June 24 13

This is how I became P. Sherman 42 Wallaby Way Sydney. Essentially.

“Mama, since my birthday is soon {August 15th} I really want to talk about a fish. It’s the only, only thing I really want for my birthday. A teensy, tiny goldfish. And I have basically already named him. He’s either going to be Bubbles, Gil…..or Fat Patricia.”

Well, that settled that. My baby girl was getting a goldfish. We already have a dog named after Indiana Jones, it only makes sense that we’d have a fish named after another movie character. Isabella held my hand as we looked at all the pretty little fish. She helped pull the bowl down from the tippy, top shelf. $15.99. A bargain, I thought.

Little did I know.

Oh how little I knew.

Out of the Petsmart shadows came a 14-year-old employee who was about to earn his commission—and the biggest upsell of all time.

You can’t put a fish into a bowl like that, unless you want to be a murderer. For one goldfish you need a full aquarium with a filter and at least 50 gallons of water, probably more. You need gravel and plants and decor—you need to build your fish a proper environment. And then you’ll probably need to get more than one fish—you don’t want the poor little guy to be lonely.

Well, this is interesting, isn’t it? We managed to keep a goldfish—Dorothy—alive for almost 3 years in tiny bowl. Emily won her when she was just wee at a small fair. We brought her home in a plastic bag and poured her directly into her new home, there was absolutely no water temperature taking or acclimation involved. She had no filter, no friends, no home decor. And she managed to do just fine. For three years, until her uncle Joshua decided to unload an entire tube of toothpaste into the small bowl just to see what would happen. Spoiler alert: Goldfish don’t brush their teeth, or like to live in Crest-infested waters. Dorothy Fish had a proper burial at sea.

Apparently now this would be considered animal cruelty. Murder, said the Petsmart employee.

Well, since I frown upon murder, as most humans are apt to be, I am now the owner of hundreds of dollars of goldfish equipment.




  1. This will be me in 7 years. I will start the savings jar now.


    Comment by Dawn on June 24, 2013
  2. Next you’ll be on fish bump watch to ensure momma doesn’t eat her young.


    ali replied on

    Wait. Is that really a thing?


    Comment by Katja on June 24, 2013
  3. We were also upsold by the over zealous Petsmart guy. Chase got a large tank for his birthday. It’s still sitting in the box…

    Moral of this story is I’m a bad parent. A gullible bad parent. Or something…


    alimartell replied on

    Sigh. You and I? We are suckers. :)


    Comment by Jen on June 24, 2013
  4. What did she name it?


    alimartell replied on

    We couldn’t’ even buy the damn fish yet. They won’t sell it to you until you do stupid stuff to the water and filter for three days and you have to BRING YOUR DAMN WATER in to petsmart so they can test it. SCAMMERS.


    Comment by Kristabella on June 24, 2013
  5. Ah, the upsell. My husband’s been trying it for years (except to the tune of a 250 gallon tank in the basement to which I can only shudder and imagine who in the absolute hell is going to a) clean that up if it cracks and breaks, spilling all the tiny fisheses gulping into the air upon my hardwoods and b) who’s going to pay for said clean-up. Also, c) WHO IN THE HELL, AGAIN, IS GOING TO CLEAN THAT UP?

    We have agreed on a solitary goldfish for starters. We have no other pets and the requests for a ferret by our 9-year-old have always been no (and met with an eyebrow raise by me to my husband in defiant, “I dare you to say yes” fashion. Because no.)


    Comment by Arnebya on June 25, 2013
  6. She should know August 15th is super far off especially if you are a wee bit older than 8 and have an mid August birthday. Congrats on the fish and not being a murderer.


    Comment by Corey Feldman on June 25, 2013
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