Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Dull Blog Mechanics Run Amok

Evaporating Sidebar

I just had a hell of a time with some form of dull blog mechanics going on behind my back and under the radar and beyond my comprehension. Suddenly stuff in the sidebar for "The Rat Squeaks" started disappearing! Everything below the Archives, starting with the words "Current Posts" and everything below that was gone. No Haloscan, no Site Meter, no "21 Good Ones", etc. I usually have a template just old enough to work from and make some easy corrections, but I had just saved the template and that copy was the same as the fuxed up one! Those of you who've never had a similar problem yet, I advise you to be prepared and keep one or more copies of the template!

To make a long story short, I found some copies to meld together and mostly corrected it. For some reason, it still doesn't announce "Current Posts" as it used to, but that does only what "HOME" up above the archives does and everything else seems to work. Maybe I'll figure it out later. Meanwhile I seem to have dodged a bullet. I sure didn't want to perform any big fixit just now, I'll tell you. Whew!

Bad Arhives, Bad!

Another detail of mechanics I wish I knew is why my archives are still expressed in complete dates. I only recently changed it from weekly to monthly and most of the monthly Blogger archives I see are in the form Month 2004, not "Month Date Year — Month Date Year". I wonder how one changes that latter to the simpler form? Should I check the "none" archives option and then do it again and choose Monthly? Would that sort it out or just kill all my archives forever? There are so many things to wonder about in a system that is often erratic.

A tip of the hat to Zandria of Keep Up With Me for the lucid phraseology I stole from her!

Monday, November 29, 2004

Mumbruddy Brang Hat

"Ah woosh mumbruddy brang ag at!" the drunk cowboy muttered after he ate.

"What you say, you drunk fool?" the woman asked. It had all been a big slur to her.

"I wish somebody brang me mah hat!" the drunk cowboy repeated louder, but only a little more clearly. "I jus' ain't comf'able 'thout it!"

Buck sat woozily at the kitchen table and belched, watching his brother's wife Betty give him a dirty look as she brought him the hat. As soon as he had it on his head, he leaned forward and passed out with his face in the almost-empty chili bowl.

"That's disgustin'," the woman sighed.

"You knew he was disgustin' when I brung him in here!" her husband Willie said affably as he returned from the bathroom and sat down opposite his brother.

"You gonna just leave Buck there with his face in the chili?" she asked.

"Always have," Willie grinned.

"Hell of a way to treat a brother," Betty said.

"What'd'yew care?"

"He ain't my brother. You the one should care."

"Yay-ah, what's up, bro?" Buck exclaimed, sitting up suddenly as if fully awake. He stared around the room as if he thought there was something he could fix in it.

"Not much," Willie laughed.

"Hey, speak up!" Buck said indignantly. "I can't hear you!"

"You got cracker crumbs in one ear—that got anythin' to do with it?"

"I got whut?" Buck inquired listlessly. "I can't hear you too good!"

"You fool!" Betty hollered, "you got—!"

But then she saw he already had his cheek very comfortably planted in the bowl again. This time he was snoring loudly and looked long gone.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

A Little Break

I find my notes on Blossom in the computer every few years and recall a little of the reality on which it was based. Every year I recall a little less, though, so that the notes become more and more the reality. There's a completed short story based on the character of "Blossom", but it's actually a rather long short story for my readership. My audience doesn't much seem to lean that way. I don't think people in general lean toward getting their fiction fix from blogs. Certainly not long stories, anyway.

Reminiscences About Blossom

Ordinarily you have to stand in line to pay court to such a beautiful young woman as Blossom was. I'd never had the luck before of catching one like this, in-between boyfriends and with her guard lowered.

Outwardly, I tried to appear cool, but how could that make much difference? I was never as cool as I wanted to be. Perhaps I was afraid of young women or of beauty or of both. Blossom had an abundance of both youth and beauty. My view at the time was that if you have too narrow a view of beauty, you not only have to eat your heart out, you might have to go without. Sometimes I went out with women who were examples of a very liberal interpretation of beauty, and other times I went without going out. In my inexperienced twenties, Blossom simply blinded me, but she couldn't help it—she didn't do anything, she just was. She tried to play down her beauty and be normal. I concluded later that she was normal, but that she just couldn't play down such beauty. Her beauty often drew things to her that she didn't want, and then it was as if her own appearance was her enemy.

I didn't claim to know where the line was drawn between ordinary and extraordinary beauty—I only know that Blossom had crossed it. The young woman wasn't stuck up about it—in fact, sometimes she seemed to be apologetic about it—but that didn't keep her from unintentionally making me uneasy. If anyone noticed anything about us at all, I knew, it wasn't because anyone was keeping track of me. They were keeping track of that young beauty.

