Tag Archives: humor

Siggi’s dead.

Well, that didn’t take long.  If you read the post from yesterday, you might remember that we received two goldfish as a party favor at a kid’s birthday party.  Our son named one Devo and we named the other one Siggi.

Siggi’s dead.

fishbowl2

Siggi is (was) the floater on the left.

Elizabeth noticed that one of the fish had “taken a break” from swimming.  To eliminate the thought that he was napping, I poked him with my finger.

Uh oh.

Now what?  Well, we did what any parent of a nearly-three-year-old might do.  We started the cover up.  First, we had to dispose of the body.

“How are we going to get it out?  We don’t have one of those little nets,” asked Elizabeth.

“I think I’m just going to pick him up,” I said.  And I did.  I laid him on a paper towel and did a brief autopsy.  Yep, he wasn’t moving.  Elizabeth distracted Rylan as I jetted to the bathroom.  Upon entering the bathroom, it occurred to me that I actually had to use the bathroom.

Do I pee first?

Do I pee on the fish?

There was no need to waste two full tanks of water on separate flushes.  So I rationalized that I should be humane and dump the fish in a bowl of pee rather than pee on the dead fish.  It seemed like the dignified thing to do.  As I dropped the fish carcass into the bowl, it hit at such an angle that it appeared to glide through the water.  For a brief moment, I actually thought Siggi was alive and I would have to stick my hand in the pee-water and pull out our Lazarus fish.

“OK, the fish is gone,” I announced quietly back in the living room.  “Do we tell him?”

We considered our options.  We could go get another fish and complete the cover up.  Two fish entered, two fish would remain.  Or, we could try to have “the death talk” with our son and wonder if he would understand.  Or…

Or, we could hope he doesn’t notice one is missing.

“I kinda feel like we’re lying to our son,” I said.  “No,” Elizabeth added, “as long as the other one is still there, I think we’re OK.”  As we were spiraling towards denial, our son said, “I want to feed the fishies.”

Fishies.  Plural.  Great.

“Sure, buddy,” I replied.  “You can feed the fish.”

Singular.

I picked him up and held him next to the food and the bowl.  He grabbed a pinch of the $4.25 goldfish food from Walgreen’s and dropped it in the fishbowl.  “Yay, he’s eating it!”

Whew!  It appears as if we dodged a bullet today, but we still need to formulate a plan for when Devo kicks the bucket…er…bowl.

Until then, long live Devo.

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Sometimes life gives you fish.

Sometimes life gives you things you don’t particularly want. Today, life gave us two fish.

We had a fun afternoon at a local splash park celebrating a friend’s daughter’s birthday. The birthday party was Elmo themed and featured a lot of Elmo’s favorite things. So, as a party favor, we got a bowl with two goldfish. Real fish. Living. In a bowl. With water.

This presented a variety of problems. The first (and most obvious) problem – the fish didn’t have names. Rylan quickly named one of them Devo. We named the other one Siggi after a friend of ours who is also small and orange.

The second problem was that we had to transport the fish all the way home without spilling the water or the fish. This dovetailed nicely with the third problem. We weren’t going straight home. We were going to “outside church,” as our son calls it. Our church has a Saturday evening service under a tent in the middle of 200 acres of land that will one day be built upon. We weren’t going home for several hours.

Do we take the fish to the service with us? Do we crack the windows in the car? Will these things boil?

On the way to church, in the midst of me showing people next to us at stoplights that I had a bowl of fish, we realized our fourth problem. We had to feed these things. Or euthanize them. OK, we decided on feeding them. We stopped on the way home and Elizabeth bought some fish food. I learned something today. Walgreen’s sells fish food. And, it costs $4.25. That’s like…a dozen goldfish. We could just not feed them and keep replacing them…OK, we decided again to feed them. Don’t call PETA.

Now, here’s the fifth problem. The fish WILL die. At some point, we are going to have to tell our not-quite-three-year-old son that his fishies died or moved out or went to the store. I’m not ready for that yet.

On the way home tonight, I was thinking about unexpected responsibilities. I thought about when the Samaritan woman ran in to Jesus at the drinking well in John 4. She had no idea he would be there. In fact, she wasn’t expecting anyone to be there. When Jesus approached her, he asked her to get him a drink. She tried to politely point out that Jews and Samaritans didn’t typically hang out. Jesus began to tell this woman about her own life. Jesus knew she had five husbands and was living unfaithfully. At this point, the woman thought he was just a prophet, but he was so much more.

(v. 25) The woman said “I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us. Then Jesus declared, “I who speak to you am he.”

