What a morning in the backyard! I love my backyard. Despite the million mosquito bites I collect every night; despite the flies that like to get all up in my grill; despite all of this (plus my neighbor’s yard decorated with dog poo law ornaments), I love being back here. When the white trash family isn’t out (yeah, the other neighbor), it’s peaceful. I have a garden and my cat and I’m in my 11’x16′ piece o’ heaven. But now I want out. Sure, I’m out here typing this. But I’ve got my eye trained on anything that moves. Not on the white trash. Not on the smell of poo. Nature has reared her fearful and ugly head. All of my childhood anxiety about nature have come back with a vengeance. Oh, and there’s a fruit fly stuck in my glass of wine.
Yeah, I grew up in the country. You’d have thought that that would have made me immune to things that squiggle and things that slime (and small things that attack). But it didn’t. You see, my uncle lived behind us (and by “behind”, I don’t mean in the city-block, rationally organized row sense, or the suburban cul-de-sac sense. No, I mean in the field in back of our field). But both my uncle and parent’s rented a large portion of their land to a farmer (Amish, so that meant seasonal application of manure. Yeah!). He planted corn. Corn is, like, 100 feet high to a child. And I would have to run through a narrow path that the farmer left connecting both homes. Yes, I would have to run. Because that was the only way to dodge the 100-mile-per-hour projectiles known as “very large bugs”. I would stand at the mouth of the path and watch as millions upon millions of these Chevy Tahoe-sized bugs jumped between the rows. I would close my eyes and run as fast as I could through this gauntlet, all the while feeling those hard bodies smack into my cheeks, my thighs, my lips (yeah, it’s that gross). And then I’d have to do it again. “Aunt Patty, can you drive me home?” “No, you idget, you live a 1 minute walk away.” So then I would have to stare down that Funhouse entrance again,close my eyes and… SMACK.
So this was my upbringing. Imagine my surprise when I found nature at the ripe ol’ age of 30. I mean, heck — I even got myself a worm bin in the basement! I was cured! Or so I thought until this morning…
My little morning routine: I let the cat out while I water the plants. As soon as I opened the door, he rushed out and I realized that there was a squirrel in the yard. Aww. How cute. I grabbed Sparky, tossed him in the house. But the squirrel didn’t leave. He stayed in a corner. “Yikes”, me thought. “This little bugger’s got balls”. So I’m a brainiac. You know, a regular smarty-pants. So I squirt the little a-hole with the hose, thinking that he’ll run away (I know I would). Nope, he runs right to me and towards the alley. I go around the corner and instead, he’s right there and he lunges at me! What the ef! So I have the hose, he’s at my feet and I’m screaming like a mental patient, squirting the hose and jumping 360 degrees. I looked like a human water sprinkler. Idiot! I failed at the squirrel test. That little bastard psyched me out and I took the bait and ran (with a hose, mind you). But the day gets even better.
Now, a normal person would probably put going outdoors on hold for a bit. Especially on a hot, Philadelphia day. But no, I went back outside (once I was assured there were no squirrels) for my other daily ritual of eating breakfast, reading the news and watching my good-for-nothing cat try to escape the yard. Only this morning, he was playing with something. With what you say? With a creature that I can only describe as “FUCK!!??!!?!” Not even a “What the FUCK?!!?” No. Just “FUUCCKKKK!!!!” It’s head looked like a baby bird, maybe? But it had the body of a caterpillar. At first I thought Philly got herself both a nuclear plant and a nuclear accident in 1 night. But no. I realized that this disgusting creature wasn’t a chromosomal accident. It was in fact a caterpillar. How did I know this? Because it started walking backwards. “Do caterpillars walk backwards” you ask? Nope. But they do have fake heads on their butts. That’s what this was: a fake head on it’s less-needed-for-brain-activity butt. You know what it’s real face looked like? You remember in the first (I mean the real first) Star Wars, where Luke and Obi-Wan go into that bar? The dude that kinda looked like a walrus that swallowed a mustache? That’s what it looked like. Here are some “Before and After I Thought That It’s Butt Was Really It’s Head” pics:
gross, gross, butt for head
But seriously, I wonder if that’s the thing that’s been eating all of my tomatoes? Faw-ker…