She drove me once to a strip joint in Austin called the Pink Pussycat. We sipped watered-down drinks and watched the girls dance. Actually, I didn't know which to watch; Blossom didn't have to do anything to be worth watching and what the strippers had to do to be worthy, they were doing all they could!

I never knew if Blossom had brought me there for a lesson of some sort. (It wasn't to put the thought of sex in my head as I might ordinarily think. The best I could tell, there was no such thing on her mind.) I couldn't help wondering if she was showing that she knew something about the foolishness of being too impressed about Beauty. It seemed a very indirect way to say it.

After a fashion, I was being brave to keep going with her, even for the few weeks it lasted. It wasn't long before the handsome fool who'd left her decided to come back to her. She wanted to give him a chance; they had a lot of time invested in one another, and so forth. They'd taken a little break from one another—I'd had a little break from reality.

Thirty years later, of course, I understand better what a little break it was. It was no great matter. My life went on in a much more sensible way and the women that followed were far more desirable and sensible, though seldom as gorgeous. Still, sometimes, all of a sudden, I recall some foolish detail, the sweet smell of her hair, the terrific beauty of her face and form, the brightness of her smile, the sharp steel-blue color of those rumpled culottes, the low-cut bodice of her peasant blouse. What stupid, shallow things they are that spark remembrances sometimes, yet how tender, how redolent of all the perfumed kisses of that sexless musty old mystery…

I was always struck by this afterwards: Blossom and I got together about the time my old Ford Falcon broke down and I couldn't afford to get it worked on for a while. We used her car. The last time I went out with her was the day that I got my repaired car back from the shop. Some kind of weird symbols, eh?

Saturday, November 27, 2004

My Friend Isaac

My friend Isaac was an old black man who drank too much or at least too often. He was inclined to be paranoid. I spoke to him about it, but he just shrugged and said that he knew it. Thus, in everything he did, he worked against that element in himself. He sat on his emotions. At the least, he strained to restrain the more extreme impulses of his anger. It was hard work and it mostly worked, but when he blew it, he really blew up!

At other times he was thoughtful, though darkly so. Once he laughed and said, as if he'd memorized it,

"The possibility exists that suicide is not as painful as this life that drags on and on, but the prospect that death may be even more boring than this has become the last remaining thing that keeps me from making any melodramatic decision."

"Yeah?" I asked.

"One never knows," he nodded.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Do Something!

Overheard In A Trance

"Sometimes it's more important that you do something than it is that you do the right thing."

I wonder who said that? Anybody famous? I wrote it down so long ago in a notebook of mine that it might have been me. It sounds like good advice, but I seldom took it!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Counting Coup

Dirty dogshit damn day just won't get started! I was trying to post the following last night when a stormy rain started and I quit because the previous night's rain had been a horrible downpour and near-flood. My study (and computer) are in a building separate from the house and I didn't want to get trapped out here. Turns out it was a false alarm last night, though. Trying to get the post published this morning, that cretin Blogger seems to be trying to reject me as if I was a virus! Oouu, I get so mad!

About Men And Women

"I've found that many women today make a sort of sport out of attracting and infatuating men," one ageing bachelor said to another. "Even if they are uncertain whether they really want to get involved, with you or anyone else. Somewhat like the old Indian custom of 'counting coup'."

"So, what do you do about that?" I asked him.

"The main thing is to acquire and keep a friendship. For men, dogs that we are, the first extended paw of friendship IS sex. For women, it's often the opposite. Unfortunately sometimes women also reach out for friendship through a form of play so playful that it somewhat resembles a sexual come-on and then the man becomes entangled in that. He misses her sense of fun about the relationship and gets aroused and if it isn't consummated, he is soon so pissed off that he pushes her out of his life completely."

"You're talking about me, I guess," I grimaced.

"I'm talking about men!" he said, then laughed as hard as he could.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

A Book That Didn't Take Forever

One book that I read recently, yet didn't list in the sidebar as a book that I was "currently taking forever to read", is "Down The Long Hills", by Louis L'Amour. I'd never read anything by this author, but I had long meant to do so. It wasn't entered because it was so much fun (and short enough) that I read it in a couple of days. By the time I thought about listing it in the blog, I was through with it!

I had expected some sort of cowboy tale, a shoot 'em up, like the TV movies that Tom Selleck often stars in (and which I generally like), but this was something a little less typical, about a young boy and girl who survive the massacre of their wagon train by Indians and their efforts to continue westward. The cowboy and Indian shootouts are fairly limited, but not the encounters with the perils of nature. It's a quick plain story that seldom milks the "gotcha" or tear-jerking parts of the plot, but definitely kept me wondering, "What happens next?"

