The Musings of

Something full of magic, religion, bullsh*t.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I wanna go home with the armadillo.

In case I haven't mentioned it yet, you need to know that my new yard is thrashed. Seriously. It is the Courtney Love of yards. This is likely the result of the yard being completely ignored for a year. Oh, sure, there were yard guys that mowed every couple of weeks, but no one watered the grass or maintained the beds. I've got vines resembling kudzu choking my shrubs, and one vine-covered trellis fell over and just about killed one of my boxwoods. There are, like, four different types of grass, and the only one growing or green is the crabgrass. To top it off, when the mortgage company drained my septic tank and replaced the biomat the week before we closed on the house, they covered over it with gravel. So now I have a little gravel pit in the middle of my backyard. Awesome.

In an attempt to start reviving the lawn, I fertilized it a couple of days ago and have been watering every night. This morning, I looked out the window on the front door to see how everything was progressing, when I noticed the shrub at the side of my house move. Curious, I walked around to the bay window in the study to see what was moving. Was it a cat? No. Was it the rabbit that lives in my front lawn? Uh-uh. It was an armadillo. Now, regular readers know that I'm a proud non-Texan who grew up in Georgia and North Carolina. I've seen my share of reptiles, amphibians, and mammals rustle through the local fauna. But until today, I had never seen an armadillo that wasn't lying on it's back beside an Oklahoma highway.

I know, for all intents and purposes, that the little bastards are basically just armor-plated possums, but that doesn't change the fact that they creep me out a little. One of my co-workers actually asked me if I was sure it was an armadillo. No, genius, how can I be sure that it was an armadillo, when so MANY things resemble armadillos? Such as, um, well, 15-pound roly-poly bugs?
Gimme a break.

If I were a weirdness magnet (or a copycat of a weirdness magnet) I would have some crazy story about how I got chased by the armadillo and climbed a juniper tree only to find out I was allergic to juniper when I broke out in hives the size of Toyotas. But I'm not, and I didn't. The armadillo scurried off into the woods, and I grabbed a Coke Zero and headed for my 45-minute commute.

Realizing that I now live in "armadillo country" I decided to find out the proper method of dealing with the critters. Fortunately, I work with a farm boy from West Texas who proved to be a fount of knowledge on the subject. Here's his advice: Evidently, armadillos are fairly blind so it is easy to sneak up on one. What I need to do is put on some work gloves, sneak up behind the bastard, grab it by the tail, throw it in the back of my truck, drive far away and drop it off. The only trick is not allowing the thing to scratch me, because I could get leprosy. Seriously. There is a second option, which involves pinning it to the ground and shooting it in the head, but I don't think my neighbors would approve. I was warned by my co-worker not to startle the armadillo before I grab it, because they can jump 3-4 feet straight in the air when startled. This was a nice heads up, because I'm sure the sight of an armadillo jumping that high while I'm bending over him would startle the piss out of me, and I like my piss where it is.

The upshot of all of these is that my wife now has a reason not to do any yard work, and I don't want to go near the bushes lest a rogue armadillo go off like a Bouncing Betty.

This crap never happened when I was living downtown. Still, it beats dealing with panhandlers.

Addendum: If you are going to write about armadillos, the appropriate music to listen to is Adam Ant.
Centinel 4:10 PM #


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