One of our regular friends on this blog, Mooglet, has suggested we get a goldfish or a gerbil instead of the dog as asked for by Romeo. Good thinking.
The goldfish thing reminded me of something that sticks in my craw about this country. Well, every country on earth actually - with the slight exception of China as far as I understand.
The reason any mention of goldfish triggers this thought is as follows;
A few weeks prior to my goldfish moment we'd taken in a new foster child. She was a petite (underfed) girl, terribly shy. Her background notes showed she'd been a seriously under-planned child. Her parents had no idea what having a baby entailed and as the enormity of the commitment dawned on them they responded by not lifting a finger.
My analysis of their inertia (all foster parents turn into budding psychologists, sometimes we're as good as anybody else) was; the parents had themselves been treated with horrible derision by other adults all their lives and learned that if you do nothing then at least you can't be ridiculed quite as much as if you do something.
The parents problem was caused by the reverse of 'learned helplessness' - where children are denied independence by having everything done for them rather than being taught how to do things - yet the end result was almost identical. They couldn't do anything.
Our new foster child wanted a pet, so we decided to put a couple of goldfish into the garden pond. When I say 'garden pond' I'm talking about a shallow tub with enough thick chicken wire covering it to almost prevent rain getting in. Fostering = Health and Safety is King.
So we took this little unplanned child, this little person who nobody gave a fig about and nobody had previously had any expertise or desire to care for, we took her to the big pet store on the by-pass.
'Can I help you?' asked a young assistant.
'Yes we'd like some goldfish please.'
'Right,' she said 'I'll go and get the forms.'
The forms? Oh yes, the forms.
We sat down at a desk.
They wanted our names, address and other details;
'Have you ever owned a goldfish before'
'Is the intended environment ready?'
'What systems of oxygenation have you installed'.
'If outside, what means of protection from predators have you?'
'Have you used tap or natural water?'
On and on. It lasted twenty minutes before we were approved and allowed to take home two goldfish. I wanted to call them Laurel and Hardy because one was bigger than the other.
The family settled for Ant and Dec.
You must see my point.
There used to be an old maxim;
"You need a licence to own a dog or to fish in a lake, but anyone can have a child"
It's become truer than ever in our modern world.
If only the little girl's parents had been vetted before they had her.
China? The Chinese government used to limit families to one child, which was one toe in the water of intervening with who has children and how many.
I must point out, as I do from time to time, that outlook is my own view, not Blue Sky's.
Ant and Dec are fine BTW.
* * *
Council for Prosecution; "..and do you expect this court to believe that they are the same Ant and Dec you purchased from the Pet Shop?"
Secret Foster Carer "They are, Your Honour."
Council for Prosecution; "Call the assistant from the Aquatics Department at the Garden Centre!"
Secret Foster Carer " Wait! I confess!!"