I have a great appreciation of classic or literary works, books that are stylish and carefully written by talented craftsmen, but I love a story that just keeps my interest most of all. I plan to read some more L'Amour's books (there are a LOT of them!) and see if any of them are this same kind of good minimalist story. For me, it was a different kind of book and great fun.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Defining One’s Self

Remarks About A Quote From "East of Eden"

Perhaps in everyone’s life, there are a million or more things that define us or describe us. Some of them are actions, some of them are memories, some of them are just thoughts. Mostly we do not even have the thoughts ourselves, but recognize them now and then when they rise up before us. We often see or hear them through others. I continue to recognize little bits and pieces of those things even now that are new, even if only to me. Vivid things past and present rose up before me when I read the following in John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden” about the more troubled and troublesome of the two brothers.

“…as a few strokes on the nose will make a puppy head shy, so a few rebuffs will make a boy shy all over. But whereas a puppy will cringe away or roll on its back, groveling, a little boy may cover his shyness with nonchalance, with bravado, or with secrecy. And once a boy has suffered rejection, he will find rejection even where it does not exist—or, worse, will draw it forth from people simply by expecting it.

In Cal, the process had been so long and so slow that he felt no strangeness. He had built a wall of self-sufficiency around himself, strong enough to defend him against the world.”

[For those of you who have forgotten, Cal was the role James Dean played in the movie version of “East of Eden”.]

I Believe In Bread Crumb Trails

I don't know how many of you noticed the addition to the sidebar today, a "Background Colors" list or code. If it's a help or an amusement to any of the rest of you, that's good, but it was conceived as an aid to me when I'm in a hurry and trying to locate one of the posts that is not conveniently at the top of the page.

Also, there are times that I don't use one of these categories long enough that I find I've forgotten which colors to use for what! I forget everything these days and need all the reminders and signposts I can give myself. Yes, I believe in breadcrumb trails, too, thank you very much. Placing this code in the sidebar should satisfy those concerns for me—I won't have to wonder where I've left a copy of the code, I'll have it handy.

Lastly, does anyone object to or really like the azure I just changed to for the background color for fictional vignettes? I like it some, but it seems a bit attention grabbing. If I had a hundred readers at all times, I wouldn't worry about some of them being willing to complain, but my small readership could easily be just 12 shy people who wouldn't want to hurt my feelings. My what?

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Evelyn Relaxes

Evelyn stared down into her glass of wine and smiled as if she'd been reminded of something pleasant. She looked up inquisitively at her extremely attractive sister-in-law Ruth, who was staring with less interest into her own wine glass.

"This young man I met at the party last night seemed to be just crazy about me being so slim," Evelyn sighed.

"That's good!" Ruth smiled, glad to have something to talk about. Though Evelyn was separated from Ruth's brother, Ruth was all on Evelyn's side about it. She thought Evelyn needed a good lay. Someone who'd be kind to her.

"But he was weird. I'd hardly even spoken to him when he gulped down a glass of wine and started talking about throwing up," Evelyn said.

"That's weird, all right," Ruth said. "Not very attractive. Hey, I thought you decided not to go to that party?"

"I just went, anyway. He was very strange. But handsome, and could talk a blue streak. And then, before long, the other people drifted away and I guess he started feeling better and got amorous with me instead."

"Amorous?" Ruth asked, surprised at Evelyn's using that word. Who'd she been hanging out with lately?

"Yeah," Evelyn grinned. "He started trying to touch me all the time as if by accident, but it was no accident!

"You let him do it?"

"I guess!" Evelyn laughed.

"Well, what happened next?" Ruth asked impatiently.

"Maybe I'd better just relax, that's what I told myself," Evelyn said. "'Cause I was getting more and more tense as the handsome young college boy—did I say how handsome he was?— confidently slipped his hand under my skirt and—"

"He did what!"

"And then he had it under my underwear and then he put his finger in my—"

"What?!" Ruth blushed. She was no prude. She felt she had done most of the nasty things that any of her friends had done, but it was startling to hear it coming from Evelyn. Evelyn had always been shy.

"And then he moaned in my ear, 'Oh, God, lady, you're so beautifully gooey!' while he was touching me there! I can't believe I let him! I can't believe he said that!"

"He liked to talk plain, huh?" Ruth giggled. "What'd you do?"

"I asked him, 'Are you normal?'

"Oh, damn, Ev, you aren't going to start that tired old shit about how unattractive you think you are?!"

"Mmm, well, that's what he did. And by this time, no matter how matter-of-fact I tried to be about it, I was really panting, you know? I didn't care if he was 10 or 12 years younger than me or not!"

"What'd he say then?" Ruth asked with excitement.

"He spoke softly in my ear, 'Fuck normality!'" Evelyn herself had whispered, trying not to giggle.

"He did?!"

"And while he did all that, he got his face between my legs and started licking!"

"Yeah," Ruth gulped, "fuck normality."

