April 3, 2008
By Jaclyn Nathan, Livingston, NJ

Jessie Souvern sits on the floor of the Multi-Purpose Room of her temple trying to get a monster splinter out of her finger. Those dumb wooden clowns, she thinks to herself. Jessie looks around the room watching as everyone else is helping clean up the carnival. She watches as three girls bring a punch bowl with a ladle on the side full of left over goldfish, about 25 or so, to the bathroom. Jessie automatically forgets about the splinter, which was not even the big anyway, and runs to follow them. “Guys what are you doing?” she asks. They reply simply with “nobody else wants them, so we’re flushing them”.

Jessie practically freaked out, not because of her love for goldfish, because that is non-existent; but because Jewish people are definitely against mass executions of anything living. In a somewhat joking way Jessie accused them all of being the Fish Nazis. Before Jessie knew it one of the girls holding the bowl yelled, “WHO VOTES THAT JESSIE TAKES HOME ALL THE FISH?!” Jessie tried to say no, but no words would come out in time for all of a sudden the whole room had their hands up, smiling, and there was a huge punch bowl of twenty-something fish in her arms. Jessie didn’t really mind, somewhat knowing that they were the “24 Hour Fish” and figured that they would die very shortly. But hey, she thought, at least they would die a happy and not be flushed.

As Jessie waits to be picked up she tries to think of a good way to tell her parents that they just adopted a lot of fish. Her mom then pulls up in a big blue minivan, Jessie walks out the doors and all she sees is her mom shaking her head no. Jessie takes a seat on the passenger side and explains the story of the fishes near death experience with the sewage fate. Luckily her mom has a love for animals of any kind and agreed that the goldfish could go home with them. On the drive home Jessie tries to count the goldfish. Five gray ones and 20 gold ones. Or is it eight gray ones and 19 gold ones. “Ah” Jessie exclaimed “they keep moving!” By counting at least thirteen times she averaged it out to be 21 fish total.

Right what Jessie got home she ran upstairs, she her dad would not see. Over the years he hated the past fish, the 10 hermit crabs and the two hamsters. He loves the dog though so maybe it’s just the smaller things. As Jessie runs past her father with the dripping bags of fish, she does a small giggle and a little snort because he didn’t even notice.

Over the next few days Jessie starts to get very attached to her 21 goldfish. Naming them all sorts of weird things like Harold, Kumar, Nigeria, Grandpa and French Toast. And then soon they started to die. Grandpa was the first to go. As sad as that was it was worse watching French toast slowly eat him. Jessie did a shrill little screech which she surprised herself with and ran downstairs to her mom. Her mom laughed at her 16 year old daughter’s childish reaction and followed her upstairs with… “The Black Spoon of Death”!

On and on the days passed by with each fish dying off. “The Black Spoon of Death” and the huge fish heaven aka Jessie’s toilet has been very popular lately. Started from 21, to 20, to 19, and now to 18. Jessie continues growing more attached, still naming them and becoming more and more depressed when each one of her fish family members leaves to the great Fishtopia in the sky.

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