Crappy Fish

I’ve had to write several bios lately (for book related shenanigans) and I absolutely hate writing them. Anyway, my bio usually ends with “she also has a fish but usually leaves him out of bios” which I like saying because it is half true. I do have a fish.

Let me tell you the story of Crappy Fish…



It is early in the morning and I need to feed the cats. However, we are out of cat food. If you have pets you know what aย catastrophe this is. It isn’t that they will starve and die if their breakfast is delayed. It is that they will act like they will starve and die. Loudly. Annoyingly.

So Crappy Papa and Crappy Boy offer to go to the pet store to get cat food.


They leave.

Several minutes later, I receive a text from Crappy Papa:


They got a fish. A new pet. Because clearly, when you can’t remember to buy food for the pets you have, you should get another one. Great idea.

He tells me that it is a betta and that Crappy Boy picked it out. And that Crappy Boy will take care of it with Crappy Papa’s help. (Notice the bold. That is important later.)

Have you seen betta fish? They are stunning. Flowy and beautiful and colorful and vibrant. Here are some pictures of them.

So imagine my disappointment when they present me with:


The ugliest fish ever.

He has a grumpy face, a scar on his side and his whole body is crooked. His fins are stringy and busted up from fin rot. This is one seriously ugly fish.

There were a number of lovely fish to choose from at the store. But Crappy Boy picked this one. He is the pathetic Charlie Brown Christmas tree version of a fish.

He won’t last more than a week.

I had goldfish as a kid. I’d win them at the county fair by throwing a ping pong ball into a fishbowl. I’d proudly carry him around in a plastic sandwich baggie tied at the end. If he was still alive by the time we got home, I’d put him in a little fishbowl and start making preparations for the inevitable fish funeral. They never lasted more than day or two. One year though, one very special goldfish lasted a whole ten days. I buried him under an oak tree in an empty box that my mom’s checks came in. I even included a handmade toilet paper cushion.

Sigh. Fish will just break your heart. I prepared for the worst. Will the boys want to bury him or flush him?

Over the next couple of days, we learned all about Betta fish and how to care for them and we got a tank and a filter and a heater and other fancy fishy accessories. Even though I didn’t expect him to last, I wanted to give him the best shot.

That part was all really nice.

As was this:


True to their word, Crappy Papa and Crappy Boy took care of Crappy Fish.

But then?

Then they didn’t.

And this happened:


Somehow, he became my ugly fish. And this is why I leave him out of bios.



Notice the # of days on there? It is Crappy Fish’s 2nd birthday this month. He has lasted for two years! He is healthy and happy and ugly as hell. ย 



This entry was posted in crappy papa, crappy pictures, good stuff, pets. Bookmark the permalink.

208 Responses to Crappy Fish

  1. Julie says:

    This is why I have resisted. I know this same thing will happen to me…haha. We had another baby instead ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Kinzie says:

      HAHAHA. Inevitably, a baby is MUCH cuter than a fish. Good call!

    • Patti says:

      I too am avoiding fish. DH is so into fish. But he doesn’t care for any of the pets we have so I don’t expect him to do so with the fish, which he imagines swimming gloriously around in a HUGE tank, that I’d have to maintain and all. If the fish die, it’s all mommys fault. So I wont let him have any fish. I would really rather another baby. That would be useful, eventually.

    • Dianne says:

      Cuter baby, but far more work. LOL!

    • Lacey S says:

      All… the ol’ “Baby or Pet” game. Right now my husband is REALLY wishing he’d gone for the puppy…

  2. bex says:

    Watch out. My mom got a betta fish from one of her students that lived for 7 years. But it was a pretty one and lived with a water plant above it, which made the whole thing attractive. Good luck with your ugly fish.

  3. 12tequilas says:

    Okay, who besides me thought that the fish was not only going to live a long time, but was going to become incredibly beautiful? Because it’s no longer neglected? Kinda like a plant?

    Maybe it was just me….

    • Mara says:

      No, I totally did too, especially with the Charlie Brown reference! I thought, once this Betta gets a nice tank and good care, he’ll flourish! Haha, apparently not.

    • Shelley says:

      I was expecting the same thing. Sorry to hear it’s still ugly.

    • Kristin says:

      Haha Me too!

    • Helga says:

      I’m laughing because I’m surprised nobody has mentioned fish gender. I used to care for bettas. The flowy, colorful, beautiful ones are male. The ugly, colorless, ratty, looks-like-they’ll-die-any-day-now ones are female.

      • shanny says:

        ah, the irony. those bloody, well-rested, pretty daddy fish.
        someone told me recently that the cute long eyelashes gene is attached to males, which is why my sons and husband has them and my sisters-in-law don’t.
        *shakes fist at male fish, and well-rested males

        • Erin says:

          I love the “well-rested” comment. So true!

        • Lacey S says:

          Yah… I fell in love with my husband’s eyelashes first… like 2nd date and I thought “one day I want to have a daughter with those eyelashes”, not knowing it didn’t work like that ๐Ÿ˜› Fortunately my son inherited them, so one day he can fool some other woman into falling head-over-heels ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Erin says:

      It’s not you. I thought after they brought it home that she would become a lot healthier.

      As someone else pointed out, the dull looking ones are females, but I was hoping she’d at least look healthier.

  4. Ugly lasts longer… No sense in wasting energy on being pretty! And it’s not like he’s not going to be invited to all those Pretty Popular Fish parties where he would just start drinking and smoking early on. You know that that does to your liver….

    • wilma fingerdoo says:

      My son picked a one-eyed betta because he didn’t think anyone else would want him.

      We had Winkie for 4 long years.

      • Cher says:

        I love that your son picked Winkie for that reason!!

      • Kristen M says:

        Best thing I’ve ever read ๐Ÿ™‚

      • amber says:


      • Victoria K says:

        My daughter just insisted on bringing home a paint-your-own-paper mache fox with a sad broken ear from the art supply store for the same reason: she just knew no one else would want it with that ear, and felt bad about it. And it’s paper mache. When the clerk heard the reason, he gave her the sweetest smile and gave the fox to her for free.

