Sunday, May 06, 2012

Fish or Foul?

When I was a very small kid, no more than five or six, I went to a kids' party at the local swimming club.  There were clowns, ice cream, balloons and a drawing for a free puppet.  At least, I thought it was a drawing for a free puppet.

Actually, it was a drawing for a free puppy. I found out my mistake a few minutes before the drawing. I knew full well my parents wouldn't let me have a puppy, as we already had two dogs and didn't need any more. And so, for the first time in my young life, I actually thought about the odds of winning anything and realized how low they were, especially in a room full of kids vying for the big prize. What were the odds?

Of course, there's another lesson I learned that day. The odds being against you is no guarantee that you'll lose. Because yes, despite the odds, it was my name called when it came time to award the puppy prize.

We ended up giving the little fellow to a neighbor, so all's well that ends well. But what is it about parties for kids where people think giving away animals is a good idea?

My thirteen-year-old niece came back from today's Magnolia Festival with more than just a sunburn.
She also brought back two goldfish in a bag of water. $60 of fish tank supplies later, the little fellows are swimming around their new tank in her room.

I get that she wants fish.  I just don't get why the people at the Magnolia Festival think giving away goldfish to any old person who tosses a ping pong ball into a mini fishbowl is a good idea.

For one thing, how do they know that the thirteen-year-old sunburned girl to whom they're about to hand the bag of fish doesn't have several young, agile and curious cats at home?

Oh, wait...

She does.

What she doesn't have is a pair of fish with much hope of survival.



Mary Ellen Quigley said...

I've never understood that either. I'm guessing that fish are cheap, so they figure it isn't a big deal. Unfortunately, they don't live long and you pay more for their supplies than you probably need or want to. Most festivals and stuff around me stopped giving away things like that, but I know there are several other places that still do.

Paula said...

It also annoys me when people give kids ducks, chicks and rabbits for Easter. People, think. Really.

Animals are a time commitment. They require care and attention. They're not door prizes.

Chris Bailey said...

Well said. I've always had a bowl ready for the occasional prize goldfish--but it's truly a cruel practice to give away a living creature to someone who has no idea what kind of care is required.