November 28th, 2018
"Normally, we do not seem to create a lot of trash. There are garbage pick-up days when I have nothing at the curb, seriously. Usually, it's one kitchen sized bag or maybe two. But there is something about a Holiday that changes it all. We generated enough garbage to not only fill one can but to require a second one.
We actually do have a second garbage can but it is used rarely and only for for yard waste. Y'know, palm fronds, weeds, those wierd-o giant seed pods that fall from palm trees. And I use this second can specifically for yard waste because the second can does not have a lid.
It used to. When we first moved here it had a nice lock-down lid. And I'm not exactly certain what happened, but after a fairly significant storm when I ended up chasing my garbage can
down the road, by the time I caught up to it, it no longer owned a lid. "Oh well. It's still useable", says I ," but only for yard stuff which doesn't really fit with a lid on anyway". Thusly, problem solved, we bought a second can complete with locking lid and life went on.
Until after this Thanksgiving. The very next day , I found myself having completely stripped the carcass of the bird, now having to discard said carcass. And pie tins. And any food I knew we were not going to eat plus everything in the bathroom wastebaskets and Tim's office and the laundry room. The laundry room wastebasket seems to only ever have used dryer sheets and lint in it. It's probably the best smelling garbage in the house!
Anyway, I gathered it all up and took it outside whereupon I found one garbage can completely full. Thursday is one of our usual pickup days. And because Thanksgiving is on a Thursday clearly the garbage was going to have to wait until the next pick up day which was Monday. Limited options. So even though the second can had no lid, I put the new bag in the second lidless can. Foolish, foolish girl.
On Sunday, I embarked on a cleaning jag and threw out old socks, holey tee-shirts, cleaning rags that had seen better days, a broken Christmas ornament (yes I started that project too) and a few other things. Enough to fill one more garbage bag. Like any ordinary person would do, I tied up the bag and walked it out the side door, approached the second lidless can, lifted the bag to drop it in and heard a sharp hissing sound. Surprised I looked into the can and found an opossum looking up at me baring it's very sharp looking little teeth and hissing for all it was worth. Well, this was unexpected!
First I did what I always do. I froze, arm still poised high in the air with the bag I was just about to drop in. After a moment or two, I stepped backwards without a word, turned and went into the house. My heart was beating a zillion miles a minute. I set the bag down in the utility room, walked into the kitchen and just stood there trying to gather my wits and remember to breathe. A few minutes later Tim walked into the room. "There is a 'possum in our garbage can" I said to him with no warning whatsoever.
Because Tim is the guy he is, he didn't question it at all. He calmly walked outside. I followed him and with a shaky finger pointed at the garbage can in question. Tim peeked inside and said, "Hey buddy". Then my hero reached behind him into the utility room, grabbed a broom and knocked over the can and began beating on the bottom of it with the broom handle. Slowly the 'possum crawled out and waddled away. Tim is my hero.
We cleaned up the mess (yuck!) and hosed out the can before refilling it and immediately taking it to the curb. My thought was that the critter would be less likely to crawl back in the can right there by the road. Mission Accomplished.
That opossum completely creeped me out in a way that even snakes don't. I had the heebie jeebies for awhile and then the shudders. It wasn't just the surprise of finding that angry little face in my garbage can, it's just possums in general.
Yes, Yes I know, they are also one of natures creatures on this planet and they probably feel about me the way I do about them, which is only fair. And they cannot help being what they are, but this is not a rational thing. It's a visceral, emotional thing. And I simply do not like them.
Part of it may be the way they look which sounds so superficial that I am a little embarrassed to admit it. The look kind of unfinished. It reminds me a little bit of when I lived on a farm. A new batch of baby chicks had just hatched and a little girl who was at our house peered over the edge of the container with great curiosity. I asked her what she was thinking. She replied, "I don't think they are ripe yet" with a look a extreme distaste on her face. She was kind of correct. Brand new baby birds of any sort do not look their absolute best when they are first hatched. But fluffy yellow chicks are adorable. So they do improve in short order.
Possums do not. They are always creepy looking to me. They look to me like a cross between a rat and a teddy bear. And above all living things on this planet, while I adore Teddy Bears, I hate rats. Just the word rats bothers me. In fact, 'Ratz' was one of my favourite substitute swear words when the boys were growing up. That's how much I despise the things.
One day, while living on that same farm that I just mentioned, I witnessed a rat swarm. Just remembering it gives me the icks. It was a chilly grey autumn day, a little windy and anyone could tell that icy rain and snow was clearly in the not too distant future. At some point during the day I peeked out the front window.
From that window I could see, among other things, the barn, the chicken coop, a pasture and a great deal of fencing. It was wooden fencing with posts both vertical and horizontal, and chicken wire on the inside. Normally I'd be able to see cows, horses and maybe some chickens. Instead, to my horror I saw rats. Hundreds or maybe thousands, I don't know, I didn't bother to count them. It was like a tide of rats, all running along the horizontals of the fences and along the ground, all running in the same direction, ThankGod NOT toward the house.
It was kind of like looking Niagara Fall and marvelling at how the water just keeps coming. In my head I keep thinking eventually it's got to run out of water, logically there just has to be an end to it, but it keeps coming. That's what was happening with those rats. They just kept coming. It was like being in a horror movie. So Creepy!!!! Eventually I just had to stop looking. I went into the kitchen and with shaky hands fixed myself a restorative cup of tea. Eventually I looked back out the window and they were gone. I didn't sleep for a long time.
So that's how I feel about rats. And opossums remind me WAY too much of rats. So great. Now I know for certain that there are opossums around here that aren't at all reluctant to climb into a garbage can and then hiss at me.
Lesson learned. Do NOT use the lidless garbage can no matter what the circumstances are!!!!! Another teachable moment.
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Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.