Among the silliest things you can do in this here world of ours is attempt to
point out to a rude and selfish person that he or she is being rude and
selfish. What possible good outcome could there be? “Oh my, I had no idea.
No one has ever told me that before. I vow to behave better henceforward.”
Knowing this full well, I still pointed out the the people on the boat ramp who
were holding everyone up by pumping out water, removing straps, getting kids
out of car seats and into the boat, that most people prepare their boat before
they get to the ramp. It’s a courtesy. The woman in the group went
practically berserk and suggested that the world would be better off without
people like me. We can guess who she voted for.
To take my mind off the fact that we are probably in range of a North Korean
nuclear warhead, I checked the Homeland Security website for advice on what to
do. They suggest—and I’m not making this up—that in the event of a nuclear
attack you remove your clothing, go take a shower, don’t use conditioner.
Apparently conditioner causes material to stick to your hair. So if you wake
from a nap one day, glance out of the window and see two distressed groups of
people coming down the street, one of them naked and the other looking like
they’re having a bad hair day…you may have missed the flash.
I have often wondered why the squirrels hereabouts are so noisy. They chatter
at you. Last week I mentioned that Appenzeller was consulting one, asking for
legal advice. It turns out that the law of the jungle is much more complicated
than most people think and that our local squirrels are almost all lawyers. I
followed up with Appenzeller.
“So when Hamish chats with the squirrels, he might be asking for legal advice?”
“How would I know?”
“I just wondered whether he’d mentioned anything as an issue. Classes at the
college have started so he’s in the back yard a lot more nowadays.”
“If you think I sit around all day talking to dogs, you’ve another think
coming. We chickens lead busy lives you know…things to do, places to be.”
“But he did say that he’s investigating some arbitration claws.”
“What did he mean?”
“I assume that he wants claws to settle matters. Sharp talons is what I
“Dogs don’t fight like that.”
“So what does it mean?”
“Maybe he wants some means to settle a territorial disputes? Other than with
“Dogs catapault pooh? How’s that work?”
“No, no. They mark territory with it. ‘This verge is mine, by right of dump.’”
“What a funny idea. We girls just pooh everywhere whenever. It’s more
“How is poohing everywhere ‘democratic?'”
“Maybe democratic isn’t the right word. Autocratic? We pooh automatically.
Like a vending machine.”
Some conversations just aren’t worth finishing.
On Thursday, prepping for classes and prepping for crabbing, I was stung by
hornets. I moved a garden hose and that was enough to cause the Ork army to
come charging out. After I’d taught my class—in some pain— I waited for dark
and drenched said hole with ethyl alcohol. Which I set fire to and then hosed
everything down, hoping to drown the survivors.
Up betimes and on schedule off we went a’crabbing. B. had tested his engine.
Mine had not been used for a while but its history is good. Got to the parking
area beside the dock and prepped the boat, put the bung in, removed the
traveling cords, made sure we were ready for the bay. B’s motor didn’t fire.
He investigated really very logically: do we have fuel, do we have spark, if we
have fuel and spark why don’t we have fire? I thought about working up a song
on those lines but elected instead to bait our traps. Fog rolled in.
My engine worked. Usually we use it as a back-up. In the dense fog the
decision was whether we abandon the day altogether or, possibly, try our luck
in a hole we know which is within a few yards of the harbor. No one else was
crabbing at that spot so we thought we’d have a go.
We caught more crab more quickly than ever we have, a bounty so great we threw
the legal-but-not-very-big ones back. Kept only those we call, “Big Erics.”
After cleaning the boat with a hose, I returned said hose to the air
conditioning unit, on top of which it’s usually stashed. The hornets sallied
out again. Four more stings. Time for some serious poison.
The chickens are molting, which takes the hubris out of them. There has been
no more crowing.
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