“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.