When I came downstairs this morning, I heard a wild commotion in my back yard. Fearing the worst, I grabbed a baseball bat for protection and checked the patio.
Ms Goose was out there: honking and hissing in her usual loud and (Dare I say it ?) obnoxious way. To make matters worse, it was obvious she (or one of her confederates) had turned the hose on.
I hadn't had my coffee yet, and was definitely NOT in the mood for such shenanigans !
"Hey !", I shouted, stepping out briskly and turning the hose off.
"Hey, yourself !", Ms Goose hissed back. She eyed me sardonically. " Nice jockey shorts !"
"They're summer pajamas ," I answered defensively.
"Humph !", she sneered, turning her back. She resumed her god-awful yelling: " No morestrip-tease ! No more scanners ! No more strip search !!"
"Hank-Hank !" , another voice chimed in.(He had a Canadian accent.)
It was beginning to look like a dad-blamed convention in my yard.
"No more strip tease ! No more scanners ! No more strip search !!"
"KNOCK IT OFF !!!" , I shouted. What is this nonsense about ??
"Don't you read the papers ?", Ms Goose hissed. " Are you not aware new scanners that can see right through clothing are being put into service at major airports ??"
Glancing around , I saw more birds flying in. This thing was definitely getting out of hand. "No more strip tease ! No morescanners !! No more strip search !!!"
If I used force, would I be accused of violating their First Amendment rights ? If I grabbed a shotgun, would my Second Amendment rights trump their First Amendment rights. Would the Migratory Bird acts trump that ?
It's difficult to consider legal options when you haven't had your morning coffee yet !
"No more strip tease !", the Cardinal screamed. (Oh great ! Now religious issues were coming into play !)
I finally decided to give in to the aroma of fresh-brewed coffee,and let my feather-brained friends get it out of their systems.
Eventually, it would dawn on them, that-although they were very frequent flyers,none of them used airports for much of anything but "target practice" ; and they would leave the protesting to folks like you and me.
ps: Cardinal image courtesy of "Tsiya",whom I wish a speedy recovery.
I was a bit ...surprised to discover a huge campaign banner had been mounted on my patio last night. (Click on picture for details.)
As some of you know, I've declared myself politically neutral, and I had hoped to keep my back yard a politics-free zone...but it seems a certain long-eared visitor supports Hillary Rodham Clinton in a big way (something to do with "potty parity" and other gender issues,as I understand it.)
Sure enough,there she was: munching my best clover,and gazing adoringly at the campaign banner.
" How ? How did you get that ...thing up there ? ", I sputtered.
"That's for me to know, and you to find out," she answered cooly - but I was watching her closely,and saw her gaze slide to one of the squirrels-who,in turn,glanced at another squirrel.
They were female squirrels,of course. Sisterhood is Powerful, and all that. Very...20th Century.
The real question, of course, was not "how did you get that banner up there ?" - but - "How in blazes am I going to get it down ?"
I thought I'd try reason and persuasion first.
" I guess you know we're going to be up to our necks in politics before long."
Ms Rabbit and the Squirrel Sisters shrugged.
"The Media has never had a "First African-American Presidential Candidate" before, so they're going to cover every possible aspect of the story. "We know Barack Obama can walk on water, but - can the FIRST AFRICAN-AMERICAN Presidential Candidate roller skate on water? Whistle while he's roller skating ? What tune will he whistle ???"
"Then, there will be the stories about his wife, Michelle: Michelle Obama's Beauty Secrets; Michelle Obama's Fall Wardrobe; Michelle's Strappy Shoe Choices; Michelle's Intimate Boudoir Secrets."
"Now do you understand why I want to keep one tiny part of America politics-free ? "
Ms Rabbit nodded. " I understand........but we went to a whole lot of work putting that banner up !"
Ah ! Negotiations, at last !!
"Would some CHEERIOS console you ? "
"Honeynut Cheerios ? "
"Okay. Two boxes ?"
"By the way," I added . "Did any of you look at the last line on your poster ? The line that asks : " Was it over when GERMANY bombed Pearl Harbor ? "
"Let me guess: You got the banner from an Obama supporter ? "
"Why, yes !", marveled Ms Rabbit. " She said she was tired of all the campaigning-after traveling 57 states..."
The Scammers arrive about the same time as the first mosquitos, but their bite is apt to be more painful.
One scam going the rounds in this area is the fake water company worker , who shows really valid-looking photo ID - warning the homeowner one can't be too careful - then asks the victim to help him "check the water pressure".
Victim and scammer go down cellar-and scammer's confederate - who has been waiting in the truck-enters the house to ransack it for cash,jewelry, and other easily portable valuables. Senior citizens are particularly vulnerable to this basic rip-off , and there have been several such incidents in the past week.
Just a few small suggestions: subscribe to and read a local newspaper - especially the "crime" stories-and you will have some clue as to what is going on.
Lock your doors-even when you are at home. (I've been pretty negligent on that item myself;but,after reading about local incidents,decided it would be wise to start locking doors when I'm upstairs showering,blogging,or napping; or if I'm going to be out back counting my growing woodchuck population.)
Be very cautious about letting anyone you don't know inside your house.
Home "improvement" scams are exceptionally common at this time of the year , and quite often involve "travellers" : Irish-American scam artists who winter in the South-and migrate north to fleece us sheep with tales of leftover construction materials they have to dispose of, motor oil driveway "resurfacing", construction projects that get started well-but come to a sudden stop with demands for more money. (Once the shakedown demand is met, the "scam-tractor" disappears: leaving behind a half-torn up house.)
There are other scams: many of which make use of the victim's own greed ,dishonesty,and credulity. Here (from my local newspaper) is a recent example of that:
Plainsboro: A local man, who was led to believe he could print his own money (!) "fell victim to a scam that turned $30,000. into nothing" (according to The Home News Tribune).
Two men approached the victim and said they had a machine that would duplicate $100 bills-and the more bills he fed it,the more it would produce.
When our hero showed up with $30,000 in $100 bills, the two scammers said: "Whoa ! We're going to need a really big bag to carry away all the money that will produce !"
To show their "good faith", they left the machine with the victim - and took his $30,000 with them (as evidence of his good faith) when they went to look for a bag. Sad to relate, the scammers are still searching for just the right moneybag.
Please don't become one of the stories in your local newspaper !