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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Under Siege
by sluggy (housebound, terrified and highly caffeinated guest blogger)

Scene: A beautiful cloud-free Sunday. The air is still and a balmy 65 degrees. Birds chirping, squirrels running about. The distant hills, the mountain bike in the garage, the muddy hiking boots next to the door all beckon. Sluggy, however, is trapped inside her house, quivering (1) with doors barricaded.

Let me start at the beginning.

One benefit of being Nonny Nu’s hiking companion (2) is enjoying the splendor of nature … au naturale. Whoa people, I mean nature in its natural state, not NN and I cavorting like naked nymphs in horse dung in the Phleger Estate! Minds out of gutter? (3) Please proceed.


As a lover of nature, my absolute favorite thing to do (4) is try to bring a little nature back to where others have left desolation in their wake. This would describe my yard… the ugliest part of which was a nasty side “alley” that barely separates my house from my neighbors.




Over three years, I have spent many weekends working to bring a little nature back to this wasteland and make it a palatable place to pass through and view from the kitchen window. (5)






On a postage-stamp sized lot, it is necessary to use every square foot wisely so I squeezed in some tomato plants (6) and a potted herb garden.








This morning, as sluggy toured the “estate” with coffee in hand, I paid a visit to the veggie and herb section. For no particular reason, the oregano caught my attention.

Is it getting too much water? Not enough? Turning over the pot, I spied THIS squatter living in the side yard paradise!!!!
Sluggy hightailed it inside, heart pounding from this unexpected faceoff with her arch nemesis. (7) The spotted salamander is a CARNIVORE, and EATS SLUGS, people! Supposedly it only ventures out at night. Perhaps I can go out as long as I am barricaded back in before nightfall. These salamanders return to the same mating pool every year, and will travel long distances over land after a heavy rain to mate. (8) They secrete a noxious, milky toxin from their glands (9) to dissuade predators.

Sluggy welcomes suggestions for how to handle the next battle in what is sure to be an epic war to win back the veggie/herb section. The first tomatoes ripen in just two months, not to mention the precious potential visitor (10) whose safety is paramount.

Shall I place a green chair out there as a territory-marking throwdown? Borrow an overpowered shredder capable of cross-cutting Bobby into gushy 5/64" x 5/16" bits?

To be continued...
-------------------
(1) And not in that good, Fluff-induced way.

(2) A second, even greater, benefit is tempting Nonny Nu with bacon she will never ever get no matter how much she bitches about it. Too bad she canceled today’s hike because I had 12 precooked bacon strips ready to go in a fluffy cushion of shock-absorbing paper towels sealed in a ziplock baggie.

(3) Out of gutter for now. It is permissible for TWoNN dudes to retain the image in their “vault” for later use except, of course, Man from U.N.C.L.E. who may substitute the Rev. Dr. Terry Valentine for sluggy and Cl. Panic for Nonny Nu. Dung element optional. You know who you are.

(4) Even more than writing briefs and working all nighters, alas, ‘tis true.

(5) This involved stripping and staining the fence, building and staining a trellis, planting vines, watching the vines die in frost, crying, finding and planting new vines. The new vines are supposed to bloom various colors of white, yellow and red but have yet to do that. If they ever get around to it, there should be butterflies and hummingbirds a-plenty!

(6) Planting tomatoes in dry, nutrient-starved ground in a location that gets only a few hours of sunlight a day goes against conventional gardening wisdom, but last year the plants grew to over 8 feet!

(7) Sluggy is accustomed to idle references to salt attacks but this attack is coming from inside the homestead.

(8) Not unlike Bobby Peru. Well, actually, sluggy too. If there is a group salamander mating party, I promise to post photos for the prurient enjoyment of all except those subject to the freakishly puritanical Nu, Nu & Nu internet filter.

(9) Another similarity to Bobby Peru. I think I will name the salamander Bobby.

(10) Shameless excuse to mention most perfect niece and try to make footnotes exceed length of post.

15 comments:

Cl. Panic said...

Shall I ... [b]orrow an overpowered shredder capable of cross-cutting Bobby into gushy 5/64" x 5/16" bits?

Sorry Charlie. As a result of the meddling tort lawyers, the "Safe Sense Technology" senses the presence of flesh and shuts off the shredder.

Nonny Nu said...

Whoa people, I mean nature in its natural state, not NN and I cavorting like naked nymphs in horse dung in the Phleger Estate! Minds out of gutter?
Speak for yourself, honey.

Wow! I remember being invited to see the sluggy estate even before sluggy moved in. It's incredible, the before and after photos! Remember that time you got a small acid burn on your forehead when you were pressure washing the deck?? CRAZY...!

Bobby Peru said...

capable of cross-cutting Bobby into gushy 5/64" x 5/16" bits?

well! i certainly know when i'm not wanted.
*grabs dufflebag, stuffs with dirty socks, shirts, dvds, playstation 3 games, collector's plates, assorted jewelry, a light bulb, decorative towels, guest mints, the remote control, scented candles-nah, screw those, belts, a wire hanger, chapstick, fridge magnets, booze, family bible, pictures of strangers, panties, angel figurine, coffee cup, feminine deodorant spray, and cheetohs*
(pointing to potato chips) i believe i brought those!
*begins munching*

old bobby's been wanting some fresh scenery just about now anyhows. they say it's nice outside these days. see ya next payday, kid!

~ ~ ~

Mr. Nonny Nu said...

perty cool what you've done with the side there, sluggaroo.

~ ~ ~

sluggy said...

Thanks Mr. NN.

Bobby P, I was referring to Bobby S[alamander]... you have to read the footnotes! Although you give me a good idea. Maybe a spritz of feminine spray will stun Bobby S. long enough for me to get him into a full nelson.

the "Safe Sense Technology" senses the presence of flesh and shuts off the shredder.

There go half my Panic fantasies. Joking! I kid! :)

Lola said...

Maybe a spritz of feminine spray will stun Bobby S. long enough for me to get him into a full nelson.

careful, lest you disturbingly learn that bobby's real name is spelled 'bobbie,' a long time 'gecko-roman' wrestler!

[boos from the crowd]

There go half my Panic fantasies.

and what a girl does with the remaining half in the privacy of her own home is her own business. (unless he pays full in advance. hello!)


~ ~ ~

Cl. Panic said...

That is a nice bit of home improvement you've done...

Cl. Panic said...

And congrats on your first post!

sluggy said...

Thanks pan pan.

Nonny Nu said...

So what are you going to do with all those tomatoes?? We should totally have a bruschetta party!

Man from U.N.C.L.E. said...

Your blogging fears were nothing to worry about, sluggy. Ans another thing that should really cause you no worry is the creature in your backyard. I found one of those spottted salamanders back when I was in the fourth grade and took it to school as a show and tell project. Out of its natural habitat and in an empty jar which formerly held Hellman's Mayonnaise, the spotted salamander shrivelled up and died within three days, despite my best efforts to feed it flies. I suggest you find a jar of mayonnaise and put Bobby in it. Mayonnaise is an unpublicized pesticide.

sluggy said...

Nonny Nu said...
So what are you going to do with all those tomatoes??


Last year I left a weekly tomato delivery on the stoop of a mature lady down the street. If you want them, I can arrange hike day harvests. The herbs too. I planted two kinds of basil and don't cook.

Mayonnaise is an unpublicized pesticide.

Thanks MFU! Mayonnaise will not hinder my organic farmer certification.

Cl. Panic said...

terrified and highly caffeinated guest blogger

Are you trying to commit suicide inside your home?

sluggy said...

oh crap.

(you wish)

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