I'm on the couch in the library with my laptop, checking e-mail, when I notice a beige something at the top of the fish tank. At first I think it is one of our two cory's, feeding. But no, the beige blob does not do the Cory trick of hitting the top of the tank then diving back down, then racing to the top then diving back down.
The beige blob is stationary.
Crap. I bet it's a Cory gone belly up. We just lost Big Blue to some sort of eye disease and it seems cruel to lose another fish so soon.
I go over to the tank and realize that not only is the beige blob not a Cory, it's also not stationary. It is a stink bug, legs paddling madly to keep its head above water.
Since a bug is involved, I call in the husband. (I'm more of a traditionalist than you think.) Blair pulls out the net but before he even scoops up the stink bug, the little guy climbs along the edge and, I think, collapses with relief.
"Yea, you saved him," I cheer.
"There you go, little fella," says Blair, turning the stink bug onto the floor.
Uh, the floor?
And so I say, "Uh, the floor?"
Blair looks at me. "The floor is bad?"
I hasten to assure him this is not so. "I mean, I was thinking more along the lines of releasing him outside but you know, whatever. We can keep him as a pet."
Blair scoops the bug up but now I'm worried about his health. God knows how long he was treading water. "You don't have to take him out right this minute," I say, motherly concern kicking in. "He's all wet and I don't want him to freeze."
"Well, let's just see what we have," says Blair. He steps outside and finds a sunny spot in which to release Phil. (I named him as Blair carried him to the door.) "I think he'll be okay."
"Bye, Phil!" I call. "Good luck!"
And oddly enough, I mean it.