Never, under any circumstances, promise your mother that you will build her husband's water turtle an above-water basking spot while he is away doing basic and AIT.
Second note to self:
Never build said basking spot while trying to play online games or you will end up with a whanging headache and you will glue yourself to... Yourself!
My step-dad is obsessed with turtles, so my mom got him a red-eared slider for Father's Day last year. I had to dictate to the family how they should care for it because I am apparently the guru of all animals and various zoological care. That's fine, but I warned them that sliders get as big as a dinner plate and they'd need to upgrade.
So came Father's Day again. My step-dad is away for basic and AIT and I am home from university. We got him a tank as a belated gift (hey, he wasn't here), and I have been setting it up over the past three days. I am the only person in my family willing or knowledgable to do everything properly, apparently.
It wouldn't be so bad if things didn't start going wrong from the start. I broke out the glass top (on purpose) from the lid to fix lamps up. Things were going fine. But then, I was elbow-deep in turtle water for two days trying to set up a faulty filter system. We replaced it with a lovely submergible, and I was elbow-deep in salmonella for a while setting that up. I had the grace to rig this filter in the corner for the turtle near his heater. I also rigged it to spray water like a jacuzzi, which the bastard loves.
So then I washed off my salmonella and figured that since the turtle wouldn't eat the fish we had already put in the tank with him, Rambo, he wouldn't eat my catfish, Stalin. Rambo had remained (and still is) alive since we put him in the tank back in March, so I figured Stalin would be fine. Stalin's much bigger. The turtle ate Stalin. He ate my fucking catfish.
But I guess I should have expected that. I mean, fish + turtle is asking for trouble. Then, I offered to build an above-water basking spot for the turtle so my mom wouldn't have to shell out a lot to buy one. I got fourteen bricks to make a step-type of system, and not wanting him to scratch himself, I got a bunch of river rocks to affix to said bricks for a lumpysmooth, non-scratchy surface.
How do attach everything? With super-ultra-mega-silicon glue that's non-toxic and waterproof once dry. So there I am, trying to play a game on my laptop, with the bricks, rocks, and uber-glue beside me. I'm not paying attention, so I accidentally glue my fucking fingers together. Then, I forgot to open the window, so now I have a whanging headache.
This turtle is actually a really nice and clever creature, but he doesn't belong to me. So see what you end up with when you attempt to reconcile your love of your family and sympathy of soldiers who are away from their family with complete and utter summer boredom? Headaches, cloud-surfing, and and a single-functioning multi-finger unit.