Posted by: randommisfires | October 31, 2008


29 bagged live goldfish

4 large glass dishes

25 teeny tiny itsy bitsy little cups

6-9 ping pong balls

Without using any magic, transfer all goldfish to bowls and cups.  Don’t get cocky when the bowls are easy, thereby covering yourself with fish water when you overflow the teeny tiny cup, leaving the goldfish thrashing in the bag.  That one’s not living through the night.

Once 4 bowls and 6 cups have goldfish in them, give up on the transfer of said fish and fill remaining cups with water.  Leave the fish in their baggies in the ice chest. This really confuses the kids.  It’s a riot.

Forbid your children from taking any fish home, thereby ruining their incentive to play the game at all. 5 down, 30 to go.

Allow 30 kids to aim ping pong balls at cups of water and at cups of goldfish.  Laugh when everyone wonders why the poor traumatized things die within 24 hours.

Spend the next hour fishing ping pong balls out of the sand, the grass, the garbage can, and fishy water.

When a child manages, after 73 tries, to get a ping pong ball into a cup with no fish, tell him he won a fish but you’re not giving it to him until the party is over so that it doesn’t cook in the 93 degree sun in it’s plastic basting bag. Because YUM!  How good that would smell!

Listen to child run crying to mommy about the mean lady at the fishy game.  “You know mom, that lady that smells like fish.”  Because the fish water you spilled all over yourself earlier is now basting in the 93 degree sun.

At the end of the party, allow children to pick the “perfect” fish from the stock of nearly dead things in the cooler. Note: waving rank fishy hands in their faces speeds up the process immensely, giving the children incentive to choose in 10 minutes rather than 25.

After all fish have been well shaken and distributed, listen to kids complain to you that someone stole their fish.  Try to care.  It’s bad form to say, “You know it was going to die tonight anyway, right?”

Upon getting rid of all of the fish and loading everything into the car, notice your 11 year old daughter with a barely swimming lump in an inflated plastic bag.  Threaten to flush it down the toilet.  Listen to her whine and cry and beg and promise.

Compromise because there’s no way the fish is making it until November.

Wash you hands with bleach.  Do the same with your clothes and everything remotely compromised by fish juice.


Halloween Carnival is over.



  1. This is a post that just begs for pictures!

    You are a brave soul! =)

  2. So, one year the ladies in charge of the fish game at the 24th of July carnival decided they would make for darn sure that the fish they gave to children would be healthy, strong and live a long life with happy children. They invested in an electric aerating item to keep the water… whatever it needs to be for fish to be strong and healthy. What they didn’t remember was that a large METAL tub would not bode well for the fish inside once the electric item was plugged in. All fish were electrocuted. Some lived long enough to give away at party. None lived through the first day at their new owners home. Another traumatic day-after 24th of July party at the Shaeffer home.

  3. i lost you after:
    transfer all goldfish to bowls and cups…
    how many gs into how many b and c?

  4. I am hysterical at both you and Angela at this point! I would have handled the clandestine fish with E in exactly the same way! I think we may have been bred by our mothers to give that kind of a “pep talk”. And electrocuted fish? Stop it. I am still laughing.

  5. Sadly, no pictures seem to have survived the trauma. Could it be that the fish “display” was so white trash it would only be a painful reminder of how inadequate some members of the home school crew really are?

    However, I’m feeling pretty fantastic compared to the electrified fish. Talk about summer memories.

    Of course, now we have a freaking fish LIVING on the kitchen counter. And it has a NAME! UGH!

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