Saturday, July 29, 2006

Of course, you know...

1 quart of Hydrogen Peroxide
2 tablespoons of baking soda
1 tablespoon of dish liquid

This is a recipe for bathing a dog who has been sprayed by a skunk.

Why, you may ask, would I need to know this?

Because the groundhog has returned and he brought back-up with him.

My back yard, approximately 8:00; the final moments of the sun's glow were filtering through the trees. I had a glass of wine in my hand. My dog was dropping some friends off on the lawn. He finished with his usual dramatic flair; spinning out grass behind him. When suddenly, he spotted something.

He turned and tucked his legs like a greyhound on crystal meth, going full throttle after some uninvited guest on our property.

It all happened in slow motion.

A smudge of something black and white from the lilacs. Something large, bushy... something like the head of Don King with an obscene pink sphincter at its center.

My wife saw it and as she voiced the question, "What's that?"

I raised my arm and heard my own voice in slo-mo. "Nooooooooo!"

But it was too late.

My dog rolled over onto the grass, already sneezing and sniffling and trying his best to bury his nose somewhere else, anywhere else than nature's mustard gas. I could almost here him respond in doggy slo-mo, "Man down!" as he rolled over and over on the lawn.

Then everything kicked into ultra high-speed.

The flurry smudge of black and I ran away from each other. Him, presumably to find a hiding place. Me, to get my 9mm.
A clip in place, and another in hand, I ran around the barn to find the culprit. But, like Nickolaus Pacione's story lines, he was nowhere to be found.

But I did see his accomplice had moved back in. A new hole has been dug, this time, the dirt looks like it was thrown out in an angry fit of determination.

No perp to be found, I came back inside and after a trip to the grocery store that involved the same cashier I twice had to buy Nix lice removal from earlier this year (I literally saw her biting her lip to keep herself from laughing after I asked her if the store sold anything to help a dog who had gotten sprayed by a skunk). Hydrogen Peroxide in hand, I scrubbed my dog down with the paste mixed from the recipe. This succeeded in taking his stench down from Five blocks of South Queen Street to only One block of South Queen Street.

Think... fermented hot dog water strained into a solution of kerosene and camel urine left to heat up in the August sun and you'll get an idea of what he smells like now. I'll be giving him another bath in the morning after my anger boils off a little.

A groundhog and a skunk.

Y'know, it's not like I live that far out in the country. Not like I live in Hazzard county or something.

A groundhog and a goddamn skunk.

I'm being stalked by the Laurel and Hardy of the animal kingdom.

In the words of Bugs Bunny...
"Of course you know... this means war."

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Sci-Crack Channel

Varmint Status update:
no ground hogs on land.

I knew that crack is a serious drug problem in our society but until recently, I had no idea just how far up the social ladder it affects us all.

Recent evidence has shown that crack has not only invaded the economically devastated inner cities but also the... upper echelon if you will, at the executive level in the professional workplace.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "Oh sure, in the poor areas, the ghettos and forgotten places of our cities, OF COURSE it's a problem. But business executives? Surely you jest? What evidence could you possibly have to validate that?"

Remember when Mtv used to be great? Nothin' but music videos. It really was a music channel. Then it got eaten by execs waving crack pipes in the air like villagers for frankenstein and the programming was replaced by reality shows, bikini contests, Cribs and almost everything that wasn't a music video. Eventually the viewers asked wtf and how did the suits respond?

Mtv 2. But I digress a little. Because Mtv isn't what I'm talking about today. No, I love my music too, but I'm talking about a desecration of herculean proportions.

C'mere. No, closer. Look at this tv listing in today's paper. Past the Lifetime channel and the Gameshow network (wtf?? are you serious with this? an entire CHANNEL of gameshows?) and let your gaze move on down to the Sci-Fi Channel.

See that listing there? The one in bold helvetica that reads "ECW Live Action."
Yeah, that one.
Know what that is?
A couple months back they were running Passions. I scanned across this early in the morning before I took a drink of coffee and thought I was hallucinating. Because Passions is a frigging soap opera.

The only conclusion I've arrived at is that the top tier of programming execs are carrying around a glass dick filled with crack rocks and eking out their days in a euphoric drug-incuded rush while they sit around fancy cherry wood tables and discuss how much more they can fuck things up with their fan base.

Crack addiction has led to these fine examples of recent programming on the Sci-Fi Channel - keep in mind these are ORIGINAL PICTURES FROM SCI-FI.
Two college students desperate to lose their virginity discover that the two prettiest girls on campus are actually dangerous, shapeshifting alien monsters. (I would rather have lost my virginity to an open bottle of bleach than endure this plot line.)

Tail Sting
A pack of genetically enhanced scorpions gets loose aboard a passenger plane. (Please, sting me now repeatedly before I'm able to see a clip of this.)

When volcanic eruptions threaten to annihilate Earth's surface, Michael Dorn and Luke Perry (yeah, THAT Luke Perry) lead a perilous repair mission to the world's core.

