Friday, October 08, 2004

Is fun overrated?

I tried to draw my son into a stupid conversation this morning about a story we saw on the early news. Evidently, animal rights groups are objecting to the conduct of goldfish races. A quick search found this story:
Go, fish: The latest trend in Utah bar games appears to be goldfish racing, which debuted last week at Cassady's on 3300 South in Salt Lake City. The game pits two live goldfish against each other in parallel, rain-gutter-like contraptions, each filled with a few inches of water. Contestants propel their fish along with squirt guns; the first one to reach the other end is the winner.
Spotting an opportunity to give my son da bidness, I move in. How do they know the fish don't like racing? Seems like a goldfish leads a boring existence -- maybe a little excitement would be a welcome change. Kind of spice up the day-after-day of swimming around the tiny ceramic castle.

On the other hand, what if a goldfish actually enjoys the boredom? After all, of all the things to miss about the free life in the wild, I doubt that fleeing from water-squirting predators conjures up many fond memories. I'm betting a goldfish would take boredom over excitement any time. "Hey, Phil! Remember the time we had all that fun? Yeah, that sucked."

Anyway, the news story went on to answer my question.
Seems harmless enough, but last Monday's races revealed a little problem: The fish kept dying.
And I guess that settles that mystery. Even I feel safe in assuming that the fish don't enjoy that very much.


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