Friday, 27 March 2009

Friday And Fish

Nothing to do with religious scruples here folks, but a tale will be forthcoming eventually, I promise. But not before I take you on a detour, as is my wont.
N.B. For Blogland people who think I speak an alien language at the best of times, this is not a typo for 'won't', but a derivation from:-
"Middle English, past participle of wonen, to be used to, dwell."
Having almost deserted Blogland for the past couple of days, I had time to get down to more unusual matters; arranging a pre-paid funeral plan with Help The Aged. Not something one does every day, but a worthwhile thing to sort out, once you face up to eventual demise.

A straightforward 'phone call at the beginning of the week, had the necessary pamphlets and forms shooting through my letterbox in next to no time. Having juggled various piggy banks, I wanted to be able to pay half now, and the remainder by the end of the year, once I could determine the rate of shrinkage or growth of the few measly shares I have to my name. No problem.

Until you see the questions on the form you have to fill in. O.K., you 'pays your money and takes your choice' as to which of three plans to choose. Then you come across a section that wants 'Grave Information'. I ask you, is information anything but grave when you are cogitating your own end?

Of course, I know what they meant, but while discussing various payment options with the helpful lady on the other end of the 'phone line, and her volunteering to go through the form with me then and there, I could not help remarking on such a wonderful phrase. Like you would. Or rather, like I would (and possibly Suldog or Carolina might).

I reduced the poor woman to a state of unadulterated hilarity. By the time I'd also explained I wanted my ashes thrown in the sea, (and really would not have been in a position to care whether specific music or hymns swelled the air as I headed towards the fiery furnace of a crematorium) therefore declined to fill in those details either, as well as the Grave Information.

You have to take your laughs when you can get them in this life...

Where are the fish, I hear you ask? Saturday last, No 1 Daughter and No 1 Son In Law had bought their two girls a goldfish each, plus aquarium with pump. Sadly, as is often the case with goldfish, by Thursday evening one had died. Already. Smallest granddaughter, bereaved owner, was awash with tears. Understanding Mama carefully explained, at least the little fish had found a loving family to welcome him into their home, and hadn't ended up a lonely fish in a pet shop, who'd never been loved. Is my daughter a genius, or what?

This morning, after saying ' When I woke up, Mummy, I thought my fish was still alive, but then I remembered, and was sad.' Mummy agreed with her offspring; yes, this is how things are when your pet has died. But then she suggested they go straight to the pet shop after school, to find another one. 'Yay!' said small daughter, much recovered.

I told you I'd get round to the fish.

A Fishy Tale

Once, in a pet shop,
there stood on a shelf
a dusty old fish bowl,
set apart by itself.

A goldfish swam in it,
around and around;
the swish of his tail
was the only sound
he made, as he surfaced
to look for dinner.

But none ever came -
he grew thinner and thinner -
'Til, at last! A boy noticed him!
Without more delay
(feeling sorry for Fishy)
he hurried to pay
the man at the counter.

Boy carried Fish home
to a big, shady pool
where he wasn't alone;
he made bubbly friends
amongst other small fish
and Boy fed him, lovingly,
with all Fish could wish.


  1. Hehehe, you know me sooooo well. And I'm honoured to be mentioned together with Mr. Suldog. A spring in my step for the coming two days me thinks ;-)

    Happy that the poor goldfish in the shop was rescued, sad that the goldfish of your granddaughter died (which inspired me for a short post, coming up soon), happy she's going to rescue a new one. An emotional rollercoaster this post proved to be ;-)

    Hugs xx

  2. "You have to take your laughs when you can get them in this life..." You can bet your sweet ash on that! ;) Great post and very cute poem.

  3. Nice post Jinksy!

    Lovely poem!


  4. hey, laughing over such plans is far better than the way it was introduced to me at age 7. my mom planned all our funerals then and got me into full hysterics when she explained cremation after i asked what it meant. ah, such memories.

  5. Sweet "fishy" story - hilarious funeral story - have decided to leave my arrangements to others - would be nice to pop off out in the wilds somewhere when out on a lovely walk! Pity we have no choice in the matter, isn't it?

