Sunday, May 24, 2009

Digging in The Dirt

This morning, cleaning our dog’s hair, my wife uncovered an ominous-looking bug.  I thought it was a great Etruscan weevil; my wife wasn't sure.  We did know where it came from.  Yesterday (while I slept), the Bink had managed to escape through an open door and make his way into the back yard just as our gardener finished laying down a coat of sweet-smelling mulch on our flowerbeds.  (And when I say "mulch" what I really mean is "manure.")  From there, he had done what any self-respecting dog (or pig) would do when faced with such an immense expanse of heretofore unexplored dirt--he'd bathed in it (more or less).  Unfortunately (maybe) I missed the whole display, but apparently he went totally and utterly insane.  The only reason he was eventually corralled was because he came across a partially skinned opossum (left there by my neighbor’s cat) and grew so disturbed that my wife was able to catch him.  He was immediately bathed, of course, but apparently the bugs were undeterred.

The question: was the bug we found a flea or just some harmless mulch-critter?  Failing to obtain confirmation from Google images, we headed toward the Studio City Animal Hospital, carrying the bug along with us in an appropriately-sized Tupperware.  (My wife owns 438 pieces of Tupperware, so finding one this size was no problem.  We actually have a whole line of tick and mite sized containers, just in case).

Turns out it WAS a flea (“A big one, too.”) This lead to PetCo (motto: not only do our stores smell bad, our employees are really unhelpful!) and ended with an extended bout of vacuuming and home-directed fretting.  The house is now clean; the dog is now deflated (he's been treated like a leper all day) and so far we've found no more fleas.  (Although I did turn up what I'm pretty sure was a monitor lizard in the hall closet.  I could have sworn we had those taken out!) 

The mulch has also imparted a distinctly rural smell to our environs.   Our neighbor was so upset by it that she left a chiding note on our door, complaining that she had been forced to cancel an outdoor barbeque; apparently her guests don't like being attacked by swarms of flies while inhaling lungfuls of recently-lain manure.   Wimps.   We went over to apologize, and she seemed placated.  (I told her that we'd harvested the manure fresh from our own hogs, and offered to give her some.  That made her happy, as you would imagine.)  

I actually don’t think it smells that bad--nothing like Iowa City in June.  Now THAT was a smell.

Anyway, it’s been an eventful weekend.  Suburbia is a lot less dull than you might think.


1 comment:

Johannes said...

That had me laughing out loud. You should post more frequently.

That flea is repulsive and i now can't stop scratching my head. Are you sure it wasn't a tick? Nature's second most revolting creation after spiders (both arachnids, btw)

In fact the manure aspect of this post resonates with me today. The scenic and social Baltimore inner harbor is also awash in foul stench. Apparently, this is the time for the annual summer 2 week pervasive rancid low tide toxic cloud to envelop the harbor area that I pay so much extra to live in. You can actually see cartoon stink lines waving in the air.

My friend, neighbor, and hypnotist, said she went outside this morning to walk her dog and immediately vomited where she stood when the odor of rotting fish hit her. "I wasn't even hung over." As I left her after dinner tonight she was tying a scarf around her face soaked in Chanel looking like she was going to rob a homosexual stage coach.

If I know Baltimore, they'll declare it a festival with heavy drinking and people face-painted as rotting fish or dressed in fish costumes stumbling around Fell's Point and acting regrettably.