      • Lesley says:

        Love Winkie! I had a one eared bunny named Van Gogh in high school because he was the last little bunny left on the Saturday before Easter. He was meant to be mine ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Devan says:

        We took in a cat that had an injured-beyond-repair leg. We had to have it amputated, now we have a 3 legged cat, Tippy, and I think it is a great lesson for my girls…not everyone (thing) is perfect but everyone (thing) needs love. She is a great cat and the girls love her, and she them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Piper says:

    My dad won me a goldfish with the ping pong ball toss in kindergarten. It died my senior year of high school. If you’ve made it two years you may be in for the long haul….

    • Dana says:

      I also had a carnival fish that lived forever. One day I found it floating in the top of the fishbowl, so my little 3rd grade self decided that CPR was in order. I gently moved the fish to and fro’ in the water, forcing water through its gills. Sure enough, that little bugger came to and lived to see another day, actually another year(s).

      • Rachel says:

        ROFL, I soooo thought you meant you were about to give it mouth to mouth! I’m glad you made the connection with fins! And I really can’t believe it came back, lol

      • Morgan says:

        That’s crazy!

      • Kari says:

        Haha! That’s hilarious! I was picturing you taking him out of the water and squishing the poor thing trying to do CPR. Are you a doctor now? ๐Ÿ˜‰

        • Jeanne says:

          My son adores fish, so Santa brought him a betta one year. They are generally a hearty kind of fish, and did well, and my son just loved him to pieces. However, one day when I went to feed him I found it lying on its side in the bottom of the tank. Poked it with a finger, etc. It looked and acted dead as a doornail. However, since I had to get everyone to school and my son was having a really tough week, I left the fish and thought I’d buy a look-alike at lunchtime.

          When I came back, it was swimming as if nothing had happened.

          So now my daughter has a fish.

          And my son told me that the truck from the local Christian mission brought it while we were out. They secretly delivers fish, because they have a ‘fish’ sign on the side of the truck.

  6. Brooke says:

    My Bettas have died terrible deaths. The first one froze to death on the window sill of my college dorm room. He lived for a good year before his demise. I will always remember you Ateb. My next fish Mick, simply starved to death because I got so busy with work that I forgot to feed him and clean his bowl for a few months. He lasted about 2 years. I keep thinking about getting another one, but I am pretty sure that one would get too much love from a 2 year old.

  7. Kari says:

    I also won a goldfish at the fair when I was little. He was dead the next morning- sitting at the bottom of the jar like a rock. (We did get a tank after a day or 2) My sister’s fish that she won at the fair out-lived the fish I got from the store to replace my loser fair fish. I’m glad you guys gave the ugly fish a home. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Karen says:

    He picked out a female betta. The males are generally much prettier and showier.

  9. farah says:

    I used to catch this fish with my friends. We were very naughty little girl. We dont have them as a pet, what we do with them is, put 2 fish in a same bowl and let them fight. ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. My son won a Betta at the fair or somewhere and it swam around under a plant in a vase on a window sill. The cats used it as a water dish. Shithead (I did not name him) moved to college and back (in a half-filled Solo cup between the front seats) and lived here in a nice clean fishbowl on my kitchen counter a while longer after that. He was actually a tiny bit cute, but I didn’t cry long when he died (I suppose of loneliness for his wild college life.) I think those Bettas thrive on neglect and filth.

  11. Elizabeth says:

    And I bet you never sent your husband to the pet store with kids again. Lesson learned.

    I sent mine a couple of weeks ago – with both my kids. He then texted me a picture of a puppy. He was smart enough to wait for my response, but it was a close call.

    • Heather says:

      Watch out for random trips to the humane society too. I was at work during Thanksgiving break a few years ago when I got a call that my hubby and daughter brought home a boxer-mix with kennel cough and a kidney infection. :/

      • Lacey S says:

        I can so see my husband doing this, with the mangiest little kitten he could find. He pretends to be tough and hard, but inside he’s the biggest softie on earth towards cats….

  12. Marija says:

    One tip from veteran beta keeper: if you want big, fanning, shining tail fins, just take one of purse-sized (or make-up) mirrors and lean it against the bowl. As soon as he “thinks” there is another fish close by, he will get ready for party by propping up every fin he has.

    And yes, betas sold in stores are almost all males.

  13. Michelle says:

    One of my daughter’s very first words was fish. (They have a goldfish at her daycare.) I think she said fish before mom and dad even. We should have responded to that like normal people by getting a single beta for her room, but instead we now have a 20 gallon tank in the living room, and we recently added a 10 gallon tank to use for quarantine since we got some fish disease in December and all our fish died, except 2. My husband keeps mentioning adding a saltwater tank, but between crazy dog, two cats, and two year old, I’m pretty sure our menagerie is big enough. I have to say though, I do find the fish to be very soothing, which is important when you have a toddler.

  14. Impressive. I tend to kill living things unless they are my children. Even when the pet is not mine, I feel somehow responsible, and usually it’s me who takes the fall…

  15. Mariah says:

    Those fish are very tough. My oldest got one as a poop prize for the first time he pooped in the toilet. 3 years later, fish is still going. As a teen, I had one for 5 years. He survived being bitten through by the cat, cat’s tooth went all the way through the fish. I rigged up an anti-cat lid. Cat gets it off and the fish surives being batted around the floor. Then one day I came home to find the cat had succeeded in his murder attempts and pushed the aquarium off. The fish couldn’t survive that long without water.

    • Julie says:

      Yeah, my cat knocked over our fish tank too – both cats were on the floor in puddles, but otherwise exposed to the air. When I went to clean them up I realized they were both still alive! The one that had been batted half under the fridge only lasted about another week, but the other one made it a few months before I gave it to a home without a cat as all my efforts at cat proofing failed.

    • Ceri says:

      poop prize! still going! ha ha ha (poop is funny!)

  16. Spring says:

    I just have to share my fish story …

    When I was in junior high, we conducted “experiments” on goldfish … You know, how you heat up the water and count how fast their gills move, then add ice cubes and count again? Anyway, if we brought a permission slip from home, we could take our fish home. I ended up with two, one speckled and pretty, and the other just plain gold. They were feeder fish, the kind you can buy for pennies at the store.

