If it looks like a fish and smells like a fish, chances are, it’s a fish. Now, the freshness of fish is a subject that has been debated thoroughly amongst fishmongers, pescatarians, sashimi enthusiasts, and the whole seafood community. How does one judge the freshness of a fish? Some argue that it’s all in the eyes.
The human brain makes most of its connections by the time a child turns 10 years old and this connection was really easy to make. One particular craft item popular among children that age is googly eyes. You know the silly adhesive eyes we’re talking about. A fish shop in Kuwait apparently thought they could pull the scales over their customers’ eyes with googly eyes. In an effort to market and sell their fish as fresher than the competition, the shop owner put googly eyes over the actual eyes of the fish.
It doesn’t get any fresher than that.
Where 2D QR barcodes can track pretty much any product in a package around the world, you can’t exactly barcode a fish, so its freshness is on the word of the dealer. That said, this fish salesperson sought to get clever and stuck his own freshness guarantee over their eyes with googly eyes. People weren’t blinded by this deception, and they took pictures. They swiftly went viral and Kuwaiti police shut down this particular shop. But, not before Twitter went wild with it:
“Yeah, this is a full-scale scam,” says one user.
“The scales of justice shall decide,” remarks another.
There are dozens of these and most of them are as punderful as you’d expect. Others were so impressed with the creativity of the crime they insisted it be allowed and the fishmonger not be charged but to no avail.
His attempt at getting an edge over competitors was thwarted but is apparently not uncommon. Another fishmonger in Kuwait was caught earlier this summer filling his fish with metal nails to boost their weight and price. Perhaps more clever than googly eyes, but also thwarted.
The best response to this whole fiasco was rival fishsellers who advertised cosmetic free fresh fish, complete with a picture of fish and a selection of multicolored contact lenses. Sometimes your best advertising opportunities are the mistakes of others. It’s a fishy business out there.