Thursday, June 16, 2005

Revenge of the Fish - Part Deux

Regular readers of my little blog will know that myself and DIY do not mix…at all.

In fact, anything remotely complicated usually results in bodily injury. Anything that involves more than three steps, or involves any kind of multi-tasking whatsoever, usually results in disaster.

For example, I can make toast, no problem. However, if making toast also involves buttering it and making some eggs to go along with it…I could easily lose a leg.

If you want a clearer example, or if this is your first visit, read ‘It’s a Man’s World’ in the archives. I would put a link directly to it, but that involves more than one step, and I enjoy owning all of my fingers.

Well, anyone who read my last post will know that my homicidal pet fish, in a new and surprising gambit to bring about my death, created a leak in their tank with a view to electrocute me. Of course, I tried to repair it.

I failed …the scars are still healing (It’s amazing the disasters I can cause with a simply tube of window and door sealant.)

I went to the next step. My mother-in-law just happened to have a spare aquarium in her basement.

What followed was a clusterf**k of such epic proportions, that it bears repeating.

So here it is.

“How Not to Change Out an Aquarium.”

1 Bring new aquarium into the house. Notice with dismay that things have been living in it for the past 20 years. Examine potentially the mine-able deposit of lime scale on the side of the tank.

2 I remember the front window incident, so I find cat and lock her away for the duration of the project. If she sniggers at me one more time…I’ll just lose it.

3 Begin by scooping out old gravel and ornaments. Spill gravel and ornaments onto carpet. Emit first swear word of the day.

4 Decide the ‘easiest’ way to clean the aquarium is to drop it in the bathtub and run shower onto it.

5 Leave water running for 15 minutes until entire 25 gallon tank is full of hot water. Squirt in some detergent and plunge my hand into the tank.

6 Remember a split second too late that the hot water in my house is maintained at about 80 degrees centigrade. Squeal like a 5 year old girl being hit with a water balloon. Hear wife chuckle from living room.

7 Turn shower back on, making sure the water is cold this time.

8 Wash out the tank. Accidentally put my head under the shower. Bathroom is 97 degrees, water is about 2 degrees. Let out a vibrato scream that an opera singer would be proud of. Head into living room and tell wife to stop laughing…seriously… it’s not funny.

9 Head back into bathroom. I look at the tank and slowly realize that I now have a half ton of water in a receptacle with no hand grips.

10 Try to lift tank to empty out the water. I might as well be trying to move the Statue of Liberty 6 inches to the left.

11 Notice that the end of the tank is hanging over plughole. I put my finger into the plughole and under the tank. With much grunting and swearing, I manage to lift the tank about 2 inches.

12 Drop the whole shebang onto my right index finger. Produce a piercing squeal that would make a banshee proud. The neighborhood dogs begin to bark Wife sensibly moves into the kitchen.

13 Manage to find a half gallon jug, and begin the long slow process of emptying a 25 gallon tank, a half gallon at a time. Wife hears uncharacteristic silence, and is scared.

14 Forget that sitting in a 97 degree bathroom, plunging hand repeatedly into hot water is not exactly healthy. Pass out.

15 Wake up with my face on the toilet seat.

16 Manhandle the empty tank into the living room. Set down on the office chair.

17 Find siphon hose, and siphon ¾’s of tank water into new tank.

18 Swear and throw things as I realize the gravel and ornaments should have gone in first. Can’t throw water away, as the old tank water is cycled, and all tap water will kill fish.

19 Begin to weep as I remember that I don’t own a net, and therefore have no easy way to transfer fish into new tank.

20 Bite the bullet and lift old tank, with already screaming back, and try to pour the fish into the new tank, whilst attempting to keep the gravel in the old tank. Fail dismally.

21 Laugh manically as the fish desperately try to swim against the current and stay in old tank. Eyes go all weird and starey as I cackle manically at the fish. Notice the look the wife is giving me as I cackle “It’s you own damn fault you stupid piscine bastards!!!!”

22 See the Calico flip me off. Wife does not see, despite my continued insistence.

23 Losing my mind completely, I put air-hose, filter, airstone and diver into new tank.

24 Remember too late what happens to an airhose inside a half full fish tank, that isn’t connected to an air pump. Only notice my mistake when the water spurting out of the loose end of the air hose splashes my leg.

25 Rise from the side of the tank like the Wrath of Kings, and let loose a Bellow of Rage. Birds scatter, deer run, entire day’s national supply of milk goes sour. Satan writes a letter of complaint.

26 Attempt to stop siphon effect the only way I can. Put my lips around the end of the hose and blow. It works, but not before I get a mouthful of dirty fish-water.

27 Choke, cry. Brush teeth for 35 minutes while sobbing uncontrollably.

28 I regroup and fill 10 gallon bucket with tap water. Add conditioner, chloramine-bond breaker and ammonia lock. Realize that fish are swimming in water about 100 times more pure and healthy than I will ever swim in, or even drink. Flip off the Calico, and call her a bastard.

29 Realize that I now have to lift a handleless 10 gallon bucket up over my head in order to gain the height necessary to pour the water into the new tank.

30 Get bucket to chest height and decide to adjust grip for better stability. Pour about 2 gallons down the front of my shirt. I’m so hot, and water is so cold that I drop the bucket in shock. Manage to save about a gallon.

31 See bubbles rise in new tank as all the fish laugh at me at once.

32 Prepare more water, and tip it into tank. Fish get sloshed around. Laugh at fish.

33 See the neon tetras swim in a formation that spells out ‘Fuck You’, in the style of the Birdmen from ‘Flash Gordon’. Begin gibbering. Wife calls local mental hospital.

34 Fight with wife as I struggle to drop a plugged in toaster into the tank. She convinces me that I couldn’t possibly have seen what I did. As soon as her back is turned, the Calico flips me off again. Start to wonder what a .22 caliber bullet at point blank range would do to a Calico Fantail.

35 Finally get the tank filled and I start the air pump and filter.

36 Notice the front of the tank has a completely immovable calcium stain. Notice that the back of the tank, which is facing the wall, is completely spot free.

37 Wife pulls my head out of tank, where I am attempting to drown myself.

38 Fall onto the ground in a cold damp heap. Rock backwards and forwards for about 8 hours…feel a little better, mainly thanks to the funky yellow pill the man in the white coat gave to me. Spend an hour looking at an apple and giggling.

39 Decorate tank and get everything up and running. Drop clothes in washer. Notice how smug the fish are looking…they think they’ve got a luxury apartment in Beverly Hills.

40 Seriously start to wonder how hard it would be to kick an fish in the balls.

I now only have one last thing to do.

Find the bastard who said owning fish was relaxing…then choke him with an extra large goldfish.


serendipity said...

Congratulations - you must be the only person in the world who can make me laugh out loud with the retelling of how to change a fish tank!

I just sat reading this at work sniggering to myself and getting a reputation for being a nutter since I am meant to be working and they don't know i'm doing otherwise

Paulius said...

Glad I can be of service!

There's nothing quote like spontaneously bursting into laughter...especially when you're sitting next to someone on a bus, and just think of something funny.

It adds to the effect if you're wearing a cheap plastic mac at the time.

Al said...

You got the right idea, man. Planning is for pussies who can't handle the pain of a life affirming fuck up. Rush into it, screw shit up, and don't learn from your mistaked. Truly the only way to fly.