    Eventually the pretty, speckled one died, and “Goldie” was left over. (I named her Goldie because I figured she would die before I’d ever have to admit to using such an unimaginative name.) She lived for nearly five years, until my senior year in high school. By that time, she’d grown to nearly six inches long, and I’d had to buy increasingly larger aquariums to accomadate her. (Have you heard that goldfish grow to a size appropriate to the tank and then stop growing? No one told Goldie that rule.)
    My younger brother came into my room one day and broke the news to me that Goldie had died.
    “Oh,” I said. “What did you do with her?”
    He looked a little embarrassed. “Well, I tried to flush her down the toilet …
    “Ok,” I thought, “That’s what we generally do with dead fish.”
    Then he continued. “… but she was too big. She wouldn’t go down.”
    “Oh,” I said again, trying not to get emotional about my dumb fish. “So, what did you do?”
    A large smile spread across my brother’s face. “I chucked her over the fence!”

    • Shannon says:

      Oh my goodness, that made me laugh! ๐Ÿ™‚ Poor Goldie, chucked over the fence. Well I’m sure she lived a good, long fish life.

    • Devan says:

      Which tells me that he had to “fish” her out of the toilet! LOL, cute story!

    • Jessica says:

      I, too, had a Goldie that lived for years and years. I got mine when I was in about 3rd grade. It made trips to relatives’ houses when we went on vacations and even a few trips back and forth to/from college.

      He lived to be about 15 years old. But I always thought it was a miracle he was still alive. For the last several years, he was blind in one eye and would float at weird angles and hang out on the plant in his bowl. I often heard “Your fish is dead.” “Nope…that’s just how he looks.”

  17. tara says:

    Hahaha that is an ugly betta!

    One year I won a goldfish at the fair and the guy picked him up with his greasy bare hands-that goldfish lived for FIVE years!! I also bought bettas and they died on a regular basis.

    p.s. I love your bio, especially the fish part.

  18. Diana says:

    I have had several betta fish throughout my life. I continue to love them, but they always die within two weeks of me getting them. Always. I am a betta fish murderer. It’s sad. The fish run when they see me coming. Not really, because fish can’t run, but still. I’ve been wanting another one. Perhaps it’s time to attempt it again.

    • Jeanne says:

      Make sure you keep your house warm enough. If you don’t keep it above 65 degrees all day and all night, then you might want to fork out for a betta tank heater. I lost a vast string of fish trying to buy them in the winter time and keeping my house too cold for them.

  19. Caz says:

    Yeah everyone expects bettas to be gorgeous, but in my experience the pretty ones die after a couple of months and the fugly ones are like your gran and live forever.

  20. Courtney says:

    My mom had a betta fish that committed suicide… she came home one day and it had jumped out of the bowl. She doesn’t have any other pets and lives alone…this was after it had lived for a few years. Guess it just got tired of swimming in circles…

    • Kim says:

      That’s actually par for betta behavior… they jump. They were puddle fish originally remember, they are trying to jump and wiggle to the next puddle. You would also be SHOCKED how long they can live out of water as long as they don’t dry out.

  21. Shell says:

    My boys won fish at their school fair this fall. Which our cat(which Hubs and the boys bought while I was out of town) ate all the fish by the end of the weekend.

    • bethlaf says:

      YES!!! have had Tinkerbelle the Evil Siamese cat has fished them out of a 10 gallon tank , and her favorite water is from the filter pump!!

  22. Heidi says:

    My siblings suffocated my first fish by putting him a paper bag to “help me” change the water.
    My second fish was a dud and died overnight.
    My third fish I had to give away when we moved and it lived several months.
    My fourth, fifth and sixth fished (purchased when I was in college as a birthday gift to myself) all died within a week.
    All of these were goldfish. And I’ve given up on goldfish.

    …But there might be hope if my kids ever bring home a betta….

  23. Linda Percy says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen any as gorgeous as most of the pictures you posted!
    Love the story…it’s so like REAL LIFE!

  24. Misty says:

    My beta committed suicide; jumped out of his bowl. The times I’d catch him pulling this stunt I’d put him back in the bowl. His bowl was on a white whicker stand, after I few failed attempts he had white paint chips stuck to him.

  25. Grandma Trudy says:

    Year ago, we had a beta fish for about 8 months – very pretty, lived on my kitchen window ledge.

    Cleaning his bowl one day, I let him go dowm the drain by accident, and on the garbage disposal side of the sink… when I went to turn on the light, I turned on the garbage disposal by mistake…and no more fish. I bawled like a baby and called my husband, who sagely said “Yep, I see a fin…”

  26. TacoMagic says:

    Ahh the goldfish ping-pong ball game. For $2 you got to throw 10 balls, and you get 1 fish for every ball that lands in the little fish bowls.

    You’d go and claim your fish and you’d end up with a little baggy full of those 2 cent feeder fish you can get at any fish and aquarium store. You bring them home, toss them in your tank, and watch them die over a few days.

    Except for Fish. Fish was a carnival goldfish who had the life-force. We picked him up with a set of 10 other fish in one carnival trip. He outlived those. The next year we got another load of fish. He outlived those. The year after that we got more fish, he outlived those as well.

    That’s around the time that those land hermit crabs became popular and started replacing the fish in the carnival games. One year we got 3 of those land crabs in the ball game. Fish outlived those.

    All told, Fish lived about 8 years. We never gave him a name, because we always figured he was going to die soon. For 8 years he was Wesley to our Dread Pirate Roberts. Goodnight, Fish, well done, sleep well, you’ll most likely die before morning.

    Eventually he did pass-on, but he hung in there way longer than anyone expected and grew to about 3x his original size.

    And, as goldfish go, he was also very plain and ugly looking.

  27. Lana says:

    This is almost exactly what happened in my house. The part of taking care of an ugly, tailless Beta, feeding it and even talking to it (yes, I drink occasionally, stop judging me) – 100% identical (can it be less then 100% identical? I just wonder). Except I, myself that is, bought the beta for my 6-year old daughter only to stop her begging me to buy her a puppy… It worked! For 2 days.

  28. Astra says:

    Wow! Day 725! Good for you! I still have a Beta fish in my freezer waiting for Spring for his proper burial …

    • amber says:

      Love that it is waiting in the freezer, lol.

    • Bethany says:

      I’m pretty sure my childhood turtle was in our freezer awaiting burial for many years… At some point my parents must have just thrown him away when I wasn’t looking.

