For those of you who know me, you know that I am a non-judgmental sort of soul who believes with every fiber of my being those who walk this earth are entitled to the right to be exactly who they wish to be. Such withstanding, there are those things in life I find myself questioning and a few, on occasion have sorely tested my patience enough to qualify as a bane to my existence. It isn’t so much I wish these things extinct or eradicated like the dinosaurs but more that they just completely live their lives away from mine. I don’t want to see them, touch them, see their handy work, or know that they walked across my counters.
Living in Texas means you will meet a fire ant up close and personal as soon as your barefoot toes are old enough to touch the cool saint Augustine grass of summer. It doesn’t matter if those toes are too young to walk the grass or even crawl in it because the ants will come to introduce themselves to you. It won’t matter if you don’t have a teething cracker for them to taste, or milk in your sippy cup because they will think the smell of your chubby little leg is just perfect for a chomp and those fat little toes great for their army assault. They are as stealth as a robotic micro chipped futuristic sidewinder in the midst of a middle eastern dessert at their search and destroy tactics and no one ever even feels them until one thousand of them are up the pant leg, heading north and stinging long before being discovered. It is a given if you see a neighbor doing what looks like the Funky Chicken when only moments before was mowing, he unwittingly stepped right into the middle of a fire ant bed, woke them all up and is dealing with a bunch of really angry ants in his pants. I would like to think fire ants serve some greater good, however, I am at a loss on this one. Unless some elitist somewhere considers leaving abstract pus blisters and digging dirt houses as an art form, I am thinking fire ants really do not contribute much to society.
I was carrying out some trash to the garbage the other day and opened the lid to find my greatest horror, maggots. Even their name triggers a gag reflex in me and I cannot look at them at all but must shut the lid immediately and turn away or all my neighbors will see what I did not eat for breakfast. I am a huge proponent of life but I will tell you right now if I was born a pasty white, slimy, oozy textured and smelled like death, I would crawl under the nearest thing that could crush me and call it good. I am sorry to be so harsh, but good gosh, they are disgusting and guess what, they grow up to be flies!!! I grew up on the gulf coast of Texas and am not new to maggots or flies but living in ranch country has introduced to me an entirely new breed of fly I like to call Frankenfly. The Frankenfly is a monster by every standard because they are enormous and an in your face kind of species. I was on the back porch one afternoon and busily working at a canvas, when a fly who rather fancied the taste of Diet Pepsi thought he could finish the remains in my stomach before it digested by entering my mouth! In my hurry to get him away from my lips, I slapped myself so hard I knocked myself back two feet!! Yes, my friends, even mild mannered Lindy has her limits and maggots and Frankenflies certainly fall in the category. Of course, I completely missed him and I could swear as he landed on my canvas I could hear him laughing at me. He also was brilliant because he knew there was no way I would try to slap him down again and run the risk of ruining my painting, canvas and a days creative process. Like the fire ant, I am surrounded by Frankenflies daily and I have no choice but every single day I find myself wishing I did have a choice. I search my brain and heart to find some good purpose for them but neither calls me back with any answers and so now I tell Harold to carry out the garbage and I hang fly traps out near where I paint and drink water instead of Diet Pepsi.
When we lived on the coast I used to feed a little field mouse. He lived under our deck and fed him peanut butter and crackers every day. He was adorable and I would watch him come out from under the boards to eat and nibble at the yummy goodness I provided. I liked to call the relationship I had with that mouse symbiotic as I provided him comfort in his outside world and he didn’t invade my inside world. Unfortunately, the mice and roaches I have seen in San Saba refuse to strike the same bargain with me. They want to try to come inside to eat the peanut butter from the jar in the kitchen cabinet and serve themselves crackers from the unopened box. The roaches here are the size of small dogs and like to call themselves water bugs. I say a horse by another name still has a mane, hooves and poops enough to fill a wheel barrow! I am forced to provide chemical barriers around the perimeters of my home and substances such as steel wool in entrances that may be found as easy access.
I would think there is really no good purpose for mice, rats or roaches. Really guys, I have racked my brain and I just cannot think of a redeeming thing about them. Oh gosh, wait a minute, they are a food source for feral cats, snakes and other wildlife and that can be a really good thing, I guess. In addition, they provide companies such as the makers of Decon and Raid lots of money and people jobs and that is good for the economy so perhaps they serve a higher purpose after all. I apologize for my rush to judgment, however, I still do not want them in my house. I am way too OCD and RMP.. Here is a little side note…OCD stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and RMP stands for Roach and Mouse Phobic! I am not San Sabian phobic and love each of you with all my heart!