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can anyone help me see the light?

This morning, much to my displeasure, my metal halide never came on. Nothing
has been done around the fixture to cause a problem and it has worked fine
for a year.  I replaced the bulb with a new one, nothing.  Checked the
connections, everything looked fine.  Checked power strip, fine.  The only
thing left was the fuse.  After using a screw driver to turn and remove the
"fuse holder", the fuse stayed in the ballast.  It was close to the hole but
not far enough to grab, I tried everything but couldn't get it out.  I
pushed in on it to try to spring it out and it just went further into the
hole.  The fuse holder will "grab" it and pull it back out closer to the
hole, but not through.  We have removed the fuse before so I know it is
supposed to come through. It is obviously moving inside there but won't come
out.  It is either hanging on something, my fuse holder just magically
stopped working correctly or Murphy's was kicking in early this week.

Any clues on what to do?  I've called Icecap twice but they must be closed
for President's Day. Just visited an electrical supply house looking for a
fuse puller but they didn't have anything that would work on this tiny
little fuse.

Here are the particulars:
Icecap electronic ballast for 250W Iwasaki bulb
5A slow blow fuse
one frustrated aquarist

Daphne who is amazed at how dark her great room is!!