Saturday, June 23, 2007

Squirrels Gone Wild

I had some beautiful flowers, gladiolas, in my backyard. They were nearly 5 feet high until today. Daddy squirrel was 'watching' the youngsters, letting them climb up my flowers, then ride them as they crashed to the ground. While his furry offspring were running amok in my yard, Daddy was busy stuffing his cheeks with sunflower seeds from my birdfeeder. Birdfeeder, not squirrel feeder. And furboy could chow down something fierce, like Uncle Louie at a seafood buffet. I think they had the same orthodontist, too.

A couple of the evil juniors were ripping blooms off the plants, stuffing them in their little cheeks and spitting them at each other. Then they played 'king of the garden light,' wrestling for the ownership rights to the tops of my landscape lighting.

Then the littlest one peeked in the doggy door and stuck his tongue out at my dogs, who bolted and tried to go thru the doggy door at once. Instead they smacked heads. Little cartoon birdies circled their heads as the saucy ball of fur pranced away.

How do I know it's a daddy squirrel? Mama squirrel just showed up and read him the riot act. I don't speak squirrel fluently, but I'm pretty sure I know what she said.

"I leave you alone with the kids for an hour and you let them tear the place apart? Look at this mess - you'd think a gopher family lived here. It's a pigsty! I am telling you, Ernie, I am NOT moving again! Just because you can't keep our children under control for a few minutes. Really, sometimes, you just drive me nuts!"

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Songs of Suburbia - Ice Scream

We reside in a lovely little town just a stone's gentle toss from Big Town. We have lovely cookie cutter homes, birds singing in the trees, lovely landscaping - a veritable set from Desperate Housewives. Even the postal person isn't really postal.

So why is it that at the same time every day down these lovely streets rumbles a lurching, hulking, lumbering, grey mass of rusted metal? Playing a tune that sounds like, as my son calls it, the 'song of a deranged clown.' In Eee-minor.

A remarkably iconic symbol of suburban youth now resembles the creepy, convoluted villain from a Steven King novel. "The Ice Cream Man Cometh" should be a joyful moment, not a lurking Willy Loser-man.

When did the Good Humor man go so bad? Is it now cool to buy popsicles from someone who looks like they haven't been near soap since the Carter Administration? Not that the old-school guy was perfect. Today, a guy who wears shiny white shoes, hangs out with children and smiles excessively usually ends up on parole and living in a cheap hotel. But at least there was some semblance of clean.

Perhaps part of the allure is the semblance of risk, of daring to ingest something off the poster vehicle for Hepatitis A. Look, ma, no handsoap. All the old fashioned scary stuff- running with scissors, playing in traffic, etc. is passe. Time to up the ante on the antibiotics.


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Kids Today

As we were driving back from the store the other day the boys were arguing over a stuffed animal we had just bought. "Walter", from the eloquent book "Walter, the Farting Dog," was turning into an immediate favorite, possibly because when squeezed he'd emulate the sound of passing gas. The younger brother was putting Walter through his standard musical tooting routine.

"Look, Mom," he said as Walter obediently ripped another one, "Sound is the fourth dimension."

"It is not!" his older brother argued. "Everyone knows the fourth dimension is time. Duh!"

"It doesn't have to be!" my youngest countered. "Sound can be fourth. Time can be fifth."

"That's ridiculous - how can sound come before time?" Einstein was giving Walter indigestion, and I was having trouble merging onto the freeway while following the laws of physics as argued by an 8 and 10-year-old.

My youngest settled the argument by declaring that sound was the "fArth" dimension. Walter whistled his agreement, and the older brother thought that was amusing enough to end the dispute peacefully.

The next day they nearly came to blows. The younger one was reciting Pi, and the older one argued that he should 'round off' Pi when he was done.

"You're never done with Pi," said the younger brother. "It goes on forever."

"You stopped at 3.1415," argued the older one. "The next number is 9, so you should have said 3.1416."

"I didn't stop - you interrupted me."

"Did not!"

"Did too!"