A month ago we flushed Speedy the goldfish to rest. Today I was dealt the difficult job of disposing of his personal effects.
I let a fish-less fish tank sit in Miss Noteworthy's room for a month. I kinda forgot about it until I was hanging out in her room with her yesterday. Bonus came in and asked if he could feed Speedy. I had to remind him that Speedy had died, and then he got a little teary.
It was time to clean out and remove the tank.
I got right on the job after I dropped the kids at school. I removed all the water I could, and then, I gingerly picked up the tank off of Miss Noteworthy's chest and carried it into the childrens' bathroom to empty the rest. Whew! I made it to the vanity with no mishaps!
Speedy's fake plants and rocks were removed and rinsed. The filter, feeder, and thermometer were detached with no damage to the tank, the equipment ,or myself. Things were going swimmingly, and I was brimming with confidence that this cleaning of Speedy's tank would be unlike any of the previous cleanings.
You see, I was still completely dry (other than my hands, of course). I had managed to avoid splashing myself with the disgusting water. A first!
As the water was nearly drained, I felt sure I could complete the job without incident, wash my hands, and go on my merry way.
I tipped the edge of the fish tank over the sink to get the last inch or so out quickly, and as I worked I started making a mental list of the tasks I hoped to accomplish today. Get rhubarb from Central Market, grocery shop, swing by Sam's, vacuum carrot chips out of my car, laundry, find gift boxes, wrap gifts, cook dinner...
The six pounds of gravel shifted unexpectedly, and I was doused with month old dead fish fish-poop water mid yawn. It may have splashed all over my chest and face, and I may have swallowed reflexively before I fully realized what had just happened. Since it was the last bit of water from the gravel I knew I had ingested the strongest concentration of fish excrement possible in the whole ten gallons.
Spit, rinse, spit, rinse. Brush, rinse, brush, floss, rinse. Mouthwash. Mouthwash. Mouthwash.
I tried to reason with myself. Afterall, I have swallowed both ocean and lake water innumerable times, and therefore, I have surely swallowed fish poo more times than I can count. I really couldn't convincemyself. Somehow, this just seemed a little more disgusting than that, and I began to feel a little nauseous.
More brushing. More mouthwash.
The next time you see me, I may still be a little green around the gills.