Elmer’s Big Escape

Considering how much everyone enjoyed the last Bedtime Story I shared with you, I thought you might like this. It’s a shorter tale that my mom used to tell me during those days when she would rather be watching Quincy than tucking me into bed. It’s been a while, but I think it went something like this:

Once upon a time, inside a small aquarium, there lived a tiny fish by the name of Elmer. Unlike the other fish, Elmer didn’t like to hang out by the fake coral or play peek-a-boo in the plastic cave. No, she would rather stare at herself in the aquarium glass and daydream.

You see, Elmer was what we grownups call an “outcast.” None of the other fish liked her. She had an odd looking brown spot on her left side, and since her owners were too stupid to realize she was a female fish, she was christened with the name Elmer.

Elmer did have one friend, though: Pierre. Pierre was a snail who came from France, as all snails do, and he spoke with a funny French accent (as if there was any other kind of French accent). Whenever Elmer was feeling down, Pierre would be there to pick her back up.

One day, when the other fish were taunting Elmer, Pierre happened to be passing by.

“Don’ le’ zem upse’ you,” Pierre said in a barely coherent way.

“Ha ha ha,” Elmer laughed. “You talk funny.”

“Peez off,” Pierre replied. “Ween ah yew going to ge’ over id?”

“Ween ah yew?” Elmer mockingly replied. “What are you trying to say?”

Pierre gave Elmer a dirty look and then went about writing his message in the aquarium gravel. This took about three days, since Pierre couldn’t move too fast and he had no limbs in which to write with. The first message read: You Need To Get Ou.

“I need to get ou?” Elmer asked.

Pierre meant to write “Out,” but he failed to consider the size of the tank, and by the time he got to the end of his sentence, he had run out of room.

“Oh, fug me,” Pierre said.

“Ha ha ha,” Elmer laughed. “You talk funny.”

Three days later, Pierre had erased what he wrote in the gravel, and after three more days, he had managed to rewrite the “You Need To Get Out” message.

“Get out?” Elmer asked.

Pierre nodded, but it was difficult to notice, since he was a snail.

Six more days went by and Pierre managed to write in the gravel about a world outside of the aquarium. A magical world where fish could live free. Well, in not so many words. It was, after all, a small aquarium and Pierre was just a snail. Elmer asked Pierre how he could get to this magical place, and Pierre explained in his annoying accent that when the time was right, he would tell her.

Well, about two weeks later, Elmer was in a particularly down mood and was crying in the corner of the tank. Of course, since this was under water, you couldn’t really see the tears, but you could tell she was crying because of the way her little fish body was convulsing. At least I’m pretty sure she was crying. She may have been having a minor seizure. In any case, Pierre happend to be inching his way by on the side of tank.

“Wuzz wrong, Almare?” Pierre said with his funny accent.

“Oh, nothing, Pierre,” Elmer said. “I just got into a big fight with the other fish and they told me I wasn’t allowed on their side of the tank anymore.”

This was a particularly bad situation, since Elmer lived in a very small aquarium.

“Dohn wary, Almare,” Pierre said (duh, who else would it be?). “Averything whale be alrigh’.”

But Almare, I mean Elmer, continued to cry:

“Oh, Pierre. I want to go to that magical place. I want to be free.”

“Ane time, Almare. Ane time.”


“Ade wheel ‘appen ane time.”


“Naver mine.”


“Fug! Yew won to go to zat ‘appy place?”

“Oh, yes, Pierre! Oh, yes!”

“Zen go! Now!”




“Go do zee dop of zee watare an jump as ‘igh as you can.”

It took Elmer a few minutes to figure out what Pierrre was trying to say. Then she quickly swam up to the top of the tank and attempted to leap out. Pierre inched his way up the tank, shouting words of barely-understandable encouragement:

“Eye-er! Eye-er!” he shouted.

Elmer tried with all her might to leap out of the water. As she was doing this, she drew the attention of the other fish, who swam up to have a laugh.

“Ha ha!” laughed one fish. “You can’t leap an inch, let alone an entire three inches to get out of the tank! Give it up, loser!”

Elmer looked back and saw all the fish laughing at her. She furrowed her brow and dove down to the bottom of the tank. She swam around the tank as fast as she could, then made a mad dash towards the surface of the water. Before she knew it, she was out of the water and arcing her way out of the tank. Elmer turned and smiled at the other fish who couldn’t believe what they were seeing. She was so high in the air, she seemed to be flying. After what felt like minutes, Elmer landed on the soft cushion of her owner’s couch and let out a tiny gasp.

As Elmer attempted to catch her breath, she smiled and looked around at her surroundings. The feeling of the air on her scales felt so strange. Still panting, Elmer decided she should get up and see what she could find. She moved her little fins and flapped around, but she couldn’t make herself upright. That’s when she realized that she couldn’t breathe. As Elmer gasped for air and flailed around in agony, she glanced up at the little fish aquarium and saw all the fish and Pierre laughing hysterically. Elmer’s vision became cloudy and then a bright light appeared before her. And then she died. The end.

The moral of this story: Never trust a snail. They’re from France.

Comments 10

  1. bob wrote:

    smiv, it sounds like elmer’s a republican bastard.

    . . . and everyone hates an asshole that’s right.

    Posted 21 Sep 2006 at 10:51 pm
  2. Smivey wrote:

    Are you leaving comments while intoxicated again, bob?

    Posted 22 Sep 2006 at 9:41 am
  3. Sylvia wrote:

    Boy, I really hit the jackpot today when I busted open a bag of frozen snails and found tasty ol’ Pierre ready to be thawed and sauteed in garlic and butter.

    Posted 26 Sep 2006 at 8:27 pm
  4. Lucky Star (a.k.a. boredhousewife) wrote:

    You are as evil as ever, Smivey. I can’t belive you killed Almare!

    Posted 02 Oct 2006 at 8:22 am
  5. Lani wrote:


    Such a ruel storee, ma’ frien!!

    Posted 02 Oct 2006 at 9:01 am
  6. C.S.D. wrote:

    I am so glad all the fish I had are already up in Fish Heaven. This would have horrified me if I still had fishies in my tank. What a fish owner’s nightmare!

    Oh Smivey, you and your dark and evil mind. You have won me completely with this bed time story. You know, it would be so much easier to cyber stalk you if you told me where you lived.


    Posted 24 Nov 2006 at 6:35 am
  7. Smivey wrote:

    Alas, I only exist online. And you’re starting to freak me out just a leeeeetle bit.

    Posted 24 Nov 2006 at 8:06 am
  8. C.S.D. wrote:

    Yessss. I’ve finally accomplished freaking you out. I was starting to think you were a slut.

    Posted 24 Nov 2006 at 8:46 am
  9. Smivey wrote:

    Good morning. Do you actually sleep?

    Posted 24 Nov 2006 at 8:47 am
  10. C.S.D. wrote:

    Only on occasions deemed necessary. Sleeping = a waste of time when there are so many more important things to do, ie. cyberstalk Smivey.

    Posted 24 Nov 2006 at 11:46 am

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