NaBloPoMo: Talk about a toy you broke as a child

I am particpating in the NaBloPoMo challenge for May. It should be a fun one. It is titled: Play.

Today’s topic is: Talk about a toy you broke as a child.

When I was a kid I rarely broke my toys. I don’t know if I was a bit OCD or maybe a little bit anal but I treasured my toys.

But my goldfish Marvin is a different story. 

I was in about sixth grade and we were getting ready to move from Jacksonville, North Carolina to the suburbs of the nations capital. We were a military family so we moved a lot.

In my bedroom I had a 10-gallon tank with just one goldfish in it. It was one of those big white and orange one’s with the fan tail and big eyes.

As the move got closer I knew I couldn’t take Marvin with me and my only choice was to flush him down the toilet. What’s wrong with that? He will be fine. He will go down the pipe and end up in the ocean and get to hang out with all the other flushies.

I remember it like it was yesterday. It was Saturday morning and I had just finished watching the requisite 5-hours of Saturday Morning cartoons. I loved the Looney Tunes and singing dorky songs at full volume about congressional bills and the food pyramid.

I headed to my room, put TAPS on my boom box and scooped up Marvin in one of those little green nets.

He flopped around a bit as we headed to the bathroom down the hall.

That 20 foot hallway seemed like a mile. In fact, my brother Ryan even had time to stick his head out his bedroom door to say,

“Dead fish walking!” at full shout.

I entered the bathroom with the paisley wallpaper and towels that we weren’t allowed to use and lifted the lid on the throne.

I read Marvin his last rites and dropped him in the tank.

With a flush and a swirl Marvin was gone.

At least until later in the day when I came back to the bathroom to do “my business”.

Lo and behold there was Marvin! 

He was swimming in the tank. He didn’t want to go join the flushies. He wanted to stay with me.

How could this be? He didn’t get a reprevie from the Supreme Court. We didn’t get a call from the governor. He was still alive.

I yelled down the hall: “Mom, Marvin is still here! He didn’t get flushed!”

Within seconds my brother entered the room and unceremoniously flicked the handle on the commode. The water swirled around like a whirlpool within an instant Marvin was gone.

That was it. He was gone. No more Marvin.

I would like to think that all these years later Marvin is still alive and well. He has to be. I just saw a show with Larry the Cable Guy where he was catching carp with his bare hands in a lake in Iowa, I believe. Those fish were as big as my leg and must have weighed 25 pounds!

I just wonder how many Marvin’s and Abraham’s were in that lake with Larry? My bet is a lot!


Robert Forto is mushin’ down a dream in the wilds of Alaska. He and is wife are raising two teenagers at Forto’s Fort. 

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