"Yeah, right there in a dark corner of that crowded little bedroom! There were two other couples, but nobody noticed anybody else, they were all doing something! And after a while we stumbled to our feet and found an empty bedroom. Without turning on any light, he pushed me down on the bed and got on top of me!"

"Wooo!" Ruth shivered, licking her lips.

"Yeah," Evelyn said. "I kicked my panties off and pulled up my skirt while he stripped off his jeans. And you know what he said? He eased my legs apart and kissed my mouth and kinda moaned, 'Hold still, skinny lady, and let me in! I want you so bad I could die!'"

"And what'd you—?"

"I let him in! I thought I'd die if I didn't!"

"So, you—"


"I sure like your stories lately, Ev," Ruth sighed.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

The Car My Father Gave Me

That night I dreamed
I wrecked the car my father gave me,
That night I dreamed
That I had broken without intention
Every convention that held me to this earth.

But time passed
And my father passed
And wisdom did not obtain...

Tonight I dream
That I have been arrested
And brought to court
And brought to folly
And brought beneath
The heavy judgment of angry men
Who will be judged.

3rd draft: 11/19/04

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Mother Nature's Deal

Death To Death And Decay!

My cousin JW keeps intimating that I've gone too far with the descriptions of death and decay in my recent pest control stories, even claiming that I nearly made him sick with the most recent one about decomposed kitty cats. Hey, that's Mother Nature's deal, not mine! Decay works like sharks, vultures, ants, and dung beetles—a part of God's cleaning and disposal system. Oh, and of course there's these measly little afterthoughts of humanity's impatience with the process—the garbage men, animal control officers, plumbers, and pest control operators.

Soothe Thy Own Stomach

I believe my cousin is ribbing me, though, for he has been a hunter now and then all through his life and is bound to be far more familiar with the blood and guts of nature than I am from ten years or less as an exterminator. His stomach ought to be strong enough. At any rate, I doubt there's anything wrong with his stomach that Pepto-Bismol couldn't cure. But, maybe there is and he'll just have to stop reading my posts marked "pest control"!

He was asking me if my readers were complaining bitterly yet about the rot I've been writing lately. There really haven't been any complaints or many remarks, though I can read between the lines and I suppose they're just holding their breath, waiting for me to get it out of my system and change the subject.

Will The Squeaky Wheel Get Smacked?

I believe I've told most of the outstanding decay and corruption stories that I know. I may know some more, but I don't know any that are more so. Therefore you need not expect that I will continue to pile one story on top of another until you faint. I will restrain myself. Still, there will be more pest control stories, I think, as I manage to remember and organize them into paragraphs. At the least, there are still roaches and termites and ants that make life interesting and for me to pontificate about sometime in the future. Maybe even some stories about bats, bees, and wasps. So, if you hate these ideas, you may have to write me and say so. Complain! I'm not sure if it'll do you any good, but they say it's the squeaky wheel that gets the oil. Or is it the squeaky wheel that gets smacked with a hammer? Hard for me to keep track of the terminology these days.

Whatever Happened To Those Killer Bees?

Say, whatever happened to those killer bees, anyway? You know, the Africanized bees that were expected to destroy at least the southern part of North America. Since I ceased doing professional pest control, I've lost track of them entirely! Maybe they got de-Africanized. I wonder if that's like getting de-buzzified? You think it sobers them up or affects their sex drive? Hell if I know.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

He Liked Her

He liked her, but then again he didn't.
He liked her before he won her affection
And he liked her after he lost it,
But that middle part gave him a little trouble.

©1996 Ronald C. Southern

Monday, November 15, 2004

Snow White

   pest control vignette

Kitty Corpse

Not all aspects of pest control is pristine and clean, but I guess you’ve noticed that.

Read no further than this if you easily get an upset stomach.

The gorgeous snow white dead cat, for instance, behind the dining hall dumpster. I remember that! He was curled up by the dumpster and didn’t even look dead until I got close. Half of him was the same cute pure-white kitten he’d always been, but his rear end was now white only because it was covered by crawling maggots.

One could guess that it had been a little beauty when alive, but was only weirdly so in death. He had a kind of uneven Elvis-snarl on his de-animated face, and his ass was eaten out by hundreds of clean-looking, almost beautiful, shiny white maggots. I sprayed Elvis Kitty and the surrounding area to eliminate the maggots. I eased the blade of the shovel under him and tested his weight—he was somewhat jello-ey. Ick. I shoveled and otherwise manipulated him onto a plastic bag and placed that bag inside another bag. Even though there was a garbage dumpster right there at hand, it was one of several behind the main dining hall and I didn’t want to hear any more complaints about it later, about dead animals associated with the food service locations on campus! I put the corpse in the back of my truck and disposed of his icky self later in one of the dumpsters back at the physical plant compound. Out of sight, out of mind.

