"My friend is staying in a hotel in Belgium. They've offered her the option of renting a fish for the night, in case she's lonely," Ms Cooke wrote. She also tweeted a photograph of a goldfish in a glass bowl along with a sign reading, "Alone in your room and want company? RENT-A-FISH."
Since September 2, Ms Cooke's tweet has been 'liked' over 34,500 times and retweeted well over 13,000 times. And though Ms Cooke later tweeted to say her friends did not take up the strange offer, it provoked mixed reactions on Twitter.
Many absolutely loved the idea:
I'd totally do that! Love the happy fishie!!— SOCIETY'S BASEMENT (@SocietyBasement) September 4, 2017
I am surprised to find that a) I didn't know it was a thing and b) I would totally pay the £3.50— JD (@DearJane) September 3, 2017
I'd probably prefer the company of a fish to most people.— CardiffVegi (@CardiffVegi) September 3, 2017
Some had these suggestions:
Rent a cat....now that's an idea I could get behind— Karen Tay (@kareninauckland) September 2, 2017
Ive often wanted Rent a dog. Rent a husky would be perfect— caniwi (@caniwi_nz) September 2, 2017
How adorable, I feel like rent a box of doughnuts would be great. Might not get the holding deposit back though.— Gem (@themothercooker) September 2, 2017
Some poked fun at the notoriously short memories of goldfish:
It won't even remember her tomorrow— Terry Scott (@Redtel) September 3, 2017
Others were concerned about the fish:
Poor fish, tiny bowl, under the glare of a lamp with no plants to shelter in. If they are sentient enough to be company they deserve better.— Anne Cowling (@Spa_town) September 3, 2017
I hope they start providing bigger fish tanks! Our lil fishy friends need more room— anna. (@hexpositivee) September 3, 2017
The hotel took to Twitter to clarify their goldfish were well cared for:
Today our #goldfishes are trending again! To all of you who worry about them, please be reasured.. We take very good care of our fishes 1/4— HCA (@HotelCharleroi) September 4, 2017
They are with us for over 4 years now BTW. They also have a big fish-tank in the houskeeping dept, with a shelter, oxygen and plants 2/4— HCA (@HotelCharleroi) September 4, 2017
When we think it's necessary, we put them there for a few days.— HCA (@HotelCharleroi) September 4, 2017
Hotel manager David Dillen told The Independent that the fish rental service had been running for years and was popular with guests.
"The idea was to surprise our guests, as we always try to do...It's brilliant to see how people react to it. They smile, they take pictures to put on social media. We rent a few fish per week," he said.
The offer clearly left Twitter amused:
It's not for you - it's for the lonely fish.— BB (@BBfromCanberra) September 3, 2017
If he doesn't have company every night - he's a fish out of water.
Would you ever avail a service like this? Let us know in the comments section below.
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