Being A Grand Champion Fish Racer Keeps A Goldfish From Becoming Fish Sticks

So the boy’s Wednesday night youth group wrapped up for the school year last night, and they had their annual end-of-the-year fish races.

Yes.  Fish races.  Boys pair off in teams of two, and each team gets a goldfish.  The kind of goldfish that only God can make, that swims in the water.  And the fish are dumped into long gutters that are primarily used on the edges of rooftops, but which can also be used as raceways for fish.  And, as with any race, two fish are pitted against one another, and whichever one makes it to the opposite end of the gutter first is declared the winner, and he gets a gold medal to wear around his neck, while his national anthem plays over the karaoke machine.

Fish races are kind of a big deal at the youth group.

Before the contestants prepared their fish by stretching fins and flexing tails and giving them motivational speeches about little fishes in great big ponds, I snapped a picture of Team Trouble.

The boy and Carter were ready to cheer their goldfish to victory, and I was ready to take Carter’s hat right off of his head and bend the bill into a half-circle, because I graduated in a different era, when a flat-billed ballcap was considered to be rather nerdish.

(Times have changed.  Apparently now it’s nerdish to have a rounded bill on your hat.  Don’t tell Hubs.  I’m not sure that I can hold a man’s hand in public whilst he has a flat bill.  I do appreciate the way Hubs spends hours flexing the bill of a new ballcap until it’s just perfect.)

(I also still appreciate a good set of leg warmers.)

(And also any song by Cher or Air Supply.)

(The boy assures me that I am An Embarrassment.)

(I remember when my parents were An Embarrassment, because really?  Waylon Jennings?  Little did I know that I would grow up to marry a man who listens to the same garbage my parents listened to on their 8-tracks.)

Where was I?  Before the tangent?

Team Trouble.  Carter and the boy paired up, and they raced some fish.  And apparently they won, but I wouldn’t know that, because I didn’t realize that their goldfish’s heat had started, and I was ever-so-very-much busy talking to my friend, Melanie.

Melanie swiped Thing 2 straight out of Hubs’ arms when we first showed up, and then I got all involved in telling her the absolute miracle story of how the little pumpkin came into our lives through adoption.  And Melanie?  Well, she sobbed her eyes out and praised the makers of waterproof mascara.

And Melanie’s husband?  Well, he was sitting with Hubs and he leaned over and said, “Good grief!  Why are you crying like that?”  I’m not sure that guys understand a girl’s need to sob her mascara off her face over a tender story.  Melanie and I tried to explain this to the menfolk, and her husband simply said, “The ONLY THING that could make ME cry like that would be if I was standing two feet away from a record-setting bull elk, and I missed my shot.”

And Hubs?  Well, he nodded enthusiastically, and then added that losing Game Seven of the Stanley Cup to the Detroit Red Wings in a shoot-out would reduce him to tears like that, too.

Melanie and I may never understand the men we married.

And, what with all the talking and the story-telling and the sobbing and the bull elk and hockey nonsense, I missed the boy’s fish race, which eliminated me from the running for Mother of the Year ’12.

People, I have zero-point-zero snapshots to show you of the boy’s and Carter’s winning fish.  The little thing actually won both of his heats, and he was pronounced the Grand Champion Gold Medalist.

Of course, the boy brought him home, and he’s now living in our fish tank, because the Jedi Family cannot say the word NO to stray pets.

After the fish races, Melanie’s girls grabbed Thing 2, and they sighed with contentment and said, “He smells so good!”  And indeed!  Beneath the stench of a good Similac-puke, you really COULD smell the baby lotion!

So yes.  I managed to capture snapshots of the kids, but I missed the quick-swimming fish.  If y’all want to see what a professional fish athlete looks like, feel free to stop by the house and take a gawk at one.

His name is Zippy.  I wanted to name him Michael Phelps, but the boy was in charge of naming the winner.  It’s why Hubs and I didn’t let the boy name Thing 2.

Have a great weekend, people.

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