A Bevy Of Barfy Kitties

While unoccupied during a long summer, one of the dorms had obviously been invaded by a mother cat. Mamma Cat had somehow gotten above the ceiling tiles and given birth to a litter of kittens. Then she didn’t know what to do with them. I don’t exactly know when the pest control operator became an animal control officer and a mortician as well, but nobody else was going to do this job.

Now there was a bevy of dead kittens above the ceiling in one of the entrances. What became of Mamma Cat, I don’t know, but by the time I saw them, only some of the fuzzy-wuzzy baby kittens were recognizable as anything other than decay—putrescent, semi-solid. In some of them, chunks of hair were long gone. Insects had been at work, I presumed.

I took it from their varied appearances that they died at different times. I couldn’t see how the mother cat got in there, but then neither could she apparently figure out how to exit with her kittens. If she was dead or alive elsewhere in the building, I never found out. My best guess is that she just left them there and didn’t come back—maybe it was a young cat, with motherhood interruptus.

They may have been dead before she left or not. I only partly remember the ghastly means of cleaning up that mess. Needless to say, I wore a cartridge respirator and heavy rubber gloves. The tiles where the cats had died weren’t the original ceiling, but the original wasn’t very much higher. Therefore, there wasn’t much room to work in. I remember scraping and mopping, but not what tools I used in that tight space. I don’t exactly want to recall that picture—my stomach is more easily upset now than it used to be. After their removal, I deodorized and cleaned and deodorized some more. Fortunately that day I had a cast-iron stomach.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Mice Also

   pest control vignette

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Mice

Mice also are big pests in this world, not just the big rats I've mentioned lately. Mice can infest almost any location, but some places that stand out for me are the outdoor sports areas where a certain amount of human carelessness always seemed to be build into the system. Coaches were busy "building athletes" or whatever the phraseology of the day happened to be. Thus, the automatic re-purchases of grass seed, granular fertilizer, and such, in combination with poor housekeeping, would sometimes create an overloaded and overlooked storage area where mice could eat—hell, gorge!—in undisturbed happiness for weeks.

When mice have been feeding for weeks like that, they have also been breeding. Raising families. Teaching the baby mice how to prosper, feeding off the excesses of mankind! Maybe yammering to one another about "family values", with the red side and the blue side each telling the other they don't know squat about family values!

The baseball field was always an attractive location. Once, the bagged granules of fertilizer in one storage building got so overloaded that no one noticed how bad the rodent problem was for a while. By the time I got there, I didn't immediately see the mice, but I could see that all the mouse droppings were the same greenish-blue color of the fertilizer. Gack! The mice were apparently finding the "food" delicious enough. And when I laid the bait down in the building, I wasn't sure if they'd eat any bait with all that other "food" available. I wondered if I'd have to relocate the fertilizer, and then bait the area. But the mice were not clever and just ate it. Apparently they thought it was nice to have a change of diet! So nice they ate themselves to death within a week. Or maybe the fertilizer finally kicked in and burnt up their little stomachs! Probably not, though because before it was all over, the mouse droppings had changed to the single green coloring of the anti-coagulant bait. Uh, for those of you who never thought about it, droppings from a normal rat are supposed to be black, period.

In a small building near the baseball field, yet not so far from food concession areas, mice had also gotten into the overstock of bags of grass seed. The first time I opened the door to the building and gave it a good shaking and kicking, about 50 mice scattered in all directions, across the floor, up and down the walls! I stepped back alertly, not wanting one to run up my pants leg. After we raked and swept up the spilled grass seeds another worker and I put everything we had in there-snap traps, glue boards, poison, gypsy curses. For a few days, even a small glue board harvested two or three mice. We then began to put larger rat boards there instead, and those would harvest five or more mice each overnight. God, mice can be stupid. Would YOU join a friend on a glue board when you can see the unhappy effect it's having on him? Not likely. I have on occasion encountered a smart mouse, but not very often.

It was hard to keep track of how many mice were snuffed-more than a hundred, certainly-as we whittled away at them with our devices and cleaned up the storage area increasingly. When certain it was cleaned out, we located some tougher containers, with lids, and left behind a clean orderly area.

Those are just examples, of course. It seems to me I can recall a mouse or rat infestation (one location at a time, of course) for every place in the baseball compound, whether in, under, overhead, or behind. I remember performing multiple baiting of the outfield fence over the years because the line of trees and small bushes in combination with a ditch and storm drain that ran the length of that fence made such an attractive home for them. I mostly baited beneath the gratings of the storm drain, so that I wouldn't exterminate every loose dog on the south side of town. I had to have reasonable self-control about baiting too much-baseball compounds are selling Tickets and are built to keep people out, not small animals, dog, rat or cat.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Hopalong Cassidy

I saw a television biography of William Boyd—the famous Hopalong—earlier tonight, one that I’d seen the last part of about a month ago. Maybe next month I’ll catch the very beginning of it and I’ll have done about all I could to see it backwards.

