"A goldfish's attention span is three seconds"

So says the inside of the Snapple cap I just opened. This brings up a number of questions, including why the hell I just drank 420 calories of Snapple, when I could have just had a nice cup of tea.

• WTF? Goldfish’s attention span?

• How exactly did they measure this? Bang on the bowl and yell, “Hey! Goldfish! Over here!”

• Did ALL the goldfish turn blankly away after three seonds, or is this an average? Which would hardly be fair to that one goldfish who sat there for minutes on end staring at the Snapple research team.

• How do they know the goldfish was indeed bored? Maybe it had better things to do, was depressed, or needed to check its laundry.

• What training goes into this? Did the Snapple people train or hire people with doctorates in goldfish-attention-getting? Or just some schmoes off the street who couldn’t keep a flounder’s attention, let alone a goldfish?

The Snapple Research Team and I welcome your input.

That should be, of course, “a goldfish’s attention span IS three seconds.”

Most goldfish can type better than I can, too . . .

Well, it’s…

Oooh look! Another castle!

Eve, I don’t know how they managed to come up with that one. But I do remember hearing about that one a LONG time ago.

Maybe they tested the goldfish’s attention span and memory by doing up tests like they do for monkeys in research labs, but that would be just a little difficult.

Hmmm. According to this site, the attention span of a goldfish is nine seconds. Again, no backup data is provided.

Who do we believe? Snapple or the BBC? Or is it a matter of the British goldfish being more attentive than their American cousins? Could it be a matter of the fact that all British TV shows are like Masterpiece Theater?

Or is the whole thing fixed?

Well, I’m glad it was a typo.

I was afraid that it was an advertisement of some sort…“Drink this bottle of Snapple, and in three seconds YOU will have the attention span of a goldfish!” Very Alice-in-Wonderlandish.

I already have the attention span of a goldfish.

Hmmm . . . the whole three seconds vs. nine seconds thing has me worried. Obviously these research scientists are playing fast and loose with both us and the goldfish.

As far as giving goldfish the same tests as they do monkeys . . . I imagine the goldfish would dry up and die after a minute or two on the swing or the climbing bars. Which COULD indicate a form of loss of attention.

Fish flakes again? They’ve gotta be crazy if they think I’m gonna eat these same tired old fl…

Ooo! Fish flakes!

Eve: Two words–Diet Snapple.

IIRC, the National Science Foundation and the USDA awarded a $48 million grant to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University to study “the attention span of koi, guppy, mollie, and other recreational aquarium fishes.”

No, really. I am not making this up…

Plnnr, I have no doubt you’re not making it up . . . Why can’t I ever get jobs like that?! I had a college friend in the CIA, and she insisted there was some guy in the cellar who spent all day decapitating rats with a special little guillotine, to find out what effect decapitation has on rats.

I can’t help but wonder what GOOD it did the USDA (or Snapple, for that matter) to find out that guppies had a two-second lead on the attention span over goldfish . . .

Oh, and Gobear—that new raspberry-peach flavor I wanted to try only comes in non-diet . . .

I’m guessing they tested the poor little fishies in a similar manner to the way we tested the attention span of frogs in college.

Two tiny probes were attached to either side of Mr. Frogs brain which monitored nural activity. Then a bright light was shined on him at the same time that a moderate voltage/low amperage current was applied to his aquarium (Zaaap!!!). Eventually Mr. Frog gets the idea that light = Zaaap!! and his brain readout shows an increase in activity when he sees the bright light wheather or not he gets the current. But, bieng a frog, this conditioned response doesn’t sink in for long. About a minute as I recall

my snapple lid this am stated that “elephants are the only animal that can not jump.”

good thing i say. could you imagine what a herd of jumping elephant would sound like?

I don’t know but I’m sure there’d be plenty of flat monkeys around.

Interesting thre-


I don’t think a goldfish has an attention I wonder what I just typed? Oh yeah, I don’t think a goldfish, now, what was I saying? Oh yeah, I don’t think…

In my fantasy world, Eve and Ike are married.

I know they really aren’t, but I imagine them sorta like Nick and Nora Charles…

You guys are so cute!

Yep, that was apropos of nothing. Got a problem with that?

Hoo hah. You should read our Personal E-Mail Correspondence.

We’re shopping it around now to Random House, Farrar Straus & Giroux, and Simon & Schuster.

Unfortunately, everything we print on these stupid boards is the Property of the Chicago Reader. Otherwise THAT would be Volume One.

Canthearya, if Ike and I WERE married, we’d be at each others’ throats, bitching and griping and trying to avoid each other!

We’re not so much “Nick and Nora” as “Mrs. Parker and Mr. Benchley.” (And I don’t necessarily mean that in a NICE way) . . .