Monday, October 23, 2006

The magical, life-saving powers of my sore throat

I walked into the kitchen last night to make myself a cup of hot tea, and was stopped dead in my tracks by an entirely disgusting piece of sludge smeared in the middle of the floor. I'm not normally a squeamish person, but this... this looked something like an inky black slug whose rear end has been pancaked by an oblivious hiker. It could probably also be compared to a lone piece of kelp, but either way - slug or kelp - it was NOT something I was expecting to see on my kitchen floor. I don't know how long I stared at it, frozen by my fear that it would suddenly leap to life and smear me with its flesh-eating slime before beaming me aboard its spaceship and torturing me with fiery anal probes, but I eventually regained the use of my legs and ever so slowly snuck up on it to take a better look. To my horror, it had an eye! And... wait, what's this?... a fin? Holy crap! My eyes quickly darted to the counter, where a small bowl was temporarily housing my fish, Otto, while the water in his newly cleaned fish bowl was being treated with softener.

Wait. Let me rephrase: "...where a small EMPTY bowl..." I looked from bowl to alien slug... bowl to alien slug... bowl to alien slug... bowl to alien slug, until I was able to wrap my head around the fact that my fish had somehow managed to leap out of his bowl and flop himself to the edge of the counter, finally falling to his death with (I imagine) a grisly, waterlogged splat.

I grabbed the fish net and, saddened, bent to scoop and flush the carnage when [insert screams of horror here] the alien slug spasmed and flip-flopped out of the net. Seconds from screaming, "Oh my god, it really IS here to smear me with flesh-eating slime before beaming me aboard its spaceship and torturing me with fiery anal probes," I pulled myself together and instead decided that channeling Dr. Frankenstein would be a more appropriate response and, as such, found myself yelling, "HE'S ALIIIIIIIVE!!" My initial surprise and glee quickly changed to frustration as I tried (unsuccessfully) to convince Otto that now would be a really good time to get over his net phobia. Realizing that one can chase a dying fish around one's kitchen floor for only so long, I stood back to reevaluate the situation. My desire to save him being second only to my desire to not touch him, I risked it all and scampered off to find some rubber gloves, leaving him with explicit instructions to STAY AWAY FROM THE LIGHT!

Between the rubber gloves and the fish net, I was finally able to wrangle Otto back into his fish bowl where, after all that, he floated on his side in a very dead-like fashion. His little gills continued to expand and contract, and over the next hour he gradually resumed upright floating techniques. As of this morning, he'd replaced floating with honest to goodness swimming. At this point, I'd say his prognosis is good - all thanks to my sore throat and its incessant need for tea!

So, yay, I saved a fish. But more importantly: yay, I saw a fish on the floor before stepping on it with my bare feet. Because THAT would've been a tragedy. A very sticky, squishy, vomit inducing tragedy.


Anonymous said...

You, KB, are a true hero. At the moment, for a fish and small child. But later? The world.

preggo said...

You could have saved the fish a lot faster in my opinion... i mean poor thing was certainly traumatized by your squeamishness.

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