Anyway, it was fun to watch all the bits and pieces of the movies and TV shows. It used to be fun when I was a kid, too. I’ll have to make more of an effort to see one the next time they’re showing old westerns on TV.

That’s it, I’m not going to try to sell them to you. I’m just going to sell them to me!

And let's not forget Topper, Hopalong's horse. I had forgotten it, actually. I don't know why. Topper seemed like a pretty good horse as I watched him tonight, but I can't say I'm a fan of that name. Maybe it sounded a bit of an effete name for a cowboy horse? Does Trigger and Champion sound a little more macho or dashing? At least, he wasn't named Charley Horse.
More details at Hoppy

Friday, November 12, 2004

Sex with Charley Horse And Susie Que

My Most Memorable Charley Horse

It didn't last too long (in weeks and months, I mean) but I was dating the cutest skinny girl in Texas a long while back. It was one of those things where we got along just fine until we couldn't get along at all. It was probably mostly my fault because most things of that sort have been my fault.

Sue was a West Texas hoot. She was a grinning, smirking, good-natured, good-looking hard-boned none-too-serious young woman who always wondered if she should quit "doing it" for a while. She had a notion that having sex contributed to her recurring kidney infections. Maybe they did, I didn't know. I tried to listen to her, to discuss it with her—I didn't want to be killing her with sex!—but she could never reach any firm decision whether to adapt any specific regimen of self-denial. Therefore, she just continued to do what most young women of the 70's did, she did it when she felt like it and sometimes even when she didn't. If I'd been a mind reader, maybe I could have prevented some of the latter. Maybe. We weren't "true lovers" in any sense, we didn't plan to get married. We lived in the same apartment building, yet made no move toward living together.

True Love or not aside, we did have a lot of Fun together for a while. One night while having fun, I was hovering over her like a big spider with a million dollar erection when I got a charley horse that was almost as big. NOT NOW! But the muscles conducted me. Instantly I had to roll off her onto the floor. The back of my leg had tightened up fully all at once and I was working hard to get into a half-standing position that would let me start to put pressure on it again and start to relax it.

I closed my eyes and concentrated. I was practicing forms of Yoga that I'd never studied, I was praying to Gods I'd never worshipped. I was desperate to get that charley horse relaxed while I still had that muscular erection and Sue was still naked. I had a horror that she was going to get dressed and start acting like a nurse or a mother or a sister. I didn't want her to start telling me, "I don't think we should do it now." God forbid!

"C'mon, Sue, I'll be all right in a minute!" I told her, clutching the back of my leg and massaging it.

"You sure?" she asked.

"Lookit this thing, I can't waste this!" I grimaced.

"Are you sure?" she said, starting to laugh at me.

"Any minute, any minute!" I told her, starting to laugh.

Never Say Die!

This went on for a while until, instead of babbling "Any minute," I eased her onto her back again and me onto her front again. In no time I was relaxed all over, except in that one place that was now inside of her. I wanted that orgasm, wanted it, wanted it!

"Well, come on, then, Don Juan!" she giggled, and kissed me.

I began to make a little motion to and fro. Tentative motion. I'd never studied my movements or my states of muscular relaxation so carefully before. All's well that end's well and I was doing well so far at eluding the return of that charley horse. There was no further sign of it, that night. Though I've had charley horses now and again in the years since, they usually just wake me up in the middle of the night and spin me around. I've never again had one attack me during the act of sex, but if it did, I guess I'd know what to do.

[INSTRUCTIONS: Never say die! Keep it up! Convince your lover you're not crazy!]

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

The Big Snap-E Rat Trap

[Recently a fellow Blogger was having trouble with some rats and I decided to pass along this info about snap traps to her at her site. I had such fun remembering how much less dangerous these were than the old-fashioned chop-your-fingers-off kind that I decided one or two more of you might need a little quick-study as well. This is a little more than what I previously told her. I never miss an opportunity to elongate.]

"Just So Curiosity Kills Something, Dammit!"

They say curiosity killed the cat, but it’s almost as harmful to mice. Mice are curious, they’re dabblers, they will often nibble at or “taste” everything in a food storage area. Rats are generally more suspicious and will often take days longer to decide to eat something new, whether it’s poisoned bait or a perfectly safe food. This is troublesome of course, for people are generally more emotional about rats and more eager to be rid of them right away!

