“Oooohhh, what are those?” asked Sal.
Bending close to examine the garden plant in question, L said, “Spitbugs!” She then picked one off and they both examined it closely.
Not noticing what L did immediately thereafter, Sal asked, “Are they OK? Or do I have to get rid of them?”
“You have to get rid of them.”
“OK, fine. Then what do I do with them?”
L looked at Sal like she was an idiot child (Sally’s own words, I swear!) and said, “Squish ’em!”
You can take the lady out of the city but it is hard to take the city out of the lady. Gentility and civility is hard to wash out of jeans. Despite everything, Sal is still very much a lady. It’s good thing.
She has always been a bit squeamish about such things as squishing bugs, bonking fish on the head or killing mice. Anything like that. And I am talking about when I do it! But, in fact, if it needs to be done, she won‘t do it. She won’t even yell at the dogs! I am not 100% sure that butter will melt in her mouth, to be honest. So, if we need a little ugly, she looks to me.
Well, so do a lot of people, actually. Could be me, I suppose……?
Mind you she has grown somewhat over the years and can now yell at me without any qualms whatsoever. I take credit for that growth. Hmmm……..she took to that pretty early on as I recollect. Made it look easy, too.
I am a good teacher.
This is a woman more than willing to brave the winter elements in a small boat to get to bookclub with her casserole intact, this is a woman capable of carrying and fixing small outboards (within reason) and this is a woman completely unafraid of chicken-busing through El Salvador (well, until she was actually there and doing it! Then her courage waned a smidge. Along with mine, by the way.) This is woman unhindered by fear (or common sense, sometimes, if you ask me). She’s got guts.
But step on a bug? Kill a mouse? Not a chance! “Too horrible!”
The point? Some things out in rural land are a bit harsher, closer to the real bone, a bit less civilized. Harsh. It can get mean out here. You just have to get your hands dirty sometimes. And sometimes they get bloody, too. It just is.
Sal will get her hands dirty. She’s a trooper that way. I should tell you about cleaning out a composting toilet that wouldn’t compost some day. But she is Ghandi-esque when it comes to life. Any life. She just won’t take any. She just says NO!
So, I have to kill stuff.
Don’t get me wrong. I am no wanton killer. I have a heart. Honest. But, I am sorry, my house is for us, the mice and ants have to live elsewhere. If they persist, they will cease to exist. You can quote me. I once had to dispatch a mouse with the sharp end of a shovel. It wasn’t pretty. I didn’t even tell Sal.
But he got a decent burial. I’ll go that far. (It helped with the pain, ya know?)
I have no real problem even bonking fish. Seems logical in a ‘wanna-eat-dinner’ kind of way. But I hate it when it takes more than two bonks. I feel like a ‘clumsy murderer’ when I am bashing about the bottom of the boat and it is screaming at me in anguish (or so I imagine). Ugly. But I cope. Man’s gotta do, eh?
The point: Sally is a lady anywhere she goes. Ain’t gonna change. Me, I adjust. As it is shaping up, I am becoming more primal, more brutish. And, quite obviously, more ugly. ‘Kill or be killed! AArgh!’
If this keeps up, I may even end up hunting some day……….at this rate…..in my 90’s. Late 90’s. Maybe. Ooohhh. Yuck!