A deceased fish

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A deceased fish

Post by Stevenloan » Mon Jul 13, 2020 4:44 pm

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https://scontent.fsgn8-1.fna.fbcdn.net/ ... e=5F334277

- Hi guys! I found this picture from the page "The Manc" on Facebook. Approximately 55% of Facebookers reacted with a laughing emoji. The little girl's fish died. I think this is sad and not funny at all. What is so funny about this picture? What am I missing here?

Your answers will be greatly appreciated.

StevenLoan
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Re: A deceased fish

Post by trolley » Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:16 pm

"Tbt" means "Throw Back Thursday" and is used when someone posts an old photo of themselves or an event that happened to them in the past (often from their childhood). I imagine that what's funny is the fact that the little girl wanted a photo of her fish to remember it by but hadn't taken one when it was alive. That staged, post-mortem shot seems a little funny because she has the fish propped up against the side of the bowl to make it appear alive. If she didn't do that, then it would likely just be floating, belly-up on the surface. There is also some humour in that look on her face. She appears to be trying to smile and make a happy commemorative photo but her grief is showing through. I doubt that anyone was laughing at her because her fish died. It is just the child-like innocence of the whole situation that seems somewhat funny.
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Re: A deceased fish

Post by Erik_Kowal » Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:58 pm

I find this photo simultaneously funny, sad and incongruous. The situation is sad overall: the fish is dead, and the girl is visibly upset. She has also specifically asked her mother to record the moment, underscoring the posthumous significance of the fish to her.

However, she is using a flyswatter -- an instrument of death -- to fake the fish's aliveness, a state that for some reason she had never photographed when the fish was actually alive.

Meanwhile, to viewers of the photo who have never met either the fish or its carer, it likely seems insignificant that the fish has died, especially as three years is about as long as a captive goldfish could be expected to live.

On the other hand, the expression on the girl's face reveals her distress. (We can only guess at what her mother was thinking or feeling at the time, though my presumption is that she was mostly feeling sorry for her kid, given that she cooperated with her in the staging of this little tableau.)

The juxtaposition of all these incongruous elements -- the sadness, the earnestness of the girl, the role of the flyswatter, and the laboriousness of the effort to set up the photo shoot to commemorate what for the uninvolved viewer is a rather trivial event, is what makes the photo funny.

Anglers regularly throw fish they catch that are too small to be worth taking home back into the water, where they will often continue to grow. So the fact that the girl has introduced the posting with "Tbt" -- "Throw Back Thursday" -- is one more humorous twist, because we know that her fish has died and there is no point in throwing it back into the water.

The girl has posted (or possibly reposted) this photo several years after the event. Her ability to look back on and present the actions of her younger self is in itself also slightly humorous, because it shows her awareness of the incongruousness of the photo.
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Re: A deceased fish

Post by BonnieL » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:35 pm

trolley wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 7:16 pm
"Tbt" means "Throw Back Thursday" and is used when someone posts an old photo of themselves or an event that happened to them in the past (often from their childhood).
Thanks. I didn't know what it meant & Google told me it was Truth Be Told. Google lied. :shock:
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Re: A deceased fish

Post by BonnieL » Tue Jul 14, 2020 2:43 pm

Erik_Kowal wrote:
Mon Jul 13, 2020 10:58 pm
However, she is using a flyswatter -- an instrument of death -- to fake the fish's aliveness, a state that for some reason she had never photographed when the fish was actually alive.
That's a small fish net, not a flyswatter. When we had goldfish - decades ago - we used the net for moving the fish out for cleaning the tank. Also to scoop up dead fish. Because most fish are short-lived, it's a good lesson about death for children.

Now that husband & I are getting closer to death, I find that I did a lousy job of preparing our now-adult children for it. Whenever I mention our health problems & any new limitations, I hear crickets. They will happily discuss anything else. Maybe we needed more goldfish. :?
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Re: A deceased fish

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Jul 15, 2020 5:29 am

Bonnie, thanks in the first instance for the correction regarding the flyswatter that was really a fish net. As you may have guessed, I have never kept fish, otherwise I would probably have identified it correctly. :)

Interesting that this photo brought up the reluctance of your children to discuss ill health and death with you and your husband.

Maybe this is a good time to raise the topic with them again: the coronavirus pandemic has forced the possibility of dying from the virus into everyone's daily conversations, and they are also of necessity getting used to videoconferencing with other family members.

Perhaps a scheduled Zoom conference (or series of conferences) to explicitly discuss subjects like health prognoses, power of attorney, assisted living arrangements, your wishes in the event of you or your husband developing dementia, and your funeral arrangements might be in order.

These are important subjects, but if your offspring keep shying away from them then maybe it's time to insist on having these discussions -- after all, the natural course of events will eventually force the issue anyway, and it will ultimately be much easier on your kids if these matters have been clarified (and arrangements set in place) beforehand than if they have to figure them out on the fly when they are already feeling stressed.

Just my 2 ¢.
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Re: A deceased fish

Post by Stevenloan » Thu Jul 16, 2020 2:23 am

trolley, Erik and BonnieL : Thank you all so much for your help. I really appreciate it.

StevenLoan
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