If you use snap traps, watch your fingers. Mouse snap-traps can hurt a little, but the rat snap-traps can really bust you up! If you happen to see a brand called Big Snap-E Rat Trap, made by Kness Corporation, it used to be excellent. Of course, I haven’t used it for 6 or 7 years, back when I was doing regular pest control. The Snap-E keeps your fingers safe and it’s pretty easy to set. It's strong, yet didn't have a hair-trigger. You can take a look at it at Big Snap E. I used to get it cheaper buying them by the case, but I see you can buy two in a pack for $10—that price might sting you a little, but it's probably worth it if you don’t lose or throw away all tools and equipment not in daily use. The traps do last a long time, I found. Or if you're a big shopper, you might find it cheaper. Ideally, you do want two or more, anyway, so as to keep the rat jumping—they sometimes dodge the first one, then trip right over the next one!

I’m only recommending this brand Highly because this brand is less likely to smash your fingers. Use relatively slight dabs of peanut butter; though they like cheese, a hard cheddar can often be thieved from the mouse trap too easily. Avoid any bait in a solid chunk form unless you can tie it to the trap’s trigger. Anything that has ever worked well for you is fine. Peanut butter always worked well for me. It’s a good bait because it has to be licked, licked, licked off, increasing the chance of a rodential misstep! Whack!

Monday, November 08, 2004

Live Rat In A Snap Trap

    pest control vignette

Too Many Offices

Over time I had offices in more locations on campus than almost anyone else I knew at the University. For a while, I had no office. Then I shared two or three different locations with the Grounds Superintendent. Later I had separate offices of my own, but still in the same Physical Plant compound. Once they gave me an additional office in the "front" area of offices where I conducted safety training. For that short time, I was occupying two separate offices at once, but they soon thought better of that and moved me back to the work buildings. What's that, seven or eight?

At one point my office was a couple of large rooms attached to the campus greenhouse which had at one time been occupied by the campus architect. So that's one more.

I generally sprayed the dining halls at night on the weekends when they were closed, so sometimes I'd just be finishing up the paper work at two or three in the morning, recording the hours worked, chemicals used, etc. that the dining halls would be charged for each month.

Ricky Rat Goes Splat

One such midnight hour, I was sitting at my desk and using the calculator when I heard a horrible thump-thump-thump! I thought someone was outside hitting the wall, trying to throw a scare into me. It was working pretty good at first! I went to the door and looked outside. No one out there. I went back to work, but over the next 20 minutes the noise repeated two or three times. Curiouser and curiouser! The last time the thump came, I decided it might be coming from the Greenhouse area behind my back. I still had not yet remembered how I'd placed some big snap traps out there a couple of days ago and when I casually opened the door and turned on the lights, I wasn't expecting to see the swinging and flailing about of a very big rat in that trap! I jumped back! Almost as soon as I jumped back, though, I knew what it was. The rat, his shoulder securely pinned by the trap's strong metal clamp, was hanging suspended at about face level (yech!) by the baling wire I always used to secure bait stations or snap traps. The cost of that rat cheddar had been higher than he'd expected; though he was alive, he was not a happy camper.

I guess if that rat had been left to swing like that the rest of the weekend, he might in time have sawed his own head off. I'd heard about trapped animals' willingness sometimes to chew a leg off, but, uh… I preferred not to think about it, actually, and was so irritated about how badly the rat had scared me with his noise and his gymnastics that I felt little pity about getting the Rat Bat out of the truck. I had soon dispatched yet another of God's creepy creatures straight to hell. I beat his head in while he was still caught in the trap, but it was over pretty quick. Of course, that's me saying that—the rat may have had another opinion.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

My First Rat

    pest control vignette

The first rat I had to kill as part of my new job as pest exterminator for the university was a little intimidating. Up until then I'd only sprayed for insects or placed poison bait for the rodents, but I hadn't had to chase a rodent or corner a live one with teeth! In private life, I had perhaps killed a few with snap traps, but that's not anything you might call face-to-face combat requiring a steady nerve—this was.

They'd reported a live rat to me via my beeper, a rat trapped in a large file cabinet. I wondered who the brave soul was who had trapped it, left the job unfinished, and called for Cowardly Me? It was bound to happen sometime, I guess, I just hadn't planned it out. Jeez! I drove slowly, trying to figure out a plan and what to whack him with before I got there. Finally I remembered the little souvenir baseball bat I'd found somewhere on campus a couple of weeks earlier. I guess I'd thought that I'd give it to some young kid, but it's destiny turned out to be very different.

When I got to that office suite I found all the workers, male and female, as far away as possible from the Records Room where the rodent was ostensibly still trapped. They were uncertain that there might not be an exit hole underneath or behind the cabinet and they were so nervous about that, I think they actually failed to notice that the pest control man was a novice and nearly as nervous as they were! I entered the room and closed the door behind me. I was thinking, half-hoping, that maybe the rat had managed to escape. I considered it more likely that I'd open a drawer and he'd leap out straight at me!

