A Fishy Tale

 “Sonny. Pass me the phone quickly. Mama needs help!”


 “Where is it?”


“Over there on the table. Hurry up. Come on, come on, come on!”


Sonny jumps off the sofa and hands me the phone. I flip it open, put it on loudspeaker (as I can’t bring it to my ear) and dial the boyfriend. It goes straight through to the answer phone. SHIT. I leave a message.


“Babe, it’s me. You have to come now. I really need your help. I am standing here holding a 100 litre fish tank that is about to crash through my sideboard and I can’t move. It’s already halfway through, balancing at a precarious angle, and I don’t have the strength to pull it back. Water is pouring all over the floor. Please come quickly.”


I look down at my feet. Water is trickling through my toes towards the open end of an extension cable in the corner of the room. It is plugged in. GULP. I think ‘hairdryer in a bathtub.’ Will I fry? I have no idea, but I don’t want to take the risk – I need to unplug it. But I can’t let go of the fish tank.  If I do it will destroy the entire sideboard (an 1940’s work of art which doesn’t belong to me) along with some very expensive wine glasses and a much treasured dinner set. I point my leg in the direction of the plug and ask Sonny to do it for me.


“What’s a plug?” he says looking confused.


“It’s that white, plastic thing in the wall. Just pull it out!”


“But I am not allowed to touch those.”


“I know. But today you can. It’s an emergency!”


As Sonny yanks the plug out of the wall I hear someone close the outside gate. It is the boyfriend. HALLELUJAH. He bursts through the door, takes one look at me then bursts out laughing.


“Sorry, honey,” he says, grabbing the far end of the fish tank. “It’s just that you look so…well…funny standing there in your dressing gown, all wet and grumpy, your entire body wrapped around a half empty fish tank.”


“Well, I am glad you find it amusing,” I groan. “I’ve been holding this ruddy thing for 15 minutes and my back is killing me.”


“At least the fish are ok,” he says, trying to be upbeat.


“Lucky them,” I reply, looking at the sorry state of my sideboard.


And the moral of the tale:


Fish tanks can be dangerous! Use your common sense (like I didn’t) and choose your surface wisely. 100 litres of water weighs more than you think. Trust me.


Do you think the landlord will notice?

Do you think the landlord will notice?


9 Responses

  1. Holy — you held that for 15 minutes? Crapola. Thank god you did, though- right? :O

  2. I only know about fish and water from diving but I take your point. It’s the sort of daft thing I would do (ref.tank)…and yes, water is bleedin’ heavy, that’s why you have to pinch your nose as you go deeper and deeper. Preferably not in your fish tank though.

  3. oh what a day for you…you poor thing…i could only imagine how heavy that fish tank could have been…what a horrendous experience…but you know what, now you have that moment under your belt and now you really know you can do almost anything! love how your words painted that scene so perfectly…you’re truly a great storyteller…

    ps with a lil’ glue and putting maybe another new tank, maybe your landlord won’t even notice! (just kidding…)

    pps…thanks so much for stopping by. wasn’t that book (the other boleyn girl) enticingly passionate? that is one of my favs and i too just couldn’t put it down…wow…French homework, one day i will at least learn how to have a conversation in that sweet romantic language! now, if i could only find the time to watch the movie in peace-w/out any kiddy interruption… enjoy your weekend! xoxo jo 😉

  4. Aîe, aîe, aîe, that’s good the boyfriend didn’t took long to come over … even if those 15minutes were eternity I guess … I use to have a fish in Scotland, Anatole, but he had just 5 – 7l of water … and I was changing it EVERY morning ! Once, the first or second time I almost killed him, because the new water I purred in was dead cold ! But I quickly got the thing and added some warmer water !

  5. Perhaps it should have been “Sonny, quick grab the video camera and we’ll get £250 on You’ve Been Framed when I drop this fish tank”. Would that have paid for the damage?

  6. OMG. what would’ve happened if you hadn’t been there? And 15 minutes…that is impressive!

  7. Jennifer – I must admit that after 5 mins I was tempted to let it go. These fish have been through 3 tanks already and and as a result have cost me a fortune. My son won the first one at a fair (thanks to my mum) and it has gone from strength-to-strength ever since – can you believe it has grown 4 inches in a year. Most fairground fish die with in 48 hours but not this one. Will need to buy it a bath tub soon!
    Hadriana – I should have known how much the tank weighed after putting my back out after trying to carry the last one which was only 50 litres!
    Tendances – Was very relieved to see the boyfriend so soon. I only held on for so long as I knew my son’s father was due at any minute. It turned out that he was late (as per usual), so it fell to the boyfriend to save the day in the end.
    Jo – Have glued the worktop and it looks as good as new. How was the book signing?
    EAT – In light of the fact that my son didn’t know what a plug was, I think getting him to find, then work the video camera would have been a bit of a long shot. Nice thought though! The money would have come in handy.
    FPC – That is exactly what I said to my mum later that evening.

  8. I don’t think the landlord will notice that small crack…

  9. what crack?!

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