Worst Pet Parenting Moment Ever

May 16, 2013

Linking up with MamaKat today, answering the prompt: Tell us about a pet.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Okay, so I’m totally cheating here, because this was the shortest “pet ownership” on record, but hey, creative license.

I’m not competent at caring for pets. Or any living, growing thing, for that matter. God knows why I ever thought I’d be able to raise children, because my caregiving track record is hella bad.

In my lifetime, I’ve killed 7,000 plants, at least 20 fish (accidentally!), assassinated a hamster, given a baby duck a heart attack, and found Carnage in the Cage when my pet gerbil, Laverne, ate my sister’s gerbil, Shirley. Clearly, gerbil roommates do not go on wacky adventures and work at the Schotz brewing company together. Gerbils are Norman Bates-type roomies. Who knew?

Now that I think about it, some of my roommates in college bore an uncanny resemblance to Hannibal the Cannibal Laverne.

One of my more traumatic pet capers involved driving Wallace, the cat on a suicide mission, to the pound. HEY. That cat K.O.’ed three Apple computers in a year, gnawing compulsively on electrical cords, and I was on a teacher’s salary, so my conscience is clean.

I do feel bad about the hamster, though. In fact, the only thing I can bring myself to use that Le Crueset Dutch Oven for now is for foot fungus treatments. Don’t judge. Foot fungus happens. Yeasty, beasty foot fungus. Note to self: shower shoes at the gym are a neccessity.

Off topic…sorry.

Anyways, about the shortest-living pet ever.

Scene: Advanced Biology (yep, the same gig where the Great Rat Dissection took place)…but this time, it was Get the Goldfish Drunk Day!

Perpetrators: Me and my lab partner/friend Stacey C..

Victim: Goldie the Goldfish. (crikey, were we really that unoriginal? *hangs head in shame*)

Here’s the rub: students are assigned a goldfish, which is in a bowl of meticulously measured water and instructed to use a dropper-thingy (is it any wonder I didn’t become a scientist?) to dispense drops of alcohol into the fishbowl.

The scientific method here is to closely monitor how much alcohol goes into the water and to report, in fishy detail, how it affects your specimen.

Stacey and I kinda felt jealous of Goldie as we plopped our little boozy drops into her habitat. Nobody ever let us get drunk in class! Why do fish have all the fun?

Pretty soon, our classmates were cackling, watching their drunken goldfish swim sideways and crooked and knocking into the glassy barriers of the fishbowl. Some talented dudes even swam upside down.

Goldie: Nothin’.

Stacey and I peered into the bowl, bewildered.

“Is something wrong with her?” Stacey asked.

“I dunno. She seems fine.” We wandered over to the other fishbowls, observing, and then returned to Goldie.

“She’s not drunk at all,” Stacey said.

And then it hit me. “Ohmigod. Stace. This fish is Irish.”

“They have fish from different parts of Europe?”

“Shut up! This fish is definitely Irish. I betcha, Goldie can drink all these fish under the table and still walk home after shirking the bar tab.”

“Okay…what should we do?”

I grabbed the dropper. “We give her a few more Guinness stouts.”

Plop, plop, plopplopplop.

We waited, eyes glued to the bowl.

Goldie started to perk right up (further proof that she was Irish, because all of the other fish were dragging fins).

“Now we’re talkin'” I said, scribbling data into my notebook. “How many drops did we put in again?”

“Um. Dude.”

“Was it nine? Ten?”

“Dude.” Stacey tapped her pencil sharply on the bowl. “Look.”

Goldie had gone from Irish Jig to floating in about 2 seconds.


“I guess we flunk this lab, huh?”

“Hey, at least she died happy. Right?”

Of course right. She was Irish.


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Abby May 16, 2013 at 5:12 am

First of all, what kind of school gives students alcohol and fish to get bombed? How did any of the alcohol make it into the bowls?

Second, this was hilarious. Even before I was vegan, I hated labs so much. We had a crazy biology teacher (aren’t they all?) who made us glue frog parts on notebook paper with glue so that everyone’s pages stuck together and ripping them apart caused little froggy bones to spew all over the floor. Good times, good times…we could have used alcohol droppers.


Doug May 16, 2013 at 5:24 am

I totally remember that lab! I don’t believe that yours was the only fish to drink its way to Davy Jones’ locker…. :-)


TKW May 16, 2013 at 7:33 am


There were other Irish goldfish, too? Awesome!


