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Perils In The Library

March 17, 2014

We were in the library.  So far, it was a successful trip.  We’d found the section on aviation – currently the only section we are allowed to visit – and had swapped our book on rescue helicopters for ‘Fantastic Flying Machines’.  It wasn’t that we’d finished the helicopter book (it had densely packed text and not so many photographs) but for some reason one morning H woke up and decided that he no longer wanted to be a rescue helicopter pilot.  Beforehand it was all he could talk about.  We had a plan.

H was going to go to school and work really hard and then go to university and Mummy was going to come along and sit in the university with him (cue internal laughter from Mummy) and then he’d join the air force and learn how to fly a helicopter and then he’d become a rescue helicopter pilot and he would fly the helicopter and Mummy would do the rescuing and Daddy and J would sit in the back eating sandwiches and everyone would get an ENTIRE packet of Jaffa cakes and J would have to eat his sandwiches and Jaffa cakes whilst sitting on the toilet because there probably weren’t going to be enough seats in the helicopter but there would be a toilet because otherwise where would you do a poo?

It was a pretty comprehensive plan.

And then, in the shockingly fickle nature of 3 year olds, one morning I was informed that the rescue helicopter plan was off. I wasn’t devastated.  I didn’t really want to do the rescuing bit.  I’ve never been very good with ropes and winches.  Instead, the future of a real aeroplane pilot awaited and therefore we had to change our library book.

Armed with Fantastic Flying Machines and a picture biography of Charles Lindbergh we headed to the desk.  I told H I’d check the books out and he could go and look at the fish as next to the librarian was a largish tank in which a couple of particularly corpulent goldfish were usually to be found, swimming slowly.


Goldfish One, looking nervous which was, under the circumstances, completely warranted. [Attrib. Kate Bolin]

I was chatting to the librarian when I heard H exclaim “Look Mummy, he’s twirling!”.  I looked over and saw Goldfish One ‘swimming’ on the top of the tank, rotating gently a bit like a rotisserie chicken.  He didn’t look well.  I cast an eye over the tank for Goldfish Two.  He wasn’t floating on the top of the water.  No, he was vertical and was bobbing calmly up and down in the air filter.  He looked decidedly deceased.


Off to join this little chap in the Great Goldfish Bowl Coffee Mug In The Sky [Attrib. torbakhopper]

H was still enjoying watching Goldfish One and it clearly hadn’t occurred to him that the goldfish was doing anything other than having a little rest.  I turned to the librarian and mouthed “I think they’re DEAD”.  Her jaw dropped.  She looked over at the tank.  It dropped even further.  She nodded, slowly.

I grabbed the books and manoeuvred H out of the door.  Just before he left he turned, waved at the goldfish and said “goodbye”.  Yep, I thought, that’s the last time you’re going to see them.  It turned out that the water in the tank had been changed that day.  I don’t know what it had been replaced with, but it turns out that it was decidedly bad for the health, if you’re a goldfish.

Incidentally, strange things happen on the internet when you start looking for photos under the search terms ‘dead goldfish’. I was expecting Mr Brave New World up there.  What I got initially was this:


Very artistic.

 It helps if you know that that is a rather tasty biscuity-cracker type thing from the US called a goldfish.  That kind of shot took time and effort.  I’m not entirely sure it was time well-spent. It’s entitled “Goldfish out of water” and is by kainr in case it’s your kind of thing and you fancy checking it out. They may have other work in the same style. Maybe “Pot and Kettlechip” or “Rich Tea and Toast” or the like.  Maybe it’ll catch on.  Maybe there’s a whole “snack and bad pun” photography genre.  Who knows?  Not me.  In any case, kainr, your work is decidedly better than what turned up next.

Beware.  If you type ‘dead goldfish’ into, you get this:


I can’t see a goldfish.  I’ve looked really hard.  I feel cheated.

This was by someone called 1Iluminati.  He has more work. You can see it here, if you really want to.

From → Uncategorized

  1. Made me laugh. Again.

    And can’t see the goldfish either.

    Incidentally if you want to resurrect a (nearly) dead goldfish (I suspect it may not work with the actually dead variety) you feed them peas. Defrosted, and gently squished up so they can nibble at them.

    Seriously. It works.


  2. ben permalink

    And I found your picture of a dead goldfish in a coffee mug by searching for “how densely packed are air molecules.” I had to click because I thought it was an actual book cover illustration. Maybe it is? Which would be brilliant, but maybe better for Douglas Coupland, or William S. Burroughs or somebody.


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