      • kimberly says:

        In 3rd grade my friends and I went through a rodent phase. Luckily enough for my parents I chose hamsters, Siberian ones. My friend Laura’s. Family didn’t fare so well well, where I was satisfied with my hamsters she graduated to rats. Well at some point the rat died and was stuck in the freezer while we planned the funeral and chipped away at the frozen earth for a grave. Her port mother got up to make breakfast and we were rouses from bed bed by her sccreaming. Apperantly she mistook the gently wrapped little packages of rigored rat for sausages… earth for a grave.

  29. nadine says:

    I had a goldfish that lived for 4 years. I won him at a friend’s birthday party when I was 7 years old. I wonder what my mom’s blog post would have been back then….

    “so she goes to Bratty Jen’s house for a party and comes home with a pet. I hate her parents like poison.”

    • amber says:

      Wow, I can only imagine if someone gave out pets at a birthday party these days! And we think crappy favor toys and gobs of candy and cake is annoying.

  30. Sesasha says:

    I had two betta fish that lived in those hexagonal fish bowls and they traveled with me in an insulated lunch box. One summer, I traveled all over the country in my car. I drove from the west coast to the east coast and back again. Twice. It was the best road tripping summer ever and my companions throughout this experience were my fish. Until the car accident. When I went to get my stuff out of the wreck that had been my car, several hours after the accident, I expected my fish to be dead, and one was. The poor guy was stuck to the window. The other one was still in the insulated bag. When I opened it, he started flopping. I found some water to put him in. He had a huge eye from the accident (I assume it was the equivalent to a bruise for a fish). It healed after a couple of weeks. And he lived for 3 more years. You know when he died? The week after his mate (who I had purchased 2 years after the accident) died. My betta fish survived a bad car accident only to die of a broken heart.

    The moral is that bettas are tough. He will undoubtedly be yours FOREVER. (Unless you buy a female that lives in the hex next to his for a year and then dies one day.)

  31. Jules says:

    They are tough! I never could keep a goldfish alive but my betta lasted 7 years too.

  32. Kristen M says:

    We have killed many fish. Mostly In a little garden pond we had years ago. Seriously, we had a fish cemetery behind a tree because the death toll was staggering. Now the kids (ME) have one Betta each. They are blue and red and very pretty. And quite personable, for fish. Yet no one ever wants to feed them until the second I feed them, small people run to me screaming “I wanna feed them!!”

  33. Deborah says:

    We too have had a beta fish, Cocoa, who eventually became my responsibility as well. However, we came home and he was not in the fishbowl. I “assumed” he became a tasty snack for the cat, except everything around the bowl appeared undisturbed, which would be unlikely in a fat cat attack. About a week later, while vacuuming behind the television, I found what appeared to be a dry leaf. Turned out to be a dried up Cocoa with one fish eye staring up at me. Didn’t realize his life was so crappy that the only way out was to commit fish suicide.

  34. ElisaM says:

    It’s Grumpy Fish! Those betta fish have been known to live for a long time despite outright neglect. Maybe you can start making Grumpy Fish memes and he can be famous!

  35. Erika says:

    “He is healthy and happy and ugly as hell.” LMAO.

  36. Fuchsia says:

    Guess who takes care of our fish? The kids who wanted it? Nope, me. At one point the tank got too much algae and the fish actually got depressed from it. Who ever heard of a depressed fish?! I suck as a fish mom…which is why I wasn’t supposed to take care of it! But of course it is living forever. Sigh.

    • teagansmomma says:

      Apparently you haven’t been watching Peppa Pig! Their goldfish got sad, and they took him to the vet, but the bus ride to the vet perked him right up! (Yes, I’m a mom to a toddler!) lol ๐Ÿ˜‰

  37. Elisabeth says:

    We bought feeder goldfish for our fishbowl when I was a kid (about 10 cents apiece) and my dad still had them when I left for college … my son now has a little feeder fish that was a 4th bday present … he’s 5 1/2 now … fish is still alive and swimming. Now I wish I would have sprung for the pretty fish, because Sully is officially mine – lives in my bedroom and everything.

  38. Erin says:

    Love this story. My son also picked the least attractive beta they had. But I think mine might be prettier than yours. Which is saying a lot about how awesomely boring yours is.

    Btw, just found your blog and am in the several day process of reading every single post from forever. I love it!

  39. Kate says:

    One year my dad used a dozen feeder goldfish to clean the mosquito larvae out of the neglected swimming pool before cleaning it for a new season. He gave them to my sister after they were done in the pool. Over the years they killed each other off, until there were only 4 left. My sister kept getting bigger and bigger tanks for them, until their tank took up half our room and they were big enough to make a meal out of. No joke. Goldfish will grow to the size of their environment.

    One day, one of them managed to flop himself out of the tank in the middle of the night. He was too big to flush, and my sister was too cut up about it, so I “buried” him for her. I chucked him in the blackberry brambles for the local cats/raccoons to enjoy. If she asks, though, I totally buried him under the lilac tree…

  40. Sarah says:

    Since its an ugly beta, it’s probably a female beta. Only the males are beautiful and colorful with long flowy fins- to attract the ugly females.

    I love your drawings though, as usual. Can’t wait for your book. It’s what I’m asking for for Mother’s Day.

  41. helen says:

    That sounds just like our fish, and the hamster ( which died, I had to.bury and then their dad replaced, with the worlds most evil hamster/ demon). And the rabbits, I srnce .a theme

  42. Kendra says:

    Back at the height of betta-in-a-vase-with-a-peace-lily craze, I got one. He was a beautiful sapphire blue with the most flowy fins. My 2 cats kept kept pawing at the vase, so I put it on top of a curio cabinet that the cats couldn’t jump onto. It was a chore to reach up there to feed him, but I did. Getting it down to clean it? No way. He lived in filth for almost 4 years. I couldn’t believe it. I felt bad about my treatment of him, but I figured it was a better life than living in a little jar down at Wally World. I was actually glad when he died. I felt bad about that too.

  43. I’m a longtime fish enthusiast and have had many bettas over the years. Our latest betta actually came about because my husband got me a special betta tank as a gift and insisted on buying a new fish, which we named the Flarey Prince. He said he would help take care of it but we all know how that goes.

