Goldfish being tortured.
It was determined yesterday by a sanctimonious Petco employee that I was not fit to raise a goldfish and he refused to sell me the 29 cent animal on the grounds that it would be animal cruelty.
When Ethan and Jonah each won a goldfish at the Intel Family Picnic yesterday, I never imagined that the goldfish were being tortured. I was pretty sure that it was I who was being tortured as I was forced to accept responsibility for an additional mouth to feed and toilet to clean up. Thanks a lot Intel.
So, on the way home, we stopped at Petco to purchase things I didn't want to purchase for pets I didn't want to care for. Jonah and Ethan were excited and had already decided to name their fish Ned and Lucky. Since Isaac didn't win a fish and since they were only 29 cents each, and since Ned and Lucky just didn't seem like a family without a Dusty I told Isaac we would let him pick out his own fish from the tank containing no less than 300 little swimmers.
I'd already found the fish food, the perfect bag of colored rocks and the cutest little plastic plant when I found a Petco employee and told him we'd like to buy a goldfish. He'd just finished helping another woman purchase around 50 goldfish to feed her turtle, so I knew he'd be able to help us buy one goldfish for Isaac.
"What kind of goldfish do you want?" He asked.
"I don't know," I said. "Something like these." I pointed to the plastic bags Ethan and Jonah were holding.
"Where are you going to put them?" He said.
"I'm not sure." I was about to say I'd been eyeing the cute plastic bowls they had for sale for $7.99 when he got self-righteous on me.
"We don't support Carnival fish." He snapped. "These fish need a 20 gallon tank to live in."
"They live for 30 years and if they are not cared for properly they may only live 2 or 3 years."
(I was hoping for more like 6 months.)
"They have to have (blah, blah, blah) water that is (blah, blah, blah) every 2 days and (blah, blah, blah) environment to thrive and it's not as simple as putting them in a bowl like grandma did all those years ago."
"So, I'm sorry, I can't sell you a goldfish."
I said, "Well, I guess there's no sense in buying all this stuff if they're just going to die in a few years," and I put the rocks and plastic plant back on the shelf. I wasn't about to buy a 20 gallon tank for a 29 cent fish!
When I woke up yesterday morning, I had no intention of becoming a pet owner. But by that afternoon, I was. I tried to make the best of it. I tried to be responsible. I was even considering buying the fake treasure chest to put in the bowl so the fish would have something interesting to look at.
I'd deluded myself. I was not a magnanimous benefactor. I was a goldfish torturer.
(I should have just told the Petco guy I was planning on feeding the goldfish to my turtle.)