Wednesday, 6 July 2011

A friend in need...................... is minus a fish.

One of the many advantages of being a spinster is that I am more often than not available to my friends to help them out in their hour of need. At a drop of a hat I can jump in my car and be at my friend's door to deal with whatever crisis prevails, offering support whether emotionally or financially. I do not have to worry about a hubby or any children being fed and taken care of, as I only have myself to deal with, giving me time and emotional energy to sacrifice to those very important to me, a deed which is gladly undertaken, time and time again.

So it was without hesitation that I agreed to "house sit" for a very good friend of mine whilst her and her family went on vacation to sunny Spain for 2 weeks. This meant moving in to their 6 bedroom house enjoying some much needed solitude and relaxation. This is not without its demands however and after an hours crash course in the operation of household appliances, door locks and a briefing of local knowledge, I waved farewell to the "Winner" family, closed the door behind them and allowed peace to descend.

But not for long....... part of the package included a menagerie of family pets. 1 dog, 5 cats  and 6 fish....oops make that 5 fish as of this morning! I already knew about the existance of the dog and 5 cats and was purrrrfectly happy to play the part of dog lover and cat loving spinster,  however it was not until the eve of the "Winners" departure  that I learnt about the family of fish that lived on the top floor of the three storey house belonging to the youngest male member of the family. The "Winners" (in every sense of the word)  were on their way to Viva Espagna and I was on my way to Viva Dr. Dolittle!

I have only ever in my life taken care of 1 fish. Won from a funfair, a goldfish swimming around and around in its archetype goldfish bowl, enjoying a typical  2 week life span often associated with merry go round prizes, is a very pleasant but non eventful non tasking experience in a young childs life! So for me to have the responsibility of 6 fish inhabiting an aquarium ....what could possibly go wrong??

I know as much about fish as I do about quantum physics, ie: I like the idea of it but it seems too much like hard work for very little gain. Besides, it makes my head hurt!

The instructions were, however,  simple enough....feed twice a day (small pinch of flakey fish food) and turn aquarium light on and off accordingly.

The first week passed without event and my confidence grew as the Noah of the "Winner" residence.

Into the second week my lack of marine knowledge was highlighted as I ignored the telltale signs of aquarium in distress. As the days passed the tanks water turned a deeper and darker green until I could no longer  see the fish unless they swam  as near as possible up against the glass trying to amplify their silent plea  of "I'm a fish...... get me the f**k out of here"!!

I had no idea, I didn't realise, I was not suspicious of the ever increasingly invisible fish in the whirl of neon glowing, nuclear waste disposal coloured water.

Until this morning.......

 I eat fish for supper. I handle their grey scaled skin. I smother in butter and herbs without issue.  But when faced with a 3 inch long, silver, dead fish, early morning, eye balling me from the water's surface, I felt physically repulsed. I struggled to "fish" it  out of the tank...'scuse the pun! I used a dessert spoon and a leftover take away carton in which to remove him/her??? and for some strange reason held my breath the entire time!! WTF!! The demised fish is now in the "Winner" kitchen garbage bin!!

The lightbulb in my head has illuminated and the tank is now clean and shiny complete with crystal clear water. That said I am now officially on "Fish watch" for the remaining 5 days!!
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