  44. Calimom says:

    Your crappy fish drawing is amazing!!!!

  45. Mercedes says:

    My son caught a toad in the countryside. I said he had to catch the grasshoppers to feed it because I wasn’t going to be one of those weirdos buying crickets at Petsmart. Fast-forward two and a half years later, the toad is going strong and I literally just went into creepy Reptile Paradise today and bought crickets.

  46. Jessica says:

    I really want my son to want a fish. Only because I saw this super cool wall mounted fish tank that it would look so cool in!

  47. Amy says:

    At this very moment, a fat pug is pawing at my leg because she is near starvation. Her dinner time is 5:30 and it’s 5:41. I’m expecting PETA at my door any moment.

  48. Katie says:

    I let my daughter get a fish from the fair when she was 4 thinking the same thing. We are moving soon and the fish will be dead for sure in a week or two. HA! That damn fish not only lived until we moved, but I gave it to my SIL and it just died last year…my daughter is now 12. So, be prepared for many more fish years with your beta… It’s always when you least expect it!

  49. Jessie says:

    June 2012 we brought home a pretty red betta from a friends wedding (they were table centerpieces,cool!). I figured he’d croak after a few days but he lived til the end of the next week. so the 3 yr old and I bought all the necessities (and then some). Fast forward to christmas, I cleaned the tank and accidentally dumped him down the drain… red ‘fishy joe’ went to visit his mommy and daddy…. Blue fishy Joe (the replacement betta) has survived two long months now… I cleaned the tank just night with my sons vigilence so this fish wouldn’t go down the drain…

  50. Bethany says:

    Fish either die in a few days or last forever, there’s no in between. My husband wants to get a fish tank again, sigh. I told him, if he does I’m not so much as feeding those fish unless he’s out of town and I’m not cleaning the tank or removing dead fish under any circumstances.Things like that are always fun and exciting at first and then after a couple months they’re just work. At least you have an ugly fish a good home ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. Sheryl says:

    I love that the best drawings I have ever seen you publish are of your fish ๐Ÿ™‚

  52. LindaR says:

    I wanted a goldfish in a bowl (like Cat in the Hat!) for our toddler. What we have is a 16 gallon tank. And 4 mollys. Wait, no we HAD 4 mollys. Do you know how many livefish they spit out of their vajayjays? OMG they are ALWAYS pregnant! The males were impregnating them while they they were giving birth! So we got rid of them.

    But we now how 150 little sperms swimming around and causing the 5 tetras, 2 (nope, now we have 1) cory catfish and 2 assassin snails and a bazillion regular snails that mate faster than the mollys.


    Oh… and our pretty little blue betta DID get his own tank.

    • Bethany says:

      My sister actually tried breeding betas once, on purpose, to sell. When we were trying to separate them all into individual bowls when they were large enough, so they wouldn’t fight or mate, I think she realized she was in over her head, lol. Fish have A LOT of babies.

  53. Carla says:

    Ah the memories this brings back lol. Believe I was 14 for this fishing trip, and contrary to our regular minnow stocking, Dad went to good ol’ Wally World for a bucket of feeder goldies (ugly little cusses, I didn’t feel bad at all). Had a good haul, and by the evening about 6 had survived, and for some reason they ended up coming home with us. After a little wheedling, I convinced Dad to let me keep them instead of tossing them on the fruit trees for fertilizer. Of the 6, 2 ended up surviving the night in the bucket until I could get an old tank set up. 1 died about a month in, and Bait (morbidly apt, doncha think?) will be celebrating 12 years this summer. He went to a family friend when my husband and I moved from NM to SD a few years ago, and we still get updates now and then. Went from the most boring looking regular 2″ goldfish to an attractive (beauty is in the eye of the beerholder) 9″+ white-ish specimen. Will honestly say I will be sad when he gives in and kicks the bucket. Now I have a 50 gallon tank with my husband’s deathly annoying huge Oscars taking up 1/4 of my living room with some random tiny anti-social catfish who never comes out of his log.

  54. Krista Hanna says:

    My husband had several goldfish as a kid… He would take them out of the bowl to PET them and a day later they would be belly up ๐Ÿ˜‰

  55. Caroline says:

    I won a goldfish at a school fair as a kid. most of them tended to die within months, but this one lived for about 10 years.

    He grew to be about 4 inches long, and would literally tell us he wanted feeding by making bubbles at the top of the tank and popping them to make a “plop” sound until we came over. Then he liked to be hand fed by us putting some fish food flakes on the tip of our finger and holding it on the top of the water while he nibbled them off.

    Never had a fish like that one before or since – was more like a cat or dog than a fish lol was a sad day when Hamlet went to the fish tank in the sky!

  56. Tabitha says:

    It’s actually AMAZING how hardy betta fish are. Definitely a better choice for a kid who wants a fish than one of those fair goldfish.

    Even if you forget to feed them for a month or so. (Totally not me…)

  57. Kim says:

    Strangely enough my (kids’) fish won’t die, despite their neglect. They live in scum and near starvation. One day a rabbit arrived, then a dog. There was already a cat. When my husband mentioned he’d like to get chickens (in suburbia), I mentioned I might move out, and he could feed all the animals he has these idyllic visions of children wandering around ‘tending’ (while they actually watch TV and eat popcorn). I’d never heard of a betta before. I’m a fish moron, yet still they LIVE ON!!

  58. Jenn says:

    Wow! Your drawing of a crappy fish is really good!

  59. nikki says:

    One year at the fair myself and my two brothers won a total of 5 ping pong game fish. We were so proud and put them in a fish bowl together, went to bed and had fishy dreams. We got up to feed our fish only to find out they had all killed/eaten each other…. Who knew they were fish cannibals? I also won a lizard the next year, which my cat ate half of, leaving the tail on my shoe… I may be a little emotionally scarred by fairs lol

  60. Emily says:

    When I was 5 or 6 and convinced my mom that I NEEDED a pet of my own, we went to the store and bought two goldfish. I named them David and Katherine. They died the day after the pet store’s free replacement policy expired.
    So we went out and bought two more goldfish. David II and Katherine II. David II died the day after the pet store’s free replacement policy expired, but Katherine II lived. FOR EIGHT YEARS. I can’t count how many times we found her floating belly up at the top of the tank, and yet an hour later she would revive. She got fish rot many, MANY times, her fins disintegrated, and infections in her eyes left her blind. By the end of her life she was the ugliest goldfish I’ve ever seen and I couldn’t wait for her to finally die. My little sister in the mean time had grown very attached to her and was devastated when she finally went to fishy heaven, so Katherine was replaced with a trio of happy little goldfish. Two of them died the day after the store’s free replacement policy expired… but “Rudolph” is going strong after a few years.

