> “Tambourine Fish” <
If you’re a fisherman, you’re probably scratching your head trying to remember if you’ve ever heard of this aquatic being. If you’re a musician, you’re probably wondering if it’s some sort of widget for the instrument. If you’re just curious, you’re probably going to continue reading.
It all started with a birthday. I *heavily* implied to my then-friend, now-boyfriend Anthony that I was going to get him three darling little goldfish for his 19th birthday, which happened to fall on Super [Fish?-]Bowl Sunday last year. We decided that Edward (named after Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes) would be a white fish, Cat would be an orange fish, and her bright blue twin would be Stevens (clearly a tribute to Cat Stevens). I also promised to make him a marble cake so that his first birthday “away from home” didn’t feel so nostalgic. However, sometimes things don’t exactly go according to plan…
My friend Jon and I skipped our Friday afternoon classes and headed downtown to Ames’ local Petco to purchase the essentials. After we picked out the perfect bowl, decorative rocks, and seaweed, we asked a Petco employee to catch our soon-to-be unit of fishy friends. However, the employee adamantly stated that she would NOT be selling us any goldfish if we planned on housing them in the bowl I hugged so tightly against my chest. She explained that goldfish need to live tanks with a built-in water filter and suggested we get a betta fish instead. Because I was morally unwilling to purchase a probably near-dead betta (which you can read about here), and I was too #college to afford a tank, we both left Petco heartbroken.
But I always have a Plan B! We’d still go to HyVee for the cake ingredients, and we’d also pick up some of their Iowa State gear for Anthony’s gift instead. As Jon and I were in the process of transferring from one bus route to the next, he asked if we could please, pretty pretty pleeaaaase make a quick stop at Jimmy John’s since we’d both missed lunch. I irritably denied his request, but he kept begging and whining and pleading – and I am so glad that he did.
I yelled “FINE!” and while passive-aggressively marching up Welch Avenue to get Jon’s stupid, unnecessary sandwich, a fish caught my eye in the window of a shop called Grandma’s Attic. A fish tambourine. It was perfect!
Long story short, Anthony did get a fish for his 19th birthday, albeit in a much different medium than expected. He did not, however, get his marble birthday cake. (Jon and I used a cheesecake pan, thinking it would be a mess-free alternative to a traditional cake pan, and ended up with cake batter oozing all over the bottom of a dormitory oven that had certainly seen worse. Sorry, Ant. We’ll make it up to you next time. ☺
Thus, a “tambourine fish” is what I consider to be something brilliantly unexpected; a good fortune. Finding the beloved fish tambourine was indeed a tambourine fish.
Oh, and Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes *almost* touched it at the Hinterlands Music Festival last July, which is pretty cool.
Do any of you have any tambourine fish or fish tambourines in your life? Tell me in the comments below! ☺
Until next time,