'Matter of Laugh or Death,' the award-winning humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
THE WAR AGAINST NATURE
Look, I’m just as much of a nature lover as the next guy (as long as the next guy is the captain of the Exxon Valdez). But this has got to stop. Nature has got to stop invading my house!
In the past few months, we have been under constant assault by bugs and critters. This past summer, wasps and bees built their nests under the overhang of our front porch, which apparently is a prime spot for development. (My front porch was listed on the cover of “Stinging Insect Real Estate Guide.”)
The bees and wasps had a big argument—including little bee lawyers filing cease and desist orders—to see who would get that choice piece of property. They finally got the local zoning board to approve a plan to sub-divide my front porch, and then they both constructed nests, with the bees on the left and the wasps on the right.
We have crickets in the garage, spiders in the bathroom, and those disgusting millipede things in the basement. At least that’s what I think they’re called. All I know for sure is they’ve got 8 billion legs, they skitter across the cement floor really fast, and they scare the living crud out of me. (So much so that I have to change my jockey shorts each time.) My first question for God when I get to Heaven will be, “Why did you created those disgusting millipedes?!” (No wait, that’s my second question. The first question will be, “Why did you create those disgusting political consultants?!”)
We have bird nests in the gutters, worms in the driveway (after it rains, anyway), and squirrels who like to play rugby on the roof right above my bedroom at 5 o’clock in the morning. I can tell they’re playing rugby by the sound of their little cleats clacking against the shingles, and the keg parties they have afterward.
We have moles digging up our front yard—which doesn’t bother me too much because I’m not really into manicured lawns. Just ask any of my neighbors. They’ll assure you I’m not really into any kind of lawn maintenance. I don’t have a problem with the moles, as long as they stay underground. But I hate it when they decide to scamper right across my path as I’m raking leaves (causing yet another emergency jockey shorts change).
I don’t want to be rude, but I must remind these pests that this is my property! (By “my” I mean, of course, my wife, myself, and mostly the bank.) I even have a past-due property tax bill to prove it. If any of the aforementioned bugs, birds, or furry fiends can produce a property tax bill or real estate deed to this exact parcel of land (notarized by the City of Torrington Tax Assessor’s Office), then I’ll gladly share. But until then, get lost!!
Up until now this invasion of nature has been mostly an annoyance (plus an increase in our jockey shorts laundry bill). But just the other day they went too far. The worst possible thing happened: mice in the attic. Now, obviously we all can think of worse things than mice in the attic—unless you are my wife. To her, a nuclear war comes in a distant second to mice in the house.
So now we’re playing for keeps. I just want to warn those little buggers that unlike Iraq, I do possess weapons of mass destruction. After my trip to Home Depot yesterday, I now have more toxic chemicals than the entire DuPont and Monsanto corporations combined. And I’m not afraid to use them. Those mice have exactly 24 hours to pack up and leave, or else I’ll unleash a chemical attack which will render this piece of property uninhabitable for the next 20 years.
I suppose that means the property will be uninhabitable for humans, too—but at least we’ll be able to say we won the war against nature.
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