"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Herding the gophers next door; payback after all these years!

Happy to be home!  It took one hour on a bumpy plane to get from Phoenix to Burbank and then 20 min on the freeway to get back home.  Nothing had changed, it was nice to sleep in my great memory foam bed.  We bought a topper for the lumpy monster they put into the bedroom at the Chandler Apartment, but it was not the same.  You see I am a bit like the princess and the pea, and must have smooth sheets with a very very soft mattress.  Also since Patrick found a scorpion in the Chandler apartment dishwasher and a cockroach as big as a Volkswagen in the bedroom...I'm glad to be home with lizards...and some mice... but I think we have driven the gophers into the neighbors yard.

Now how fair is that. Oh, payback is sweet...you will soon understand, just stay with me.  I bought these thumpers like in the movie Dune.  In that movie the thumper attracted huge worms.  These thumpers seem to bother the gophers and send them elsewhere.  So where do they go???
I figure next door right under the fence.  That's not nice but I am tired of having my lawn ruined.  It's the neighbors' turn to figure out how to get rid of them...

I tried to be kind to the critters...filling the holes with water (one time the hole never filled up...It went to china)  I put burning negatives inside...my dad said the toxic smoke would drive them away...Not so!  It didn't work...Then I put a week's worth of dog poop in the holes...and drove it deeper into the hole with a little water...guess they ate the poop.  Maybe they thought it was chocolate.  It was embarrassing when my daughter found me wearing gloves on my hands and knees with a bucket of dog dooty carefully snaking those long turds down the many holes in the lawn.

"What are you doing!"  When I told her my plan she scornfully said I was nuts and walked away, not even offering to help.  WELL I NEVER!   Soon after that I got the battery powered thumping things. 

Now here's where the pay back comes...Ever since we got married my husband has never mowed the lawn.  Why you ask?  He gets severe attacks of hay fever and asthma.  His behavior for the next few hours after an attack is like a bear awakened from his winter nap...not fun!   So it was not worth it to even ask. 

At first we had a push mower. (It was all we could afford)  As a strong 20 something young woman it was good exercise...that lasted for a while and the neighbors always asked, (Especially when I was pregnant,)  "Where is your husband."  I took to mowing in the dark.

Then we got a power mower...I think for "Mother's Day", how thoughtful.   The first one was a push power mover, and when that thing gave it's last gasp, we finally got one that self-propelled...that one was scary because it mowed over anything in it's path and I continued to mow at night because I was afraid one of the kids would run in front of it and get hurt.

My worst nightmare came true when one day I heard the thing fire-up and soon after heard a yell.  Colleen must have been about ten and ran up the stairs yelling that little Pat hurt his leg on the lawn mower.  I heard screaming and loud yelling from outside.  I looked out the upstairs window to see little Pat rolling on the lawn clutching his leg with blood everywhere.  My worst nightmare had happened.

I ran down the stairs across the kitchen and through the sliding glass doors like lightning.  BUT, the second I rounded the corner where I could clearly see little Pat my medical brain processed the fact that the blood, was not blood...at least it wasn't the right color...it looked like (and was) a mixture of ketchup and bar-b-q sauce.

The second I realized it was a hoax and had begun to react, a bucket of water hit me from above where Rebecca was perched on the roof and then the full stream from the hose hit me squarely in the chest, of course it was directed by my dear husband. The incident escalated with water from buckets, bowls and three active hoses.  The battle somehow moved inside the house without even a blink from dad-Patrick or me.  It was war!  I ended up with the girl team Colleen, Rebecca and Megan with the boys on the dad side.  Somehow that seemed quite even and we ladies held our own.  Then after an hour or so we called it a tie and declared a truce. 

Our neighbors looked on with amazement cheering on their favorite team and taking a few wayward buckets of water themselves.  In fact the third hose was contributed over the fence with the water coming from next door.  We girls called foul, but no one paid us any attention.  It took a day or two for the carpet to dry out, and we got the flood off the floor in the kitchen before the linoleum rolled and curled up at the edges, Thank goodness it was a very warm day.  

Hmmm.  Then I realized I've finally paid back the neighbors for the extra hose they passed over the fence to the boy team all those years ago...and no matter it's not the same neighbors living there...they get the gophers! 

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