I was alone at home, waiting for 11:30 to hit so that I could leave for lunch with an old friend from high school. I looked around the house, wondering what I should do for 10 minutes. The Internet was calling, but instead I decided to clean the fish. Queen Fish. Every once in a while we end up with a fish from some fair. Normally the fish last about a week, max two. It’s never a big commitment when we get a fair fish. Queen Fish has some fight in her. We’ve had her for about 3 months now.
She lives in a fishbowl in the middle of our dining room table. It was time to do a water change and I didn’t figure it would take longer than 10 minutes.
I took the whole fishbowl to the bathroom with the cup. I don’t have a net and since we thought she would only last about a week I’ve been usng a small cup. I usually don’t have too much trouble just scooping the fish into the cup. Then it’s easier for me to just toss out the old water, clean the bowl, and put fresh water in. For some reason, that day, she just wasn’t having it. She DID NOT want to be in that cup and would do anything to not be in that cup.
I would put her in the cup and she would swim out before I could lift the cup out. Instead I started to pour the fishless cups of water out, hoping that since there was less water in the fishbowl it would be easier to get her. Uh, no. The water got down to where I couldn’t really scoop anymore into the cup and the fish was still running away from the cup.
I had two ideas with how to handle this. I could pour the remaining last bits of water, and fish, into the cup and continue with my cleaning, OR I could be the bigger woman and just leave the water that was left over and fill the rest of the fishbowl up with clean water so that Queen Fish could go about the rest of her day feeling victorious for not having given in to the cup.
So I’m holding the cup in one hand and the fishbowl in the other and I’m pouring the water and fish into the cup. The fish gets to the edge of the fishbowl and is about to fall into the cup and, I realize that this is mean, but I am just giddy with excitement. I was going to get that fish in the cup! She’s right on the edge of the fishbowl, staring down into the cup which is just centimeters away – AND JUMPS. O. My. God. She jumped from the fishbowl and landed right in the sink!
The only words that will enter my brain for what seemed like an eternity were “omygodikilledherfish. omygodikilledherfish. omygodikilledherfish. . . .” over and over and over.
Queen Fish was gasping for air, laying in our sink as I stared, motionless, thinking, “omygodikilledherfish!” Suddenly, I get mad – furious – that the fish jumped into my sink when all she had to do was go in the cup. I started to scream at her, showing her the cup, “JUMP!”
Okay, I wasn’t expecting her to jump into the cup. I was hoping she would though. She didn’t jump into the cup, though that in itself would have been an awesome story.
I got out of my emergency daze and turned the faucet on, only to have the fish slide halfway down the drain! I turned the faucet off, realizing she’s about to pull a Nemo on me as she escapes to safety (“all drains lead to the ocean”) and I started to scream at her again, “You Stupid, Stupid Fish!” She jumped again, maybe thinking that she would make it all the way inside the drain, but it ended up that her bottom half wasn’t hanging down the drain anymore. I pulled the drain closed, turned on the faucet and saved the day! Yay!
My lesson of the day is: if you have 10 minutes to spare – choose the Internet.