After writing, re-writing, practicing, stressing, melting-down, shutting down, booting back up, rehearsing, stressing, re-writing again, practicing more, it was the night before the fireside. We were feeling mostly good about it, and decided to go to the grocery store to get some of the stuff we needed.
Part of the fireside included an object lesson where a whole fish was going to be blended up into a very yummy milkshake. Except… have you ever tried to find a whole fish at a supermarket? Apparently, no self-respecting, pre-packaged meat department sells whole seafood anymore – something about how people just don’t want whole fish with their beady little eyes and crunchy tails, so they just sell fillets everywhere.
So we went on the hunt. What could be as potentially dramatic and disgusting as a live fish put in a blender?
My solution was, grab a goldfish from Wal-Mart’s trusty ‘pets’ department. Here is a very inexpensive solution, and even more dramatic as a live fish gets serrated up in the milkshake.
Then my wife pointed out (smartly) that someone out there might be an aspiring PETA person, and blending up a live animal probably isn’t the most Christian thing we could do in front of a group of church youth. Plus, since it is a cute goldfish that people keep as pets, it’s not like we’re blending a nasty, run-of-the-mill fish. No, we’d be blending up someone’s potential precious pet “Gill”.
So the whole, ‘we need a nameless, dead fish’ thing was back on! (Despite my other suggestions of stuff we could grab at Wal-Mart while we were there)
And here’s the newlywed lesson: when you’re wife wants a whole, dead, nameless fish at 10:00pm on a Saturday night, even when you have a perfectly awesome substitute, just go with her ideas. Drive her around as long she wants. Check as many stores as she wants. Even go so far as to support her when she starts calling friends asking if anyone has fishing equipment so that she can make YOU can go sit by the well-stocked community pond to catch a whole, live fish. Eventually, she will tire out and figure out that your substitute will work OK.
The substitute worked fine. The fireside went well. We are done! Hallelujah.
In post-mortem, I now realize that all this work and stress might have even been avoided had I employed the most important six words in the man’s tool belt for avoiding such assignments in the first place: