Thursday, March 22, 2012
Our neighbours are very understanding.
They know that Spouse and myself are, to put it mildly, a little bit different.
The people across the road offered Spouse the use of their power lawnmower once, after they'd spent weeks watching him out the front of the house hacking at the long grass with a tool barely bigger than a nail scissors. Possibly they couldn't even see the device he was holding, so they might well have thought the poor fellow had nothing but his fingers to tear at the weeds and grass with.
Actually, it wasn't their lawnmower they offered, but they knew somebody who could lend them one to lend to us, so it all comes to the same thing, really, and it was decent of them to offer.
Lately we've been developing more efficient ammunition to get the better of the squirrels that infiltrate our garden. They'd eat all the scattered bird seed if they could, which would never do, and so we devised a weapon that couldn't go wrong: a pinecone in an old grey sock.
The enormous knobbly pinecone in itself would have worked, flung at the squirrels who sniffed around our back doorstep, but we had a hard time locating it in the dirt after we threw it, it being the same colour as the ground it landed on.
We put a knot at the top of the sock and it held the pinecone nicely, and we could always find it afterwards.
Until one day when Spouse was in fine fettle throwing the pinecone-in-a-sock, and it scared the rascally squirrel, as intended- but the pinecone suddenly got a mind of its own and kept sailing, sailing, sailing. It went over the fence into our neighbour's back garden and that was the end of that.
The end- except: finding a random, anonymous sock on one's property would be odd enough, but a ragged sock that was filled with a pinecone- that would be thoroughly inexplicable. So we decided to tell our neighbour about it so that she wouldn't be alarmed.
How does one embark on such a task?
-Good morning, and, oh yes, we meant to tell you: there's a sock, an old dirty grey one, it used to be white, and it's got a pinecone tucked in it, yes, inside it, tied up in there, and we use it to frighten the squirrels with, and we're awfully sorry but it went too far and if you find it, you'll know it belongs to us and not some mad people who keep pinecones in their socks.
That was about the wording of it, more or less, but she took it well, and laughed and asked Spouse whether we wanted the sock returned to us.
We didn't, we said: our pinecone-in-a-sock days are over.
Yes. Our neighbours are very understanding.
We'd do the same for them if it ever came to it; I somehow can't see that happening in quite the same way, though.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 5:08 PM