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  • Meet our fish, Leonardo "Spot" DaVinci, the last procurement in the pet line up at our fair manor. We have 2 dogs, 1 geriatric, incontinent cat, 1 cranky bearded dragon and a slew of other outdoor day visitors that cross our threshold with each woodland experience my children have. But since I have a strict "Catch and Release" policy, only the dogs, the cat, the reptile, and the fish stay the night.

    I, with my son, bought this fish for one purpose: to train the fish to do tricks, like swim through hoops and shoot a soccer ball into a goal. Now, I'm not crazy, I just want to break a "Guinness Book Of World Records" record. It's my life-long dream. I did my research on fish training; it's completely possible to train a fish to do these things. "Albert Einstein" is the current reigning champion with 6 tricks in his bag.

    Before purchasing the fish, I explored many options. And since I'm not really built for endurance or heavy lifting, I don't want to grow anything out of or off my body, not the Tattoo Lady, and since I possess no real skill of any sort, it really came down to Major League Eating and goldfish training.

    Most of the MLE (Major League Eating) food disciplines, amateur divisions, of course, focus heavily on processed meat products and that just grossed me out. So I honed in on the Pickle Division. It's pretty much a male dominated sport, so I knew I was going to need to do my research and bring my "A" Game. It seems to really be an estimable competitor I would need do scarf down roughly 5-6 pounds of pickles in about 6 minutes. That's a lot of pickles.

    You might be asking yourself "Why not the asparagus division (Joey Chestnut took home the gold with 9 lbs 5.2 oz fried asparagus in 10 minutes) or cupcakes (Tim “Eater X” Janus won $1500 for eating 42 cupcakes in 8 minutes thereby setting a new world record )? Good question and easily answered when you look at the volume and weight of aforesaid food delicacies. The supplies necessary for training were daunting!

    What really sealed the deal was when my son wanted the fish. I was head over heels in love with the idea of pleasing my child. Your kids lead you to places you wouldn't really go on your own. So, we get home, set up the aquarium like it is a gymnasium, and so begin the rigorous training necessary for a prize winning fish. Things are going well, except there's just one problem. My kid's "Empathy Button" kicks in. He can't stand the idea of Spot not living a good, freewheeling fish life; sauntering around the tank, checking himself out in his reflection, eating for sheer pleasure not because he is rewarded with a mere flake for a performed task.

    Enough said. I gave up my ambitions of world fame for the happiness of my child. Like all reclusive geniuses, Spot spends most of his day under the water filter, but he can do one trick really well: he can rise to the top of the tank, grab a flake of food, and swim in the currents of mercy while enjoying his portion.
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