What does this “toy” require of us?

Give me back my filet-o-ghost

The mechanical fish wants us to return the fast-food meal consisting of dismembered and reconstituted real fish that has been fried and then frozen and then reheated and sold at a McDonalds. How are we to respond? Is this a Scrooge/Marley scenario? Is the mechanical fish a vengeful ghost? Can we “give back” this item to the mechanical revenge ghost fish in any way that is meaningful? Why won’t it shut up? How did we get to this place? SHIELD ME FROM THE FISH


I own a strange object. It is a plastic ball about the size of a baseball, with a hole in it, a dial, and some lettering identifying it as a “treat ball.” Like other such objects, it’s intended to amuse animals by leading them to poke at the ball and get treats. The twist with this particular one is that you can record your voice (or other sounds) so that the ball, when batted about, plays a short sound clip. I’m not sure what effect it’s supposed to have on the pet.

This particular treat ball was given to me by a friend. The voice recorded within is that of her ex mother-in-law, who is a unique person in that she’s a series of DSM-IV codes. I won’t go into it. However, the sound that issues from the ball is a breathy high woman’s voice, pleading with you.

The final effect is similar to that of the glowing-pulsating-red-heart ghost bride at Disneyland’s Haunted House, calling you back, back, back to the grave.

I had it around the house for a couple years at least. It was on a little used desk but sometimes I bumped it and the voice came out. A couple of times it went off unexpectedly, which was a treat. My cat just looks at me funny when it makes noise.

Recently I put it in my car’s trunk. I am not sure why; maybe I meant to take it to someone’s house and make them afraid. Anyway, I would hear it when I braked or took a hard turn, or went over a bump. For a while I didn’t realize what the sound was and kept thinking it was the stereo or maybe my phone having pocketdialed someone. I found it in the trunk again today and thought I should remove it because constant use would run down a battery.

Anyway I camvideo’d it:

embedded video