Note: After reading my recent blog about declaring war on mosquitoes, longtime reader Sue Butler reminded me of my past experiences with Mother Nature’s critters in this blog post from 2013 and suggested I might just want to surrender now and save myself and those around me any further misery.
We’ve never been to a nudist RV park and I’m pretty sure that’s just as well because even I don’t like to see me au naturel. I’ve reached the point in life where the mirror is no longer my friend. But I still seem to spend a lot of time getting naked.
Years ago my first wife and kids and were spending an afternoon visiting my mother and I joined them after work. We were standing in the yard next to the driveway and I was holding my daughter, who was a toddler at the time. Suddenly I realized that I was standing on an ant hill and they had gone on the attack, biting my ankles and legs and eating their way north! I was wearing a three piece suit, and that thing came off fast! I handed Tiffanyto my mom and left a trail of clothes behind me as I ran into her house and to the shower!
Once, I decided to clean the old-style oil bath air filter on our old MCI bus conversion. For those unfamiliar with such an animal, the filter was contained in a vertical canister with a reservoir of oil at the bottom, designed to trap particles and drop them down into the oil before they could get to the engine itself and do any damage.
The bus was almost 30 years old at the time, and I doubt anybody had ever cleaned the filter. The inside of the tank had a thick coating of grime, and I used a putty knife to scrape as much away as I could. When the job was finished the filter and canister were looking good but I was looking really bad. I was covered in caked on gunk from head to toe. Knowing that Miss Terry would not appreciate me coming into the bus looking like that, I was trying to figure out a way to get cleaned up quick when I realized that we had a can of spray carburetor cleaner. Hey that stuff cuts right through the grease. I bet it’ll work!
So I liberally sprayed my neck, hands, and arms and about a nanosecond later the biggest oops of my life escape my lips! That stuff set my skin on fire, and from the tips of my fingers to my armpits I felt like I was bathed in napalm. And then it started running downhill to other places, if you get my drift. So there I am, standing in Elkhart Campground doing a striptease and yelling “Help me!” Terry came running outside to see what the commotion was and grabbed the hose and started rinsing me down. I’m sure she meant well, but what she actually accomplished was getting the nasty chemical to the places it hadn’t found yet. Yeah, I was screaming like a little girl. A little girl with her little boy parts on fire!
Another time, also at Elkhart Campground, a mouse invaded our home on wheels. Not only that, but he ate my Frosted Flakes, which Miss Terry found humorous for some reason! Being gadget boy, I went to the home improvement store and bought a couple of expensive high tech mouse traps that promised not only to kill the critter, but to have his head stuffed and mounted so I could hang it on my wall and send a warning to all of his little mousey friends not to trespass on my turf or the same thing would happen to them.
They didn’t work at all, and every night the damn mouse came back to feast on my cereal, much to Terry’s delight. Well, she was delighted until it came back and ate its way into a bag of flour. Then it got personal. She bought a couple of cheap old-fashioned wooden mouse traps, smeared some peanut butter on them, and fifteen minutes later, “SNAP!”
It was almost midnight on a hot summer night and Terry said, “I killed it, you get rid of it.” No problem. I slipped my Crocs on my feet and took the mouse and trap down to the dumpster to dispose of the evidence. As I was heading back to the bus, a couple walking their dog said, “Good evening, Nick. Going a little casual, are you?” That’s when I realized that I was so excited to have my little four-legged nemesis gone that I had run out in just my Crocs, T-shirt, and boxer shorts!
When we were at the Hershey Thousand Trails preserve one year we got invaded by stink bugs. The disgusting little creatures excrete offensive smelling liquid from their thorax glands and they love invading houses, RVs, and cars, slipping in through any little crevice, or hanging on the door just waiting for it to open so they can fly in. And they are like roaches, once you get them, it seems to take forever to eradicate the nasty little buggers. They hibernate when it gets cold and then reappear when it gets warm or you travel to a warmer climate. It was months before we finally got rid of them
I was getting dressed one morning, and about the time I was putting my shoes on, I felt movement inside my jeans, very close to some of my most prized possessions, if you get my drift. I decided it might be a good idea to check and see what was going on. Actually, I checked very fast. I shucked those Wranglers off faster than a sailor on a four hour shore leave!
My visitor turned out to be a stink bug, which was quickly dispatched to the Happy Hunting Ground, all to the great amusement of Miss Terry. Me, I didn’t find the episode all that funny, which delighted Terry all the more. She seems to take a lot of pleasure in my misfortune.
What is it about critters like ants, mice, and stink bugs that they seem to enjoy separating me from my clothing? Why not a couple of strippers names Bambi and Bunny?
Thought For The Day – I still haven’t learned to act my age.