I've been singing "Once We Had a Fish Tank" to the tune of "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime." The original goes, "Once I had a railroad, I made it run, I made it race against time. Once I had a railroad, now it's done, brother, can you spare a dime?" --at least, that's how I sing it in my head.
Let me see, "Once we had a fish tank, right in our wall, . . ." and then my song-making skills stop.
Yes, we had a fish tank. It came with the house that we bought in the summer of 2013. It was part of the wall that divided the hallway and the dining room. We loved it when we first saw it.
My spouse has been keeping fish since he was young, but we haven't had a tank since we moved down here. We had thought we'd set up the tank that came with the new house we bought.
But to get into it (like, to feed the fish), we'd have had to stand on a ladder. And more worrisome, we couldn't be sure that it was watertight. It's a big tank: 8 feet long. That would be a lot of water spilling into the house if it wasn't able to hold water. And because it's a narrow tank, my spouse decided that the fish that he wanted wouldn't really be happy.
We moved on to the next phase: what to do with the tank? I'll speed up this story. My spouse put an ad for a free tank on Craig's List and watched the phone lines light up. He was quite clear in explaining how heavy the tank is.
One guy showed up last night and sounded like he would take it. His buddy showed up. It was clear that he couldn't move it with 2 people. They decided to wait until morning.
The next batch of people showed up: four college guys--but not the burly variety of college guys. They tried to move it, and then they called for reinforcements.
So, we waited and waited. I got all my grading done for my online classes. Finally, they showed up, along with our neighbor and his two adolescent sons.
So, how many guys did it take to move the tank? Nine? I confess to being unsure, because I just couldn't watch. It took a lot to get it unwedged from the stand and the wood and the wall. And then there was the turn onto the porch and then onto the yard. Then my neighbor got some 2 x 6 pieces of wood to help lift it onto the trailer.
I'm still amazed that they did it. I expected to be spending days sweeping up glass. I wouldn't have been surprised to have an aquarium lodged in a doorway. My morning has been very different from what I was afraid it would be. I've had a peaceful morning of writing and making sure that my online classes are going smoothly. Insert sigh of satisfaction here.
How will these college guys get the tank from the trailer into the house? They were talking about a keg party where the keg didn't get tapped until everyone helped. Ah youth.
My spouse overheard them talking about the tank becoming a "chick magnet." I find it oddly heartwarming to think of them wooing women with a cool fish tank. There are worse ways to woo a woman.
At one point last night, I got a glass of water for one of the college guys. He said, "Thank you, ma'am." I thought, I've gone from being one of the crazy college kids to being the middle-aged woman who brings water and sweeps up after the antics of the crazy college kids.
You know what? That's fine with me.
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