Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Heads or Tails #7 (Pets)

It's Oktoberfest at our parish this weekend and that means there'll be liquor and gambling, the twin pillars of any Catholic fundraising enterprise.

Fine, fine, you say. But what does this have to do with pets?

Ah. Well, there will also be a children's room with fun fair type games and prizes.

And among these prizes will be fish.

I have no training in cannon law; I don't know what provisions of Church doctrine require that fish be given away as prizes at all kids events.

I assume it has something to do with the Apostles, many of whom were -- you may recall -- fishermen. But I've never researched the question.

All I know is that sickly looking goldfish, in baggies, are always awarded as prizes at parish events attended by children.

The life expectancy of these creatures can be measured in minutes. These are feeder fish, after all, used by the pet stores as food. And fodder for Catholic fundraising events.

Yet, somehow, these fish always, always, always defy the odds.

They live until you get home.

They survive -- even if you leave them in the baggie -- overnight.

They live when you pull down the tank you bought last year and while you feed them the fish food left over from last year.

Because they are waiting.

Yes, these fish are born to die. But they are programmed to expire at a certain time... and that time comes as soon as you spend money on them.

Trust me on this. I speak from experience. And a lot of Oktoberfests. And Cub Scout Halloween fun fairs....


Ralph said...

Years ago I attended a Lutheran church, and being German based, beer flowed on occasion there as well.

'Goldfish' implies something special, but being feeder fish as you note, the more correct term is 'Baitfish'.

Perhaps the fish lesson would be learned best if each fish had a tattoo that said "Born to Die". Even I'd get that...

Barb said...

There is no such thing as a "free" pet. I have learned that over the years.. Yes, even once with a goldfish brought home by one of my children.

It's after you spend money on them? Damn. I wish I'd known this sooner.

Rambler said...

oh I totally agree with you, these cute fishes are born to die, it the poor fish which ends up loosing life, and the child is also affected mentally.
Thanks for bringing this up.

Unknown said...

"They are programmed to expire at a certain time... and that time comes as soon as you spend money on them."


Have fun at your Oktoberfest =)

Misty DawnS said...

I was laughing out loud because you are SO right! Except, it's not just church events, they had them at my fair when I was growing up too.

Shelby said...

So true. My daughter won a fish at local festival last year, and it promptly died a few hours after getting home.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Actually, I thought fish in bags were outlawed?

Anonymous said...

wow, kind of sets the child up for disappointment. I remember being very bummed when those fish of mine died. On the other hand, we bought a cheap Beta about a year ago AND IT"S STILL ALIVE. I'm so amazed.

Crazed Nitwit said...

Bwahahahaha. You just brought me back in time to my Catholic childhood and a number of those wrascally fishies. Too funny. Alcohol is at every Catholic fundraiser? That explains so many things I did not understand as a child. ;)

Have you asked the wife to wear a burqa? You wild and crazy curmudgeon you.

Patti said...

I feel sorry for those poor fish

Andree said...

Not being Catholic (and my anti-Papist father forbade me to go to Papist events), I don't know what you are talking about! All we got was cider and doughnuts. I wish I got something alive sometime.