Spluttering and soaked, first the mouse control went haywire, then the keyboard failed, next a bluescreen appeared displaying "Memory Parity Failure" (i.e. "Casby...my mind is going...") and finally the whole thing fell ominously silent.
When tipped on its side, the unfortunate computer released at least a full cupfull of water (I was disappointed not to discover a fish, or at least a tadpole).
It could not be resuscitated.
Thankfully, I am a firm believer that any physcial problem can be solved by taking a broken object apart, staring at and poking it in a manner vaguely imitating repair, before reassembling it minus the occasional screw (or bolt, silver widget, processor, etc).
Despite physics and all laws of probability, the Thinkpad has made a full recovery, suspending preliminary funeral plans and extending its life beyond the past 7 years, which in itself is remarkable given how many times the poor thing has been dropped, thrown or lost on the hills of Scotland.
At first it smoked and whirred threateningly. Then it actually powered up, then it beeped continuously, then it beeped less-than-continuously while the LCD display impersonated the opening credits of the Matrix, then it actually managed to load BIOS.
Upon awakening, it believed itself to have travelled back in time to midnight on the the 1st January 1901 (possibly where it was repaired by a middle-aged Nikola Tesla before being catapulated back to the present at 88mhz from a convenient clock tower electricution)
I corrected the error. Huzzah, it's aliveeeee!
p.s. How did a laptop find itself in three feet of hot water in the first place? I could tell you, but it would break several points of the official secrets act :D
p.p.s. Yes, I know the laptop is crappy. My real computer is far more powerful, and this little Thinkpad is used only for transporting files and - apparently - acting as an inneffective floatation device for sneaky Mallard assassins hired by undercover Luddites.