Monday, 26 October 2009

Pets at Home






The final remaining goldfish expired last week, so my daughter and I popped into Pets At Home on Saturday morning to pick up a couple of new ones.

“We’d like some goldfish please”

“No problem, does your tank have a filter” said the bloke with the little net in his hand.

Well, I didn’t know that there were different types of goldfish. Some for bowls and others suitable for tanks with filtration systems. We got the last lot at the fair, just before Soph had put an air rifle pellet into the pikey’s leg on the shooting gallery. Hopefully ours had been bowl fish rather than filter fish.

“No.” I answered unsuspectingly, “they are for a bowl”



“Sorry, I can’t sell you any” he retorted, “it’s company policy not to sell fish unless they are going to a tank with a filtration system.

“Oh, FFS” I thought, but wisely kept to myself. Two options then. Find a different assistant and give the correct answer or buy a tank with a filtration system. I went for the latter, it looks quite smart and when you added in the plants and rocks it set me back nearly a hundred quid. Went home and we set it up.

The instructions on the tank said you had to leave it twenty four hours before you put the fish in, so we returned to Pets at Home yesterday. This time I was ready for them.

“We’d like some goldfish please”

“No problem, does your tank have a filter” said a woman who would have had a net in her hand if I hadn’t collared her whilst she was fiddling with the gerbils.

I was a little worried that I might panic and blow it, but we’d been practicing in the car on the way over and I confidently confirmed that our tank did indeed have a filtration system.

“Excellent” she replied as I breathed a sigh of relief.

“And how long has the tank been set up for?”

I hadn’t been expecting this, but I knew the answer as I’d read the instruction booklet.

“Just over 24 hours”, I replied, with emphasis on the ‘just over’ bit.

“Sorry”, she said, “but we only sell our goldfish to homes where the tanks have been set up for at least a week.”

“Oh FFS!!” Only this time I didn’t just think it. Well I wasn’t going to go home empty handed again, so we had to tactically withdraw for ten minutes and pretend to look at the dog kennels until a different assistant appeared.

And so, for the third time…“We’d like some goldfish please”

“No problem, does your tank have a filter” replied a different woman who was just as well versed in company policy as her colleagues.

“Of course” I responded, trying to give the impression that I would be horrified at the prospect of anyone keeping a goldfish in anything less than the Killer Whale pool at Seaworld.

“Excellent” she replied, sticking to the script.

“And how long has the tank been set up for?”

“Just over a week”, I replied, a certain smug expression firmly on my chops.

“That’s fine”, she said, “what are you after?”



I pointed to a tank containing some really small goldfish. Not much bigger than whitebait really, although I kept that thought to myself as well. I was fairly confident by then that they would have a policy about dusting them in flour and deep frying them.

“We’ll have one of the orange ones please, one of the yellow ones and one of those see-through ones.”

“I’m afraid I can only sell you one at a time. You would need to come back in a week if you want a second one.”

It was my daughters turn for the FFS this time. I was beyond being surprised. If she had told me that I would have the fish transported by air ambulance I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid by now. I know when I’m beaten.

She took all my details on a form, stopping just short of getting a magistrate to verify my identity and we took the orange fish, no longer than an inch long, to the checkout where I paid the £1.22 necessary. I could probably have adopted a child with less fuss.

19 comments:

  1. They probably remembered you from the piranha incident.

    And there was less fuss getting you appoved to work on a Nuclear plant. You stick me down as a reference, some bloke phones me and says 'is he ok?' I say 'aye' and he hangs up. If it ever had gone to court due to an incident, I could I claimed that he hung up early and missed the 'I'm not sure I would put him in chage of a toilet block' part of the conversation.
    Still only another 1000 millenia to go before I can stop worrying.

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  2. Luckily it didnt take them long to suss me so you only need to feel guilty for contributing to six months of Homer Simpsonesque mishaps.

    I'd forgotten about the piranhas. If only the pet shops had been so vigilant in those days. They didnt even mind when I used to buy retired racehorses to feed them with.

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  3. Been there! Done that! Now have six fish - had the tank a year!! Pammie

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  4. The fish police must be even stricter in Cheshire, Pam. Two months between fish? I'll be happy if fish number one survives two months.

    Pet Shop Woman (there's a tribute band name)Nr. 3 reckoned that our tank would only hold 3 fish. Thats ten litres per fish. They had about fifty in the tank in the shop and it probably wasnt twice the size.

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  5. Oh fishy Oh fishy monty Python im do not L
    Like pet Shops - they are corrupt

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  6. Andy if that's you pretending to be Swedish stop already. BTW I've been asked 3 times what FFS is.

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  7. For the benefit of those who dont know FFS is short for 'For fucks sake', which when you read it doesnt actually appear to make a lot of sense. However, when said in an exasperated tone, it seems just right.

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  8. My mum thought is was Fish For Sophie, I think we'll leave it that way.......bless

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  9. Not me pretending to be Swedish; but obviously somebody so amazed by the tale that they lost all ability to type. Or think.

    FFS

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  10. Its going to get worse!! this is what happened to another friend

    'we took a dying fish in to see if it had a disease that would pass on to the others and thought they would just take it away or flush it or something. They told us in all seriousness how we must perform euthanasia humanely! It involved buying a pot of oil of cloves from the chemist and basically anaethatising it to death!!

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  11. I once took a sparrow that had a broken neck to the vet. I dont know what I was expecting him to do, maybe put a napkin ring on it as a neck brace or something. Anyway, he solemnly advised us that its time was up and then got a bottle of anaesthetic out of a cupboard and a syringe that would have been suitable for putting a rhino to sleep.

    I dont think the anaesthetic was necessary. The stabbing from the needle did the trick.

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  12. Rosie if thats you stop using Craigs slang

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  13. Brilliant!!

    I did suspect that the mum who was unaware of the meaning of it might have been Pam.

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  14. No it wasn't it was me !!!!

    FFS

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  15. Don't whales have really smiley faces. I bet they'd make great friends. Dolphins too.

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  16. ...BUT they insist you buy Roborovski hamsters in pairs, even the males, who will then fight to the bitter bloody death for dominace a few weeks later; just like the barroom scene in Inglourious Basterds, but not so loud. Great fun to come down to in the morning...

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  17. I know these are really old comments and I hope you guys gained a bit of knowledge on fish since '09.... you need to know about the nitrogen cycle and goldfish aren't good for tanks smaller than 30 gallons each, and larger when full grow. Goldfish do not grow with the tank, it just stunts their growth. I am sickened by the responses of people on here 😰

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