You've done this, right? Let your kid throw ping pong balls at the church fair at the little Goldfish bowls? I mean, what could it hurt, right? You're giving some money to the good sisters at Saint Mary's, and a $20 to Petco for one of those tanks-in-a-box, what could go wrong? Right? Right? What could be crazy or irresponsible about such a time-worn tradition?
I don't think most people realize the ramifications.
Although, in retrospect, I do wish I'd realized my daughter was using the whole $5 I gave her. And I probably would have paid more attention if I'd realized that she was unusually good at getting the balls in the bowls. Then I wouldn't have been so shocked with the eleven little baggies they handed her.
But nothing could've prepare me for the news about Goldfish. Did you know this already, and I was just sleeping during that part of the parental instructions?
Goldfish require 5 gallons of water. EACH. some experts say 10 gallons. I was holding enough goldfish to require nearly $500 of aquarium real estate. WTF?! Any less and their toxic pee kills them.
Of course the kids are standing right next to me, so my visions of an extremely affordable final flush for half of them came to an abrupt end. "I told the nun we'd take good care of them, Mom!"
I look at My Man. He shoots daggers at me with his laser father-vision. I was in charge during the fish-winning incident. He can't understand how could I allow her to win eleven, 5-gallon-needing fish from a nun - known tricksters, all of them. Sadly, I really do believe he would have taken one look at that Sister with the ping pong balls and just known it was bad news.
We both turn sad faces to the Petco guy. He is senior enough to do some math in his head, "You know, we have two 25-gallon tanks that are on clearance. You'd have to buy the gear, but it's a lot cheaper than a 50 gallon tank." And yet, light years away from my $20 tank-in-a-box dreams.
Curse you Goldfish-hustling Nuns!