  61. Erin G says:

    this happened with our hamster. I swore I would never clean the bedding in the hamster cage.. I didn’t want the hamster! My husband was good about it for about 6 months… now I get to clean the hamster cage. Ugh

  62. Sarah says:

    I had a friend in university who had a Beta. He jumped out of the tank on a regular basis. That all ended when he jumped one last time and hit the electrical outlet on the way down…

  63. Kim says:

    But did they buy cat food?

  64. llaney says:

    Be happy it’s a (more-or-less) self-contained fish. My son got a leopard gecko for his 9th birthday. Son is now a senior in college. First two years of college, son lived in the dorms — no pets allowed — so Godzilla was my roommate. Did you know that leopard geckos only eat LIVE crickets and LIVE mealworms?!?!?!??!?!?!?

    • Michelle says:

      We have 2 snakes that I am sure will be my lifelong room mates after my kids go to college. They eat mice, but thankfully frozen ones (that I have to warm up first)

      • Devan says:

        I had a roommate that had a snake and she would go to a weird pet store and get it a live mouse every month or something. It was always an awesome Saturday when we got to get drunk and feed the snake a live mouse….ahh single life.

  65. Emily says:

    My nephew had a turtle one summer when I was pregnant with my daughter. When he took the turtle back to it’s home, he left some feeder goldfish. Being sentimental and pregnant I put the remaining 3 fish in a nice 10 gallon tank with accessories. One survived…

    He died 2 months ago… my daughter is 5 now. Natural causes? Not exactly. She decided to play with him and dropped a rock on him. Poor guy.

  66. nikita says:

    I have one of these damn bettas. Ours is pretty but I wasn’t expecting it to out live my son’s interest in “Bishy”. ๐Ÿ˜›

  67. Renee says:

    Cute fish story! Sometimes the uglies make the best pets. A really ugly, but very sweet, stray cat showed up at my house. I had already taken in 3 strays in the 2 years we lived there and my husband put his foot down on this one. She was a mixture of brown/black fur, and had a narrow, snake-like face. She was about 5 months so I figure whoever had owned her dumped her when she lost whatever kitten cuteness she had. So, being so hard to look at, I knew her chances of getting adopted at the shelter were not good and I convienced my parents to take her. I can still puppy-dog eye my dad into just about anything. ๐Ÿ™‚ She’s now 3 and they love her. My mom even heats up her canned cat food because she doesn’t like it cold. ๐Ÿ™‚

  68. Kari says:

    Too bad for you! *Santa brought our two kids two gold fishes and a cleaner. The cleaner kicked it first. He was huge and our fish were small. There simply wasn’t enough fecal for him to live off of. Then the pretty gold one….then a week later the beautiful black one. Now our tank sits empty and clean. And we don’t need to feed it. Maybe I will get a few plastic ones to float around. ๐Ÿ™‚

  69. Jodi DeMay says:

    when i was in high school my teacher gave us a betta fish to take home to take care of. Then my sister thought it was wise to buy another one and put it in the same bowl.
    The betta’s had a battle and one killed the other. Yea mine was killed.. had to bring my fish back to the teacher and told him I have another 1 at home that killed it.. my teacher failed me lol

  70. Micki says:

    What I really have to know is… did they remember to buy the cat food?

  71. Marci says:

    We had a betta fish once. That sucker lived for 4 years, even after being smashed under a table when our dog knocked it over. I was all ready to flush it when it started flopping around again so it went into an empty butter dish (since the bowl shattered into a million pieces) where it lived out the remainder of it’s 3 1/2 years of life!

  72. Kelly says:

    I got roped into frogs from the science project at school. I was told by really sweet teacher they will only live a couple more days…… Mmmmmm hmmmmmm months later I still owned frogs! Too funny!

  73. ophelia says:

    I had a terrible betta incident once. His tank cracked (my fault) and I had to put him in the collective fish tank as emergency accommodation – the filter was too strong for him and he got whirled and whirled around like a pretty, limp peacock feather while the other fish picked on him. He was ominously passive until something clicked in his brain and he went nuts and attacked them all in full Betta splendour. I found him a new home pretty fast. Well done on your clearly far-superior fish care!

  74. Heidi says:

    My siblings suffocated my first fish when they put him in a paper bag while they “helped me” clean the water.
    My second fish died overnight.
    My third fish I had to give away when we moved and it lived for two months.
    My fourth, fifth, and sixth fish (purchased for myself in college) all died within a week.
    I don’t have much luck with fish.

  75. kylie says:

    My husband wanted a dog. He convinced me he would train it and walk it and feed it.
    Guess what i spend my days entertaining and then walking in the evenings when the tired husband gets home from work and is just too tired to walk the dog. I mean, its not like i have children who require all my time first.

  76. Ginger says:

    I bought my nephew a betta fish for his first birthday. He didn’t last a year, because the darn fish kept jumping out of his tank! Suicidal fish, whenever the cover was left open he saw an opportunity and jumped….several times. He was always caught and put right back in, until he did it over night and didn’t survive, poor Red.

  77. Michelle says:

    My fish always died as well. Which is why when my then 9 year old came home from his school fair with a bag of guppies, I was willing to buy food only. The lady at the pet store said no, I had to have a tank and filter and all that crap. I told my kid if they lived a week we would buy all the expensive tank stuff. yep. They lived. 2 years later and not only did they live, but the damn things reproduced. Turns out guppies like having babies.

