Five minutes.  Just five short minutes.  That’s all the time I needed to finish preparing our new fish tank.  We inherited a fish tank from a neighbor, and I set it up tonight so we could fill it with goldfish for our son.  Five minutes.  I did all the assembly myself, quickly realizing just how much work it is to have a 10-gallon fish tank.  Read instruction manual.  Washed gravel.  Treated water.  Tested filtration system.  Positioned plants.  Situated fish tank on a desk in our living room.  Put treated water in tank and started filtering.  I was five minutes away from finishing the job.  The tank looked a little crooked and I gently tried to straighten it–yes, gently.  I tried to lift it slightly from the bottom of the tank.  All of a sudden, the fish tank glass cracked. 
Great, just great.  Now I need a new fish tank, something I never would have bought in the first place if I hadn’t inherited a free fish tank.   So I put temporary duct tape on the tank to slow the leaking.  I emptied the water and gravel and put the gravel in a bucket.  I mopped up floor.  Now I have to go to the store tomorrow and buy a new tank.  All this because my wife thought it was a great deal getting a free fish tank.  As they say, nothing in life is free.  Nothing.  Everything has a cost or a hidden future cost.  Still, it’s worth the money to buy a new tank for my son so he can enjoy goldfish.  Despite that, it’s a lot more work than I ever expected.  It was my wife’s idea to bring this thing into our home.  I told her up front that after I put it together she would have to do the maintenance, and she agreed.  The jury is still out on whether she’ll hold up her end of the bargain or whether I’ll have to step in or whether some goldfish will suffer untimely deaths.  Perhaps I’m too pessimistic, but I’m positive that once this fish tank is working, some future crisis is going to happen in our living room with those fish.  It’s bound to happen.  I’m going to name one of those goldfish Murphy.
This is the second broken glass incident this week.  On Tuesday I discovered that the rear driver’s side window of our car was broken by a sharp object.  The impact shattered the window and left a gaping hole.  We don’t know when or how it happened, but we think it happened while we were away on vacation, perhaps a reckless kid or a rock kicked up by a car tire while driving through the neighborhood.  We’ll have to pay a $250 insurance deductible out of pocket, and the insurance company will cover the rest.  Initially we heard that it would take about three months to get a replacement window from the states, but I found a place that could ship it within two weeks.  I bought the part today and taped the window up with strong tape.  It’s such a shame.
Let’s hope these are the last glass breakages we’ll have for awhile.

Books by MG EdwardsMG Edwards is a writer of books and stories in the thriller and science fiction-fantasy genres. He also writes travel adventures and children’s books. A former U.S. diplomat, he served in South Korea, Paraguay, and Zambia before leaving the Foreign Service to write full time.

Edwards is author of six books. His memoir, Kilimanjaro: One Man’s Quest to Go Over the Hill, was finalist for the Book of the Year Award and the Global eBook Award. He has published four children’s picture books in the World Adventurers for Kids Series: Alexander the Salamander; Ellie the Elephant; Zoe the Zebra; and a collection featuring all three stories. His book Real Dreams: Thirty Years of Short Stories is an anthology of 15 short stories.

Edwards lives in Taipei, Taiwan with his family. He has also lived in Austria, Singapore and Thailand. For more books or stories by M.G. Edwards, visit his web site at or contact him by e-mail at or on Twitter @m_g_edwards.

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1 Comment

  1. Angeline's Gravatar Angeline
    May 29, 2006    

    Hi Mike!
    What do you think of the film, The Da Vinci Code?  Is it ban in South Korea?  Would you like to share about it in your space? Please reply.

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