This lady was simply out to get some water. She was thirsty. Maybe she was going to make dinner and needed water for the pot. She never would have guessed that she was about to encounter the Son of God. She never would have thought that she was going to have her life changed that night. It was supposed to be another ordinary walk to the well, just like the last one, or ten or fifty.

The woman had a choice to make. She could have gone about her business and not have spoken to the Jew that she normally would have avoided. She could have left the well and ignored the conversation. But instead, she was so overwhelmed and convicted about what just happened that she immediately went back to town to tell her friends. She was so overcome that she actually left the water jar behind – the whole reason she was there to begin with.

I’m 164% sure that when I woke up this morning I did not think I’d be coming home with more pets. Our fat, loud cat, Gilligan (who is immortal), is enough. But, now that we have Devo & Siggi, we can embrace the teaching moments. As soon as we got home, we put the fish on the table and we showed Rylan how to feed the fish. In the morning, pending these things are still alive, we will do the same thing again. He will start learning how to care for others. One day (maybe Monday), these fish will die and Rylan will learn a lesson about death. I’m not looking forward to Rylan being sad, but I am looking forward to explaining more to him about God’s love for us.

Until then, meet Devo & Siggi.

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I will not eat hairy crab, I will not eat it in a cab

Sometimes things get lost in translation.  Most times, these things are quite humorous.  Here are a few examples I came across on my last trip to East Asia.

Menu_Turtle burn the old gooseNext time grandma acts out of line, tell that old goose she’d better be careful.

Menu_Bacon hairy crab steamed shutterI’m not quite sure what the shutter is, but any food containing the word ‘hairy’ has me worried.

Menu_Feet feet jumpBecause the purpose of my trip was to play basketball, I sure could have used more of the ‘Feet Feet Jump’.

Menu_Soup to promote the shutterAgain, more with the shutter.

Menu_Bacon shrimp dry baby foodRegular sounding baby food is disgusting enough.  For the record, this was not the kid’s menu.  Also, could I interest you in some tasty grains of corn?

Menu_Hairy crab cakesI will not eat hairy crab, I will not eat it in a cab.

Other times, translation mishaps can be extremely difficult.  When God is trying to speak to me and I’m just not getting it, there aren’t any pretty pictures for me to look at to help me gain context.  At some point, we have all struggled with what our ‘calling’ is and ‘why we’re here.’  God reveals himself and his will for our lives subtly and in stages.

There was a point in my life as I was about to enter my final semester of college when I completely and truly realized that I needed God.  I needed him as the pillar of my life.  I needed to relinquish control to him and most of all, I needed to step out of the way.  That day, July 1st, 2003, I can say was the day that I surrendered my life to Christ.  I cried as I prayed that God would forgive me of my pride, my selfishness and the sin in my life.  I asked him to change me and give me the freedom of putting him first and pleasing me second.

Since that day, God has done great things in my life.  Step by step, he put burdened my heart for different things like missions, service, teaching and discipling.  Shortly after my wife and I were married, we moved to a new city and joined a fantastic church.  It was at that point as we were desiring membership that God burdened me with the desire to be baptized on my own terms.  I was “sprinkled” as a baby in the Catholic church, but this time it was on me.  I wanted to do it to show God and others that it was MY decision and not a programmatic decision to enter the waters of baptism just as Jesus did.

The decision wasn’t easy.  I worried about what people would think.  I worried about the clash of my past in another church.  I was concerned with the label of being a “Baptist”.  Frankly, I’m not one for titles.  At work, people can get caught up in the labels.  Director of this, assistant to the regional manager, supervisor of the planet, blah blah blah.  Call me the janitor, just make sure the check clears.  Titles are just another worldly possession that we get wrapped up in.  Years ago, I worked with guy that owned a local ad agency.  The title on his card said “Good Guy.”

Just as God was laying on my heart the importance of following in the footsteps of Christ and convicting me to baptism, he’s calling each of us to fine tune our lives.  For some, it might be a dramatic change, for others it might be confirming what they are already doing.  The challenge in all this is how we translate.

Communication takes at least two.  I’ve talked to the walls before, but I’ve never had them answer.  If there wasn’t a waitress to hear me ask for some feet feet jump, I would never get any food.  Translations happen in fractions of a second.  We hear, smell, taste, touch, see things and moments later we know and understand what just happened.  Hearing words and comprehending them in our own language is second nature.  But, being in another land and trying to understand if the waitress is asking me for chicken or ‘soup to promote the shutter’ takes practice (which I have not mastered).

Translating God’s will also takes practice.  It takes prayer.  It takes discernment.  It takes desire.  Do you desire to want to know God’s will for your life?  Are you terrified of the consequences of responding to him?  Are you staying out of the waters of baptism because you have a fear of water?

 

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