  78. Lauren says:

    My teenage sister has a beta that has some how lived for 5+ years. She feeds it whenever she remembers, which is about once a month. She actually LOST it once (I don’t know how that happens) and found the tank under her bathroom sink. It’s a miracle fish. Hate to break it to you, but you might be taking care of crappy fish for a while…

  79. Sara says:

    We won a goldfish at our teeny fair and it lived for years! My mom couldn’t believe it. We also had a fish that jumped out of the tank. We couldn’t figure out what happened to him until we cleaned and found him under the table :/.

  80. I won a goldfish at the fair that lasted 9 years!

  81. Mimi says:

    When I was pregnant with son number 3, my oldest brought home a turtle the size of a quarter. I had to take care of that thing for 17 years. Cleaning the tank was the worst. The son who brought home the turtle was grown up married and living in Japan when the thing finally died. I thought about giving one to his kid but his poor wife would probably be the one who had to take care of it.

  82. Rachel Blackett says:

    We had one of those fish (But they are called something different over here)! The pretty ones that is! Electric blue, they are stunning! I have seen those bat crap ugly ones though lol. Ours last 1.5 years I think, then we moved and didn’t realise our water was poisonous to the fish ๐Ÿ™ Our one like this starved itself 3-4 months before he died. The rest of our tropical fish got all mutated (Seriously they looked like fish Hulks in there) some died within a few weeks, the rest my hubby flushed down the toilet, poor things! But they were very sick ๐Ÿ™ We tried saving them with no luck, was too late. My hubby was soooo dedicated to them!!! Waiting til we move out of this town before we get more

    • Rachel Blackett says:

      Found out they are siamese fighter we had, simular to the betta fish, but tropical, thats why it has a different name lol

  83. Daria says:

    I have some 15 year old silver dollars. Fish can live a long time. At least they’re quiet.

  84. Rachel says:

    HAHAHA! That is awesome!

    I used to play the ping pong game at the fair every year to win a fish too. One year I won three goldfish. Two died on the way home. The third fish? It lasted 10 years. Good luck.

    Happy 2nd birthday to crappy fish! ๐Ÿ™‚

  85. Nicole says:

    The first Betta that my son got lasted for about a year. Then one morning he came running into the room saying “mommy my fish is sleeping just like me “. Confused I followed him to his room where his poor little fish was belly up. “See mommy he sleeps on his back just like me”. <> He was 4 years old!

  86. Willow M says:

    I have band any more pets in our house because of the beta my son got for his 5th birthday… We had to move Goldie to the kitchen since my 2yo now shares a room with my 5yo. My 5yo has asked about his fish once in the 6mo Goldie has lived in the kitchen… I also am the one feeding, bathing and letting out the dogs who are my husbands.1 fish, 2 dogs, and 3 kids (including the big beared one) is plenty of animals for me!

  87. Laura says:

    Side note – I’m a big fan of the crappy iPhone texts. Awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

  88. Kelly says:

    Love the fish drawing!

  89. LC says:

    Strawberry and Blueberry are happy little bettas in our household who are lucky to have me as back up when our 8 and 5 year old forget to feed them. I figure it will be less stressful to them (the fish) if I never mention the trail of dead bettas and goldfish that has contributed to my now half decent level of fish care proficiency. And thank goodness the cat is old and slow now…

  90. Samantha says:

    I won a fish at a street fair in fifth grade that lived for 11 years! He outgrew his gold color and turned platinum (he also grew quite a bit). He lived so long that my mom had to take care of him while I was away for college, and then he died a few months after I came home (he had a little fishy stroke or something.. he lost functioning on one side of his body and died a few days later).

  91. Stephanie says:

    LoL that’s hilarious. My husband is exactly like that! Actually, about a week and a half ago we just bought a halfmoon betta (he’s gorgeous at least lol) and my husband named him Sushi. But for the first couple days, he was attached to the fish bowl – now, he never remembers to feed the damn thing lol.

  92. Emily says:

    I love that as an ending for your bio. On the plus side if is ugly to start with you wonโ€™t get too disappointed when he “loses his looks” with age.

    I have a few tragic pet stories but my best is about my aptly named first hamster. His name was Cat Food…

  93. Bettas are awesome and really hardy. Apparently they can live in some pretty crappy water in their natural habitat.

  94. Krystal says:

    Not only do I also take care of the fish that my son and hubby were responsible for, but I also know exactly what you mean by the cats acting like they’re starving to death. As soon as their dish is empty, if I get up and start walking around they’ll look at me, meow, take a few steps to the stairs and then look back expectantly as if they’re saying “You’re going upstairs to fill our dish, right? You’re following me up there right now, right?”. Great post! ๐Ÿ˜€

  95. neo says:

    I still feel guilty about my betta fish dying. I felt like I murdered it with neglect. Poor fishy. You’re a good fish mommy!

  96. I had a betta for years, too. It’s because they are one of not took many fish that don’t need a bubbler. I understand that Goldfish die because they actually need a proper tank setup.

  97. Alicia says:

    This is just one of the many many reasons I made my husband promise we would never have pets. Ever. Babies? Sure! Tons! Bring it on! But not pets.

  98. becca says:

    Now I want to get a fish. Humm where to put it.

  99. Kelly says:

    At least you didn’t let you children talk you into 4 pregnant fish. The guy at the store swore they were all preggers and all female. Apparently, three were appropriately identified and one was a boy. The mommies each safely delivered several babies before they were promptly knocked up again. A year later, the babies are now old enough to get it on so every few weeks, my six year old announces, with great excitement, “MOM! We have a new herd of fish!”

    We have given fish away to all of our friends and neighbors who will take them. The last remaining friend that is willing to take any wants to use them as feeder fish, which my kids just can’t accept. Is it acceptable to bring baby fish to other children’s birthday parties to give away?

  100. Heather says:

    Thank you again for making me laugh. Be glad it’s just a fish. My hubby came home with chickens…and the boys were great for about a month. Aaaaand, now it’s all up to me.

  101. Melanie says:

    lol same thing happened to me and my husband and daughter. Husband went out with daughter and came home with a betta fish. He/She (not sure of sex) was gorgeous though. They were so good with keeping care of him (named him Gustoph aka Gus).
    But obviously their care dwindled and also having 2 dogs (mastiff and pug) oh and taking care of the house and child etc etc I didn’t have too much time to take care of him as well, long story short we didn’t even noticed he had passed until finally I was like”oh hey has anyone fed Gus lately” and when I went to his tank he had SANK lol you know how fish usually float when they die ya well it was so long that he had died and we never noticed he sank lol needless to say we don’t/won’t have any more fish ๐Ÿ™‚

  102. Sabrina says:

    “he” is probably a she. That’s why she’s “ugly” The females are not brightly colored like the males (just like with birds).