Aaagh, Wild Rats Gnawed My Face!

I didn't know if rats would really do that under such circumstances. I found out later by experience that they will leap at you, but this one didn't. However, he was scared shitless and in fourth gear! He made constant high-speed whirling circles from left to right and top to bottom of that file cabinet as I banged away at him with the baseball bat. With every swing the rat got more frenzied, but not more sensible. Finally I bopped him on the side of the head and stunned him. He fell to the bottom of the four-drawer cabinet. I yanked open the bottom drawer and he was trying to play dead, but breathing too hard to fool anybody. I smacked him two or three more times in the skull and that was that, he wasn't playing any more.

All things considered, I felt that this reckless bloodletting would be overlooked by the office residents, but not letting the damn rat get loose again! That turned out to be about right. When he was demonstrably dead (tap, tap, little Ricky Rat, on your back and on your head), I wrapped him in some rags I'd brought so that I wouldn't freak out everyone as I left the building with him hanging limp and bloody.

This was the day I found out that the small souvenir baseball bat worked great for beaning rats. I kept it for quite a few years for the same purpose. Inevitably it became known as the Rat Bat.

Ole Rickey Rat and I had led one another quite a chase up and down the drawers. I did what I could to remove the blood from the file cabinet and the papers, but you know how blood and paper are. Well, even if you don't, you can imagine how upset the people in that office were already without seeing too much of those telltale signs of bloody murder left behind. For all I know, they may never have touched that file cabinet or anything in it ever again. But I'd done my part and I was through!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Even Alice B. Toklas Gets Bored With Me

I wonder if my readers are getting as bored with me as I'm beginning to feel. I wonder too which is better—to avoid writing the daily post and not be boring or to write my sometimes-boring daily post and just not remark on it constantly like the compulsive twit I am?

In any case, it will continue to happen that you either find no post here at all some days or that you find a careless, whiney post like this one. Maybe I should figure out a code for Frequent Readers—some code that would let them know at a glance that today's post is not a giant killer, just a time killer. Something like


Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Mystery Of The Bathroom Door

What's This Crap About The Door?

I've never made even a casual study of it, but it occurs to me from time to time, when I have guests or when I am someone's guest, that people have different habits associated with the bathroom. I promise I won't go into any gross details about people's habits beyond the bathroom door. I'm just concerned today about what happens on this side of the door!

Dirty Habits

In my family, I guess, we were taught the habit that a closed door meant "occupied", whether locked or not, and that an open door meant "ready for use". This seems logical and intuitively sensible to me, but I guess that's just the particular mode I learned in my youth. Everyone isn't the same. In fact, potty-training isn't immutable, I realize, for my sister, who has grown children, has a household that has long been run the opposite way. Her bathroom doors are closed all the time and therefore it has no interpretable meaning. I'd ask her to enlighten me as to how that happened, but you know how families are—it might be interpreted as a criticism and start a big shittin' ruckus!

I remember during my formative years our one bathroom having a lock and a "skeleton" key and I also remember years when there was no lock. Since then I have noticed that some people do what they like in the bathroom and expect you to read their minds about what they're doing and how to interpret it.

Why Duh Don't We Do It In The Road?

Some odd people don't even close the door, they just kinda pull it in the direction of the doorframe and presume you'll sniff the answer out. I can only presume they want to be seen doing what they do in there. Other folks think you'll recognize a closed door as the equivalent of a locked door—that notion is problematical, though, since other people close the bathroom door completely when they exit, causing others to assume it's occupied when it's not and forcing you to either waste your time trying to outwait that Silent Shitter in there or else just be uncouth and holler loudly, "Anyone in there?! I'm comin' in, buddy-boy!"

No One Will Be Watching Us…

In some households I've learned to just be uncouth and loud, to not even listen for evidence of occupancy on the other side of the door. I never understand the people who create this dilemma by not using my simple "closed door=occupied" theory of bathroom door etiquette. I wonder very much what keeping the door closed at all times means, don't you? Are they hiding it? Are they so ashamed of the smells therein or are they are in fact embarrassed that they have a bathroom? Does the elimination of human waste make them blush?

I admit to having various forms of shame, but I've never been embarrassed about having bathrooms in the house! I might be embarrassed that some of my friends and relations poot out clouds of stuff which suggests they've swallowed a bagful of dead rats, but I ain't ashamed of the household plumbing! If you've got a vent fan, turn that on, too, but just let that room air out a little, I beseech you!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Sometimes I Get

Sometimes I get ahead of myself and have 3 or 4 future posts lined up. This is the opposite of that. Maybe something will turn up, but at the moment, I'm a total blank. I don't even feel like writing about love or hate.