  6. What is it with us and Goldfish???

    You reminded me of a rescue mission I undertook once when one of ours was subjected to an overdose of fish food and ended up looking pretty lifeless.

    There was I contemplating making yet another fish sized balsa wood coffin (unknown to the kiddywinks at the time - another very much empty balsa coffin!).

    To the teary plea’s of 'can you save it' etc, I proceeded to execute resuscitation of the limp fish by blowing bubbles with a drinking straw in a clean bowl of water, just to show willing or so I thought.

    To everyone's amazement, the fish survived and lived a long happy life, survived two house moves and eventual transfer to a luxury pond after the novelty of pet fish wore off.

    It lost its colour, was almost pure white in fact and then got carted off by a bird who must have thought it looked like a tasty feast!!

    I’m sure there is a fishy moral to this tale but it’s escaping me as I type!


  7. Another great post from you - my friend.
    Laugh as much as you can eh. Love the poem too.

    Thanks for your visit and kind comments.

  8. I don't know whether to laugh or cry, so am doing both. Trust you to draw laughter on such a grave matter.

  9. What fishy tales you have provoked, jinksy, and all on the premise of you going off to 'sleep with the fishes!' I hope your steps have given you peace... I left strict details about mine with a friend recently, when I was (not) skipping off for my op! Morbid? Moi!

    Love wonen - Of course, the German verb meaning to live is wohnen - Our languages are very interesting. I love to write, 'as is my wont' too! Have a fine weekend, la Jinks! xx

  10. WE must get our laughs wherever we can. Thanks for the fishy tale/tail/tell.

  11. I am wont to use wont from time to time, but I am not yet wont to pay for my funeral.

  12. Hahaha! I loved it! Two of my favorite things.. fish and fridays and can I just say, your daughter is a genius? Jenni

  13. Aww, that first lesson on the circle of life is such a tough one! How would kids learn it without pets, I wonder? I love your daughter's response though - very clever ;)

    And kudos to you for laughing your way through a rather macabre obstacle!

  14. Now does that mean when grandma goes they'll go to the Nono shop and pick up a new one? (God, I hope you get my sense of humour.)

    And this, "I ask you, is information anything but grave when you are cogitating your own end?"
    HA! Love it, Jinksy.

  15. Ever since my favorite undertaker got arrested for running off with the prepaids I have decided to put the money in the bank. He, of course, is in jail. He was such a nice guy.
    I keep telling my wife to cremate me and through my remains over Wal Mart so my kids and grandkids will visit me but she isn't listening.
    My kids had goldfish but they were such heartless kids they never cried when they died.
    Good poem as usual.

  16. Hehe, I've read Q's comment ;-) and that reminded me of this (will there ever be an end to the fishtales?):
    A friend of ours is a vet and he operated on a goldfish once. The fish had an infected eye that had to be removed (yuck) to save the fish's life. He blew anaesthetic gas into the water, the fish went to sleep, he performed the operation, put the fish into fresh water et voilá. The fish survived apparently. So, the idea of mouth-to-mouth by blowing bubbles in the water was a great one!
    Oh, and another friend of ours is also a vet and she had a great story. A man (a regular visitor to the practice) came into the surgery with a male dog that had some sort of infection on his uhm...penis. So she gave the man an ointment and told him to rub that on the dog's private parts every day (oh, the dog must have had a great time hehe). Anyway, a couple of weeks later she was on her way to visit another client and she saw somewhere in front of her, going in the same direction as she was, the man walking his dog. So she slowed down, lowered the window of her car and yelled: "Hi! How is the penis doing?" The man turned towards her.....and it wasn't the same man! It even wasn't the same dog.
    BIG mistake!

    I love the comments of Woman in a Window and Dr. John too ;-)

  17. And sometime you will indeed be close to the fish if you get to be floated on the ocean. What a romantic notion to be one with the ocean!

  18. Nice Fishy poem. Have a great week-end.

  19. I did point out in emails to various commentors, that, as potential fish food, I would be more at one with their digestive system, than the ocean; and NO granny shop would have a duplicate me, but as I've taught my daughter all I know, she will have no trouble carrying on with the grandkids where I've left off...


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