  103. Megan says:

    happy birthday ugly fish!

    while in college, my husband decided to order the biggest beer on the menu at a local bar. which came in a goldfish bowl. so after drinking said beer, and bringing the bowl home with him, i decided we needed a goldfish.

    lloyd the goldfish lived five years and i cried real tears when he went to goldfish heaven last year. it was horribly sad ๐Ÿ™

    but! we will get another this year, because due to the sesame street 2nd birthday party next month, dorothy (elmo’s fish) will of course be in attendance, and then find her way back to my house. here’s hoping she makes it even longer than lloyd ๐Ÿ˜‰

  104. Kim says:

    Sounds like maybe you got a female betta. They are not as pretty. But they do have tons of personality. And they do live a long long time with good care… ๐Ÿ™‚
    I pretty much assume that any pet I get my daughter is going to end up being mine eventually – the dogs, the cats, the hermit crabs, the snake, the rats, the fish….
    Thank goodness we are finally down to 3 dogs & 3 cats & that is all. She’s bugging me again to get a fish, or a baby snake, or more rats, but she’s a teenager now and much easier to say no to….

  105. Liz says:

    Someone earlier mentioned a fish with a plant above. Maybe that’d help with the ugly?

  106. Jenben says:

    I had a beta for a while that sat on my kitchen counter. Then one day, I found the container on the floor and the fish was no where to be found. I assume the cats had a little snack.

  107. Dawn says:

    You must secretly love the fish. You made it look quite beautiful! ๐Ÿ™‚

  108. Brooke says:

    My then 6year old son picked the fish with no eyes. Yes, NO EYES. He was sold when the pet store employee told him that said eyeless fish was about to be flushed. Even with that said we still had to pay for the fish. Not full price mind you, but still the fish that was about to meet his maker via the toliet still cost money. That fish lasted the longest of all the subsequent fish we have brought home. I miss him.

  109. Emily says:

    Can we see a real picture of your crappy fishy?

  110. Crystalyn says:

    My grandmother took me and my two cousins to a garage sale once and we all got a gold fish. A fan tail I think. Each of the other fish (they were fully grown when we got them) lasted up to 2 weeks. Mine lasted 5 years until my new kitten killed him when we had him in a bowl when cleaning his tank ๐Ÿ™ I still miss Dragonheart </3

  111. Barbara says:

    Funny can see that happening

  112. Carol says:

    My girls had a betta that was two when given to them. I didn’t expect it to last long, but it did. He hung on, even though he lost all his pretty red color. And when he got sick, I nursed the stupid thing back to life so my girls wouldn’t cry. He lived with us for two years, and when he died, we buried him at the base of a large tree in our backyard.

    I don’t miss him (I am *not* a fish person), but even after all this time, one of my girls will randomly say, “I miss Tiger.”

  113. hannah says:

    OMG. the drawing of the fish made me nearly spit out my trail mix with laughter. that is scary accurate. hahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!

  114. Ali says:

    When my son was in preschool he had a red Betta and named him Sparky. He lived in a fish bowl on the kitchen counter. He was a friendly little fellow. Every morning when I went in to the kitchen to make coffee he would swim right up to the side of the bowl and make fish faces at me. So cute! One of the best pets we ever had! Very low maintenance.

  115. 60 gallon hex tank too tall for me to reach to feed the damn things. One plecostamus. Lots of goldfish. No one fed them, they died. No one took the dead fish out=ewwwwwww… (until I complained bitterly and it just plain stunk-that’s when the tall person I live with took some action). The plecostamus still lives. I think he could seriously win some long lived fish awards.

  116. Mariya says:

    We once put a beta in an empty Absolute Vodka bottle during winter carnival. Our roomates got up the next AM and thought the fish was ACTUALLY living in Vodka……

    Mr. Drunkin Fish lived for quite a few years – and helped me get an A in my Entrepreneurship class.

  117. Katie says:

    We had one of those prize goldfish live almost a decade, I kid you not! It had nothing but a bowl of water. It was cleaned once a week and fed once a day. My mom was still taking care of that thing long after the sister who won it left for college.

  118. Stacy says:

    Had to comment! My boys wanted a beta as well. Promised to take care of it. Well, it died 3 years later after a very long kife. I broke the news gently “boys, the fish died.” “What fish….?” 2 days later we were in petco getting dog food. Boys – “can we get a fish?” “No”

  119. Kathleen says:

    I got a pretty Betta for my then fish-obsessed 3 year old daughter, and I do daycare from home so I thought it’d be a great low-maintenence little study in aquatic life.

    Not even a week later the fascinated preschoolers use the moment I stop to clean my son’s diaper (because he was diaper dive phase), to transport from the dolls to under the kitchen table. I come around the corner to a wet floor, an empty fish tank, hiding kids, and my guilty daughter trying to hide it with her hands as it’s laying still on the floor. She ‘wanted to feed it’ (Really???? We did that twice a day for a week – when did it involve taking it out of the water????)

    I have no idea how, but the poor thing lived, although I have to laugh because it’s tail was shredded much like your picture. I thought for sure it would die within the week, and that was going to be a whole new science lesson, but it’s been over a year, and it’s tail did (mostly) grow back.

  120. jenn howard says:

    omg. i just found your blog … we’re still getting that free parents magazine & you were in it. i was def. down when i heard “mommy” & “funny” … there are not enough of us around. i’ve read a few posts & i swear you had me at “fuck off”!!! how many times, those of us who are honest, have thought that exact phrase!!! but now that i’ve read this post i couldn’t help but comment: everyone i talk to about winning the goldfish at the fair every year look at me like i have 9 heads. hallelujah. i once won a huge goldfish (by turning in a shitload of little ones) & mr. biggie lived either 2 or 3 years. in a bowl. without any circulation. & we only changed the water when we couldn’t see him anymore! that damn fish was living forever. except they die if you replace their bowl water with hot water … no matter how clean you get it!!!

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