Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Fire-Bellied Toad

Thanks to a marketing gimmick and a hot car, Sonshine is now the owner of a fire-bellied toad.

First off, let me say that I really didn't want any more pets than we already have. Princess takes care of the LesBuns (our two Sapphic rabbits) and much as I'd like to fantasize about us having more pets, the reality is that it's just one more chore to add onto the list of chores I already can't get done every day. So when Bagel begs for a bird, or Knuckles pines for a cat, I say no.

Today I had a booth at Stansbury Days, and I gave the kids each a dollar to spend on spinning the wheel at the pet store booth. Sonshine proudly came back with a fire-bellied toad he won. Honestly I have no idea what to do with a fire-bellied toad. This is karma coming back to bite me for the day I brought a rabbit home without asking my parents first.

FH then took Sonshine and the boys home, but due to some circumstances that are unclear, the toad died somewhere between Stansbury Days and home. FH claims that the problem was Sonshine keeping the toad under his shirt to keep him out of the sun, while Sonshine claims FH made him wait in the hot car while he ran to get some propane and the heat killed the toad. Either way, Sonshine was in a complete meltdown state. His beloved toad, become so precious to him over the course of an hour, had perished.

FH immediately went to the pet store whose booth had so cruelly saddled us with a toad destined to die, and they replaced the toad for free because he also bought an entire toad-keeping kit for an amount of money that wasn't really in our budget.

I must congratulate whoever came up with this diabolically clever marketing strategy. Give the kids a real live animal, thereby forcing the parents to either allow the animal to die or buy it a habitat and some food, preferably at your store. This takes the winning-the-goldfish-at-the-carnival trick to a whole new level, because a goldfish can live for a time in just about any container of water, while an amphibian needs a water dish and coconut husk bedding and a shoebox-sized container with appropriately vented lid. So even as I curse you, you clever marketing strategist you, I raise my glass to you and toast your health.