Sunday, May 30, 2010

Your First Dead Goldfish

Enjoy some of the color plates from a 185-page volume titled "Your First Dead Goldfish," based on over five years of anthropological research into rites for the dead from around the world applied to what may be if not the most popular pet, certainly the cheapest. You may also download an abbreviated booklet/card suitable for gifting or mailing for free, complete with printing and folding instructions at!topic/stuffyoucanthave-downloads/rwwGwYSGY2k.

 Front cover (above); back cover (below)

A Potted Pet
“The fish in its aquarium, set upon a stool, is in its own world—one that does not impinge on ordinary human space. In this respect, the goldfish differs from hard-to-confine pets, such as the dog, and is more like a potted plant or an inanimate work of art.”
-Yi-Fu Tuan, Dominance & Affection: The Making of Pets

Below are illustrations for a number of chapter headings:

The Soul of the Fish

Grieving: How Sad Should You Be?

(Shown here: intermittent interment by placing fish in block of ice in freezer and bringing it out for special occasions)

Funerary Fun and Games


Ritual Food and Drink

Anima, Animus, Animals of the Underworld

Cremation Rituals

Water Burials
(As this chapter points out, technically, being flushed down the toilet does not constitute a proper water burial)

No fish were killed in the course of producing this book. All died on their own and were posed, photographed, frozen, flung to seagulls, burned, buried, and/or flushed for the benefit of all goldfish who follow. Immortalized on these pages, may they finally rest in peace.

He swam in circles all his life,
that was his sorry fate.
Now that he’s up in heaven,
we pray he can swim straight.

1 comment:

  1. I always remember my first goldfish, I brought home from a funfair at about 6 years old. There was this strange feeling of affinity towards this fish and even a sense of guilt ,even at this young age,knowing that I, a child had dominion over him and his life. Both of us in a way confined and looking out into the world through a foggy film not knowing what the future had in store for us..


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