Black Hole
An artificial black hole, created in a St. Louis lab, threatens the earth with unchecked expansion. As if that wasn't enough (no, really) disaster for Kristy Swanson and Judd Nelson (oh Judd... Judd.. why hath thou forsaken me? This is not the John Bender I used to know and love) they have to track down an energy monster that escapes from the black hole's space-time fissure, because the rampaging beast is the only way to close the singularity.

Do you see how this horrible addiction is affecting their minds?

Please, please, I beg of thee, stop the madness. Help the professionals at Sci-Fi Channel get off the pipe. Help them come back to reality. Help them realize that it's not okay to mix Twilight Zone with large sweaty men in tights and too much hair gel. It's not okay to mash plotlines together like Play-Doh and expect something good to come out of it.

Please forward this link to the poor unfortunate suits at the Sci-Fi Channel so that they can rid themselves of their addiction.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The only good varmint...

When I was young I grew up on a farm in the northern part of Maryland. It was a large sprawling hillside of 55 acres and we had a wide variety of domestic animals - a few cows, couple of pigs, some chickens, ducks, a gray, polka dotted ugly faced fowl called a guinea (best watchdog on the planet), a few hound dogs etc. For a while I had a couple of pet raccoons that were one some of the best pets I've ever had.
Across the hillside, there was also an abundance of wildlife - foxes, pheasants, deer, squirrel, raccoon, all variety of snakes and other creepy crawlies. Even had a mink one time that was slowly and methodically ripping the throats out of our ducks and leaving them in the dirt. (My grandfather and father ended his life in a culvert pipe that ran beneath our driveway. A thin stream ran through it, and the mink ran off with a duckling in its mouth and hid in the pipe. My father stood one one side with a shotgun, my grandfather on the other with a can of gasoline. He poured a cup full in the water and lit it and as the flaming trail wound through the water, it singed the hair on the mink's ass, running him out into the embrace of buckshot. Quite a little episode for an eight year old to watch.)
Another thing that was rampant in the area were groundhogs.

What do most of you know about groundhogs? I'll bet that you think they're just plump little rats that dig holes and pop their heads up like office workers in cubicles, eh?

Heh... well, let me tell you a thing or two.

Groundhogs can also climb trees very, very well. I've seen them bite through a hound's lip like a hole punch. They can be vicious little bastards but the most horrid thing about them was told to me by my grandfather - who seriously would not make this kind o' shit up.

Sometimes in the pasture, a cow or horse or other large animal would die and be there a while before it was discovered. Fact of life, shit happens then livestock dies.
While their bodies are lying in the sun, starting to decay and getting bloated from internal gas and decomposition, sometimes a groundhog will... ahem...

let me interrupt this by saying that if you've recently eaten, you may want to visit this again on a... shall we say... lighter stomach.

...sometimes they will take up residence in the dead livestock... kind of like a squatter in an abandoned house. How, you may ask, would they do that? Well... through the back door of course.

My grandfather had discovered a dead cow once and for one reason or another, wasn't able to get to it for two days to clean it up. And when he was finally able to chain it up to a tractor in order to drag it away and bury it, a groundhog came scurrying out its ass like it was running from an angry landlord.

I happen to think this is quite a foul habit and since hearing that story, I've never liked them. Anything that will try to lease the corpse of a dead animal... well, there's gotta be something wrong with them.

And recently, behind my barn, a groundhog has taken up residence. There are many large rocks surround the hole he dug... and this is the only thing preventing me from using a pistol. The last thing I need is to have a round from a 9mm bounce back into my thigh. I considered a blowgun but they're thick-skinned bastards and I don't know if that would do the job either. So... I tried the tree hugger route first and attempted to scare him.

I jammed a length of rain spout into his hole and threw a handful of fireworks down the pipe. I heard nothing but saw a shitload of smoke billowing out. I guess he has a smal gasmask or something, because the only thing this succeeded in doing was to melt the bottom of the rain spout.

I returned with a large bucket of water which I proceeded to flood his ass.
This DID work and he rushed out of there looking less like a groundhog and more like a wet beaver (heheh... wet beaver) and hauled his ass off toward a thick meadow. He paused once, flipped me the claw, then went away.

I placed large rocks in front of his hole like I was sealing the tomb of Lazarus, and I though that was the end of it.

But just like Lazarus, he returned.

There was another unsuccessful attempt involving two more buckets of water and a samurai sword, but that only achieved odd looks and I think he said something about my mother before he ran away this time.

I haven't checked in about a week, but he'll be sorry if he returns. I've grown my arsenal and he really doesn't want to screw with what I've got in store for him now. If he does come back you'll know it.

Just look for the mushroom cloud coming from the east.

- -
coming soon...
why I know crack cocaine has become a huge problem stretching from the ghettos to the highest level of executives. hint: the Sci-Fi channel is running professional wrestling.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Adios mi Amigo

There will be a blog coming soon on me turning 35 and the fight I had evicting a ground hog from behind my barn, but this just had to be posted now.

Click here to see The End of an Era

**link edited because I'm an idiot.