.

This morning Ellis went to check on her fish.

“That is NOT good” she said.

Goldie was floating on her side having finally given in to fate. I had troubling little visions of a hysterical breakdown from Ellis. I had even more troubling visions of me trying to keep an appropriately straight face through some sort of elaborate fish burial ritual.

“We can bury her when I get home tonight” I said in my best fake concerned adult voice.

Ellis thought for a second then pointed to the sink in the kitchen. “The gaw-bage disposal. That will be faster. ” she said.

And that is where Goldie went.

We had a moment of silence – but just a moment. “Ok Dad – can we go to the pet store later and get a new Goldie?”

That’s my girl.

The End