Alison May 16, 2013 at 5:33 am

No fair – in Biology, we got to dissect a cockroach (my skin just crawled typing that).

RIP Goldie Goldfish.


TKW May 16, 2013 at 7:34 am


Try dissecting a huge white rat or a fetal pig. WHY did I take the advanced class?


Jennifer June 13, 2013 at 11:59 am

Oh Alison. That is gag worthy.


elizabeth May 16, 2013 at 5:49 am

Seriously–no one ever let us get our specimens drunk under the auspices of a lab experiment. No fair!

We did get to dissect a cat in Honors Bio II which was pretty fun: our cat’s name was Nostradamus, and on the day we were to dissect the heart and lungs, two young kids who belonged to the AP Physics teacher came into the classroom and sat down at our table. I still don’t know how this happened, but we ended up turning the kidney into something of a puppet and had the heart and lungs “dancing” to “Sunday, Bloody Sunday” as a way to entertain these kids who just happened to bebop into our classroom.

They LOVED it.


TKW May 16, 2013 at 7:35 am


Clearly, you were more creative in both naming and entertainment value. That is hilarious!


Shannon May 16, 2013 at 7:20 am

You know, I feed my parents’ fish when they travel, and I think their fish are Irish. You’re giving me some ideas for an experiment.
Thanks for the laugh today!


TKW May 16, 2013 at 7:36 am


Bring your dropper-thingy along the next time you care for them! ;)


D. A. Wolf May 16, 2013 at 10:30 am


You are bad. And hilarious. What if a “wolf” ever popped in? Would my goose be, um… cooked? Then again, you pass me a few drops of vodka…


Jerralea May 16, 2013 at 11:18 am



Biz May 16, 2013 at 11:33 am

I only had to dissect a frog in biology and hated every second of it. My daughter? Had a calender on the back of the door counting down the days she got to do it! :D


Lisa @ The Meaning of Me May 16, 2013 at 1:54 pm

Best fish story ever. Getting goldfish drunk? I knew I should’ve taken more science classes. Did the frog dissection in Biology class and discovered the cause of death for our frog – HUGE hard-shelled beetle still lodged in its intestines. G-ross. Pretty sure that’s why I quit science immediately following fulfilling my minimum graduation requirements.


SuziCate May 16, 2013 at 4:55 pm

Too funny! Seriously, that was a hs Biology experiment? We didn’t get to do anything quite so cool!


Jamie May 16, 2013 at 9:58 pm

I definitely have a few “Stacey and Dana” pairings in my classes…by far my favorite bio students! Now I want to do this as a lab next year! But I’m sure an animal rights coworker would get all up in my ass about it.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes May 17, 2013 at 5:34 am

You and your drunk goldfish made my day. Seriously. We had a fish once… the cat ate it.


TKW'S DAD May 17, 2013 at 5:56 pm

Ah, the memories! We had a lab with a large fish tank with a crayfish, or crawfish, or whatever in it. I still don’t know what it was in there for. Anyway, one day a couple other guys and I were tired of the boring classes so before the teacher came in we decided to pour ink in the crayfish’s tank. We had a lot of ink so it was a very pretty color and we returned to our seats. When the teacher came in he was petrified; ran around to find something large enough for fresh water for the fish, and then spent a long time emptying and cleaning the regular tank to put the fish back in to. We didn’t get to much subject matter that day but it sure was entertaining. We never did find out what happened to the crayfish, though:-).


Dyanne @ I Want Backsies May 18, 2013 at 8:59 pm

You’ve reminded me of a story from my college biology lab involving the demise of our lab mice (I SWEAR it was an accident). I’ll have to write about it some time.

We call my daughter the Hamster Killer, as she went through a series of hamsters before we gave up on them as pets.


The Curious Cat May 19, 2013 at 12:45 am

Wow…you’ve had some traumatic pet times…my mum tried to drown an ailing hamster once…BAD idea…his little cheeks puffed up…Poor pets…it isn’t always a good life!!


Barbara May 20, 2013 at 8:23 am

Fish? What happened to frogs? That’s what we had. Spread out as though on a medieval torture table.
Not going to get into three kids and the pets we had who died under our care. I’d have to start a new blog to cover the subject.


Vanessa May 21, 2013 at 3:31 am

LOL! Hilarious story!


Tiffany May 28, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Hilarious as usual!


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