A Fish Called Wanda (Texas Edition): Woman Accused of Frying and Eating Ex-Husband’s Goldfish

200px-Goldfish3180px-Pfanne_(Edelstahl)Police in Pasadena, Texas say that a Houston-area woman had a curious way of convincing her ex-husband to return her jewelry. She took his seven pet goldfish, fried them, and ate three of them. The other four were found fried and laid out on a plate. I can’t imagine how this man let this woman go.

What is fascinating is that the police ruled out any criminal charges for stealing and eating the pets of an ex-spouse. It appears that in Texas you can grab your ex’s pet and feast on Terrier Tartare or Poodle Pad Thai without charges.

In torts, this is an example of the problem with establishing damages for the loss of pets. Technically, the law values a pet at their replacement or purchase price in the market rather than their subjective value to the owner. This is ironic since recently a court awarded shared custody of a pug like a child (here), but if you kill the dog, you pay market costs. The real value of such acts is captured through claims of intentional infliction of emotional distress, which effectively translate the value in terms of the emotional cost to the human owner.

For the story, click here and here.

18 thoughts on “A Fish Called Wanda (Texas Edition): Woman Accused of Frying and Eating Ex-Husband’s Goldfish”

  1. Gyges:

    I agree that Chile was not bloodless but he did relinquish power once Chile was back on it’s feet.

    How about Honduras then?

  2. Gyges,

    We’ve pretty much had the coup already. Bush and now Obama have fairly well gutted the Constitution. They both have/had control of an extremely large mercenary force. Right wing extremists worry me, but I’m far more concerned with the coup happening right now, in plain sight.

  3. Byron,

    Just a quick quibble (Since we, and every reasonable person that reads this blog probably agree on that idiotic column), I don’t think the Chile example fits the second part of the premise.

  4. gYGES:

    Even Gore Vidal is worried, here is an excerpt from the Times of London:

    “Vidal didn’t spew his vitriol only on the right. The country at large, he asserted, has “no intellectual class” and is “rotting away at a funereal pace. We’ll have a military dictatorship fairly soon, on the basis that nobody else can hold everything together.”

  5. Gyges:

    Well actually it happened in Chile. But I agree with you on all of your other points.

    I want to say without equivocation that what Mr. Perry wrote is so far out in right field as to be ridiculous and it is metaphysically wrong on so many levels. The fact that he even wrote the article is an affront to our republic.

    He probably should have kept his thoughts on this to himself, all it will do if it gets wide distribution is fuel the fires.

  6. Byron,

    The basic premise of the article is that it’s possible for a MILITARY (which by your own admission would be divided over the issue) to bloodlessly overthrow the democratically elected leader of a large country. Then that the people involved in that coup would step aside and restore a democratic government. That sounds realistic to you? Really?

    You know what most people call plotting to overthrow the government of your own country? It begins with a T and ends with son…

    I know that the difference between Treason and Revolution is who wins, but in this scenario NOBODY wins.

  7. Gyges:

    it is totally realistic but in my opinion not probable,I have wondered now for about the last 3-4 months what those military officers were thinking. Most will probably resign if it ever got to that point. Anyway the military is not in lockstep, there are many flag rank officers that would oppose such an eventuality.

    But it is interesting that someone would write an article like that, to my mind it means people are very disturbed with the direction the country is going. Scary stuff indeed.

  8. She was just following the old commercial ditty: “I can bring home the goldfish, fry them up in a pan, and never, never let him forget he was my man–cause I’m a psycho….”

  9. Before you go firing up the grill for your ex’s dog, it seems like the police _could_ have charged her with a minor felony, but chose not to. Take a look at cruelty to nonlivestock animals, http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/txstatutes/PE/9/42/42.092

    The woman intentionally, and without the owner’s effective consent, killed an animal (a domesticated goldfish).

    As I read the statute, she could have been charged with a state jail felony.

  10. Roland,

    Maybe this guys goldfish could have got eaten by this fish.

    Buttkiss, the 41 Year Old Pacu:

    “Asked if Gruebel has done anything special to keep Buttkiss around so long, Gruebel says, “No, just feed him 20 goldfish every day, every other day depending.” So why has Buttkiss lived so long? Gruebel shrugs, “I don’t know.” And the mysteries of longevity continue…”


  11. Hopefuly he’ll sue the hell out of her and take her last nickel. Abusing pets (even fish, which I like with tartar sauce)to get back at people is second only to harming thier family members as fas as going to lowest point of humanity. The fish were innocent and, more importnatly, defenseless. It’s not like she caught these fish in thier own habitat and they had a chance. What will this sick bitch do next? Boil the a rabbit ‘Fatal Attraction’ style. Many people value thier pets as members of thier family some will even turn to extreme violence for revenge. I’m in this camp. I hope he has the avocados to persue a law suit for the “will infliction of emotional distress” sin ce it was clear that was he intent.

  12. So you think in this red necked forborne town called Pasadena, Texas you’d gain some sympathy? Nah, Oil Town, hone to a lot of Brown and Root employees. This is just the cost of pissing off your spouse.

    Bars, let me tell you, bars lots of them all over the place. Well, where the hell do you think you’d find “Gilleys”? Nuh said.

    Go on now and see for your self:


  13. Great movie and a super scene from it! As you might expect, this latest bit of craziness occurs in my favorite wingnut state, Texas! I have never been one to get to attached to fish as pets, but to some people the emotional connection to their fish is just as strong as of a connection that dog and cat lovers have to their pets. Of course, in Texas the fish will have very little value as pets, but the plaintiff may be able to collect the Friday Fish Fry price for the little fellas.

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