Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Tragic Fish Story

It was my first semester in the 7th grade.  In our school district, 7th grade was the first year of Jr. High School. I said good bye to elementary school with all it's lame construction paper and crayola crafts, and hello to my first "serious" Jr. High Art Class.  The first medium we got to work with was clay...not play dough, but real clay that you make into ceramic stuff.  I was so totally stoked about this.  While everyone else in my class was making stupid little bowls for their parents to put spare change in, I was thinking outside the box.  I wanted to make something that both of my parents would love, but something a bit unusual.... something you wouldn't find at Walmart.  So I began to work the clay with my hands to see what secret masterpiece was waiting to take shape.  Then I had an "Ah Ha" moment, and here's what I came up with.
It was perfect.  My dad is an avid outdoorsman and loves to fish, and our guest bathroom was a lovely shade of blue at the time, so I thought my mom would love it if I made something to display in there for the guests to see.  A fish was something unexpected but least that's what I thought.

Here's a close up.  Just look at the detail of the scales.  I did that with my finger nail.  Impressive isn't it?  Notice how the Dorsal fin is a shade darker than the body of the fish.  Just like real life.

And the detail in the's exquisite! I captured the essence of fishiness in every detail. 

Needless to say, I got an A+ on it.  I've always marched to the beat of my own drummer, and it really paid off big this time.  I was sooooooo excited to take it home to show my folks.  I must say that they were a bit surprised, but I was sure they loved it.  I told my mom that we should put it on top of the toilet, but she put it inside the bathtub...with the shower curtain closed.  I wasn't sure why, but her decorating skills were far superior to mine at the time.

Fast forward 10 years.

When I got married, my parents started to turn my old bedroom into a guest room, and they began to bring me boxes with all of my treasured items in them.  Imagine my surprise when I found my fish in one of the boxes.

"Hey.... this isn't mine, I made this for you guys!"

"No, no, we were sure you'd want to keep it since you worked so hard on it." they said.

"I wouldn't dream of keeping it! I poured my blood, sweat, and tears into this fish with both of you in mind.  It's yours.  Keep it.  Really.  I made it for you." I urged.

I had the sneaking suspicion that they didn't like the fish.  They wanted it out of their house.  All those years had been a lie.  They never really liked the fish.  They didn't appreciate fine art.  In fact, I was starting to think that they wouldn't know A+ art if it looked them in the eyes.  I was insulted.

"What, you don't like my gift?" I smirked.

"We love the's just that we changed the color of the bathroom."

I saw right through their wicked deception.  Besides...I didn't want that ugly fish in my new place.  It didn't match anything we received for our wedding.  The next time I went to my parent's house, I brought the fish back and put it in it's rightful place....on top of the toilet.

This began 10 years of the fish traveling back and forth between homes.  My parent's caught on quick to my ploy to return it to it's rightful owner so it had to be sneaky.  I hid it in places where they wouldn't find it until after we were on our way home.  They returned the gesture.  Now my kids get in on it, and we sometimes give it back when my folks least expect it.  That fish has a lot of traveling miles under it's scales. Whenever we go for a visit, the covert operation goes the same way.

We get in the truck, and my husband looks at me. 

I turn to him and say, "The eagle has landed", then we laugh and wave as we peel out of their driveway.

I was cleaning out the cabinets in our guest bathroom today, and you guessed it.  The fish is back. It's probably been back for a year but I didn't see it behind the Charmin toilet paper. I will be returning  it to it's rightful owner very soon. Heee Heeee Heeee.

Who wouldn't love to have this?


  1. Heee Heee Heee Heee, we had quite the laugh over this one! But thanks to a little blog info we will have our sonar up and sharply tuned. We may even do strip searches at the door before entering....Hmmm Dad just suggested that perhaps a beautiful blue fish would be a great wedding gift for your says what about something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue....perfect Heee Heee Heee. Fishy has more miles than the chia pet. Of course, THAT is a whole nother blog. Ha Ha Ha

  2. How funny! Your piece of fine art has given everyone hours of fun :-) Jo