Sunday, June 16, 2013

Big Fish: A Father's Day Catch

Go Fish!

It was about a week before Father’s Day, and I hadn't gotten my dad a gift yet. I had a backup plan in case nothing else presented itself - a pretty cool looking puzzle book filled with Sudoku and such - but the truth is I resort to that backup plan a lot. It's the equivalent of most kids giving their dads a tie each holiday, except that my dad prefers brainteasers. 

But just when I thought another book would join his dusty collection, the perfect gift appeared. Lying in a bin, nestled between a satellite dish and a vintage camera case, a five foot long stuffed fish with googly eyes stared me down. My first response was to laugh out loud, but then I realized this fish would be the perfect addition to my dad's man cave. Without another thought, I carried the fish to the checkout and brought him home with me.

Going to sleep with the fishes...

As I found this magnificent creature at a second hand store (the sort of place where I find many of my unexpected treasures and project inspirations), the first order of business was a good cleaning. Since he seemed to be nothing more than cotton and batting, the washer and dryer sounded like they would do the trick. Beast that he is, the fish almost didn't fit! With a little coercion though, I was able to squish him in.

Fish don't like cleaning!

Not the dryer, too!

Though the washer and dryer did their jobs well, they also took their toll - the fish didn't quite make it out in one piece. While in the washer, one of his googly eyes fell off, and the dryer loosened a fin that seemed to have already been mended by the previous owner. Luckily, I'm fairly crafty myself, and neither of these proved to be a problem for long.

Fish Stitches!
As I was down for the count anyway due to the recent removal of my wisdom teeth, some simple hand sewing was a nice way to keep busy while watching nonstop musicals on the couch. Along with patching up the dangling fin, I also ended up stitching shut another tiny spot that had previously gone unnoticed, and refluffing the fellow as all his stuffing had gone rumpside in the wash.

Fish Eye Lens
As for the missing googly eye, I first considered fixing the problem by simply removing the other plastic eye and leaving him au naturale. Without the plastic pieces, he looked much more like a real fish, but he also lost a lot of character. As his character is decidedly amazing, that proved far too high a price to pay. Whipping out the glue gun, I hastily set to reinstalling the fish's googly eyes.

Good as new!
The fish (which I had affectionately started to call Wanda) was now shipshape and ready to go. Still, if he was going to be a present, he needed proper presentation. In classic Father's Day fashion, I decided this meant donning a tie. With a little help from the internet, Wanda was soon quite dapper indeed.
Does this tie make my gills look fat?

So today, just slightly after noon, my dad became the proud new owner of his Father's Day fish. I admit, I'm a little sad to see Wanda go (especially since it seems his new name is going to be McCat), but I'm sure he'll be happier in a man cave anyway.

Happy Father's Day!

 Happy Father's Day to dads everywhere from me and Wanda McCat! Enjoy your ties! :D

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