Billy Bass Adoption Center

Have you ever wondered what happened to all those Big Mouth Billy Bass singing fish that practically sold over overnight in the early 2000s?

I even had one back at the Direct Service Overhead Office.

Back then, whenever you unwrapped a Christmas gift, chances are quite high that you would see realistic-looking rubber fish attached to a plastic plaque that sang to the tune of  “Take Me to the River” and Bobby McFerrin’s only song. It was the craze of the time, of course, and everyone seemed to have a couple in their homes and they were all over the stores.

But not for long.

Just like every novelty, it began to lose its appeal, and of course, someone was already thinking ahead of every other person. Dallas restaurateur Shannon Wynne, realizing that soon people would get tired of their toys, decided to create a final resting place for these soon to be homeless Billy Bass.

Shannon Wynne’s idea of retiring the toys was by hanging them on the walls of the Flying Fish – a restaurant that was first opened in Little Rock Arkansas in 2002 and spread out to other places. Currently, each location of the Flying Fish, a southern seafood chain, now serves as home to its own collections of Billy Bass. And are now known as Billy Bass Adoption Center. Funny enough, even though more than 300 of the Billy Bass fish hangs from the walls and even decorates the ceiling at the restaurant, the collection is still growing as more people are getting rid of this once upon a time sensation of the season.

The question is, why has the collection at Billy Bass Adoption Center kept growing, years after Billy Bass stopped trending.

Here’s the secret!

The Flying Fish developed a reward strategy for each Billy Bass brought. With a  sign reads, “Bring your Billy, and we will feed your Belly,” they offer a basket full of catfish for every Billy given up after following the adoption rules which reads thus:

  1. Bring in your Billy Bass
  2. Fill out the adoption papers
  3. Kiss him goodbye
  4. We give you a basket of catfish

So now you know what happened to all the Billy Bass, they have all been adopted by the adoption center at the Flying Fish.

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