Weekend Coffee Share: The Fish Of Gold & Poker Night

Game pieces on a table by Markus Spiske is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

Hello there! Come on in and grab a beverage of your choice.

As I often do when I’m feeling uninspired, I was just poking around in old FOG posts. I’m still looking for posts for The Best Of FOG page. I ran across this one: FOG’s 7 Steps To Marketing Success. I added it to the Best of FOG, because it is hilarious and made me laugh nearly a decade after I wrote it. It is a premier example of my sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek writing style along with my Well Known Facts series.

Anyway, I decided to take my own advice from that post: “do an internet search for your new brand.”  The first few results, of course, were of this very blog, because I am clearly a marketing genius.


I’m that good.

I scrolled way, way down past all of me to see what other “fish of gold” things the internet offers and I found a few things.

First, I found a song called Fish Of Gold by Anna Taranova. I have no idea what she’s saying, because it’s in Russian. It’s a catchy little tune though. The album it’s on, Songs for Children, was released in 2019, so clearly it’s about me. Hopefully, it’s flattering.

The next thing I found were a couple of books! Books about me! Yay!

The first is The Fish of Gold by M. Eulalia Valeri, Fina Rifa (Illustrator). Dude, it’s a Finnish folktale and I’m Finnish-American! Serendipity! I’m going to have to buy that book. The premise of The Fish Of Gold is this:

A poor fisherman nets a golden fish that grants wishes until the fisherman’s wife with her preposterous wishes causes a reversal of their fortune.

Sounds about right for a folktale. I do not grant wishes though. I didn’t know there was a Finnish folktale with the same name when I chose that name for my blog. Clearly, I didn’t follow my own 7 Steps to Marketing Success.

The next book is Spangles McNasty and the Fish of Gold by Steve Webb. The plot is thus:

Welcome to Bitterly Bay. Spangles McNasty has decided to spend his summer doing what he loves the most: shouting at babies, pulling faces at old ladies, eating cold chips from bins and best of all, collecting other people’s spangly things!
Having convinced themselves that goldfish are made of gold and that they grow to the size of whales, Spangles and his friend Sausage-face Pete decide to find the great Fish of Gold. They’ll be rich forever!
Only young Freddie Taylor can stop Spangles’ dastardly plan, in a tale full of time-travelling jet skis, madcap chases and haunted custard. It is a tale so odd, your mind-cogs will jam with happiness for ever after!

I absolutely, positively swear that Steve Webb is not my nom de plume. I did not write this book, but it sounds like I could have. “Shouting at babies” and “pulling faces at old ladies” are pastimes I enjoy, and “Spangles McNasty” and “haunted custard” definitely sound like characters I might have invented.

Since this book was published in 2016, I am going to assume that I was the inspiration for it. Especially since I have a post from 2011 about how Goldfish are made of real gold. I’m assuming that Steve Webb read my post, which inspired his book. I am a magnanimous fish though so I won’t sue. Henceforth, I do expect my subjects to address me as “the great Fish of Gold” though.

Anyway, moving away from bumptious topics, this week, I have cleaned my house from top to bottom, because I have company coming. A friend of mine is visiting from Oregon and another friend is driving down from Fresno. I am hosting our first poker night in years tonight since the poker table somehow ended up living in my garage. Probably because I’m one of the few people with a garage.

I don’t know about you, but when I have company coming over, my house has to be spotless. The funny thing is that every single person coming over is male and doesn’t care. I’ve seen all of their houses and none of them are anything to brag about, but still, that’s how I was raised. Company means deep clean. The last deep clean was in December when my mom visited, so it was overdue anyway. All week long, I’ve been tidying and cleaning. My house looks great.

I’m not the world’s best poker player and I would never play with anyone other than my friends, but I can generally hold my own. I’ve only been the big winner once or twice, but I typically have a few chips to cash out at the end of the night. Here’s hoping I don’t lose my entire $20 buy in during the first few minutes.

My friends and I play all the usual poker games like draw, hold ’em, and stud, but we also have many games most have never heard of like Albino runs the welfare office and Bernie’s garage. Don’t ask me the rules for those since I can never remember. My friend with the good memory does a refresher with every new game. Our poker nights are never all that serious. They’re more about hanging out in a garage smoking cigars, drinking, and bullshitting. In other words, fun.

Seeing my out of town friends will be great, but I can’t help thinking about Male. I haven’t seen the two out of town friends in person at the same time since his memorial. The boys were all Male’s friends too. I’m sure he will come up in conversation and we’ll raise a glass in his honor. Sigh.

I worry about how my neurotic dog will react to that many people coming over. She’s met a few of the boys, but because of Covid, I haven’t had this many people over at once since I adopted her. Hopefully it will be alright. Fingers crossed.

How has your week been?

Read the rest of the Weekend Coffee Shares hosted by Natalie the Explorer.