Monday, October 08, 2007

Bonne fête á moi!

Cake, anyone?

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Oh, heck, I just had a sugar crash. I'm going to celebrate by snuggling up with Terry Pratchett.


__________________
Sunday was great at Mom & Dad's house. My sister's birthday is within a week of mine, as is my B-I-L's, so we have a shared celebration. Mom prepared a feast including my favorite dish, and we had a grand time.

Sis & her family had to leave earlier, but my brother lingered and we all sat around savoring the delights of family lore.

Actually, I recalled the time when grandpa had a bunch of hogs in one area of his farm, and the rats were getting after the hogfeed, and something had to be done.

Dad brought a great length of industrial ventilation hose to the farm, and they hooked it up to the tractor extending down into a rathole and turned it on, exhaust pouring into the rat-warren. Smoke coming up out of the ground far & wide indicated where more holes needed to be blocked. I was the littlest, so I really didn't (appreciate or) get to join in the festivities, but everyone else in the family got to stand around with a bat or a length of pipe with which to greet any escaping rodents. When the rats wearied of breathing tractor fumes, they finally came spilling up out of the earth like a foetid fur eruption, and everyone commenced to whack the crap out of the varmints. None survived the ordeal. Even though I didn't really participate, I'm glad I got to experience this - it's always been a very vivid memory for me.


Dad told his father he'd seen a massive copperhead go down into a hole, and Grandpa directed him to put the hose into a nearby hole, and they smoked the snake back up, then Grandpa shot it with a .22 from where he was seated on the tractor. The copperhead turned out to be 41" long, which is rather large, and these are a heavy-bodied snake, as it is. Dad also told us something I never knew, which was that pit vipers give birth to live young like a shark - the snakes form and develop inside an egg that stays in the mother's body until hatching. This includes snakes like the copperhead and its cousin the cottonmouth(water moccasin) and those pesky rattlesnakes. So, if you see round eggs in the garden, a rattler has not nested among your Bachelor's Buttons. That's a load off, innit?

Anyway, I also mentioned (but brother didn't remember) the time I followed him to the back pond on grandpa's farm, and I called to him, pointing out a snake very near me. He picked up a rock and smote that snake, bursting the flesh from its casing like a piece of popcorn. The meat of the snake looked white, actually and it writhed in a flurry of coils and exploded snakeflesh like a dusty little flamenco dancer. Popcorn is exactly what I thought that day - it was fascinating. I was relieved he had such good aim.

There's a lot of that in my family-- good aim. I've been trying for months to work in a reference of how Dad killed an armadillo with a precisely deployed Dr. Pepper bottle from about 40 or so feet. And there you have it. Anyway, some animal-rights folk in the family were outraged, but we continue to think this is a funny story. I mean, crap! Armadillo carry disease and are the opposite of an endangered species - having made their way north all the way to Canada, by now. Someday, we'll hear reports of armadillos in Central Park.

If I were an armadillo, I'd rather be killed by a Dr. Pepper bottle than to be killed because I'm so stupid that when I'm on the highway, I jump straight up and and commit suicide on the undercarriage of a speeding vehicle as it passes over me. I know, we're talking minor degrees here, but the Dr. Pepper bottle seems so much more dignified a way to go than to be served up on the half-shell.

Blah blah blah. I'm rambling.

Anyhoo, have a fabulous 8th, people. I will. For what it's worth , the great Chicago Fire started on this date in 1871. And just remember that while beastly souls like Jesse Jackson, Soon-Yi Previn-Allen and Chevy Chase clawed their way into existence on this date, there is Johnny Ramone and Sigourney Weaver and me to balance things out, and all is well.

26 comments:

Christina said...

It's not Monday yet here in Vegas, but I'll just be earlyQ

Happy, happy birthday, Phlegm!
Many more happy ones, too.
And many more years of world domination.

mully said...

i'm in love with your blog!

It's Me... Maven said...

Happy birthday phlegmie!!

Hope it was a fantabulous one!!

DBA Dude said...

Many Happy Returns Phlegmmy

Hope that you have a great day and a grand time tonight.

I will open a bottle of wine tonight and drink a glass (or two) to your health.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Sis!! A

Myron said...

So your bunch invented whack-a-rat, huh? Never whacked 'em but did hunt 'em at the Denton garbage dump all those many years ago in my yoot.

Happy birthday there kiddo.

hoosierboy said...

I think you got the numbers reversed on your candles! Happy Day

JAlexander said...

Happy Birthday, Phlegmmy.

What's your favorite Terry Pratchett so far?

James

Christina said...

I was four when we lived in Ft.Stewart, Ga.
My Dad had killed a huge rattlesnake while out on some training exercise, he'd decapitated it with a shovel.
He brought it home 'cause he thought my (German) mother would cook it right up...I don't think so.
So he thought he'd have a little fun at my expense. He coiled the corpse up at the bottom of our trashcan, set the head right in the middle of the coils, and asked me to throw an apple core away outside. I don't know how I reached the lid, maybe I climbed on top of something, but I vividly remember looking down into the can, seeing the snake, and getting the screaming meamies!
I'm sure my Dad was thrilled with his success.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I shall be lifting a couple of glasses in your honour today! Happy Birthday, you fabulous creature. Long may you rule!

skywriter said...

Happy B-Day. If you want a really good laugh go to -

http://www.patheticpersonals.com/

I only tried the online thing once about 6 years ago. Both the guys I went out with turned out to be married. I didn't sleep with either of them, but I felt like enough of a fool not to online hook up with anything other than used firearms for sale.

Miz Minka said...

Happy Birthday! The 40s are fabulous!

Buck Pennington said...

Happy Birthday, Phlegmmy! I'll raise today's first beer to you!

I've done that exhaust thing with rats, as well. The buggers infested my compost pile when I lived near OKC, but a length of hose, a rapidly-revving car motor, and a bat took care of 'em...and quite well, too.

Rabbit said...

Happy Birthday!

Here's to many more years of stirring up hate and discontent!

Foment some revolution for me while you're at it, ok?

Regards,
Rabbit.

Matt G said...

Happy birthday.

Local pit vipers (copperheads, rattlers, moccasins) give birth to live young, but apparently, some pit vipers do lay eggs..

But you know, I don't particularly care about the reproductive cycle of the Asian pit and palm vipers, so Gramps' word is good enough.

phlegmfatale said...

christina - Thanks!
mully - you're a kickass chick, and thanks!
maven - so far, so good
dba dude - Honored!
Sis - thanks - yesterday was FUN!
myron - thanks!
hoosierboy - that's what _I_ am saying!
jalexander - so far, well, I'm really only on my second Pratchett, that being The Light Fantastic. Prior to this I read The Colour of Magic. LOVED his collaboration with Gaiman called Good Omens.
christina - wow - your dad was kinda evil!!! EEK!
barbara - it takes one fabulous creature to know another - Enjoy!
skywriter - well, lesson learned, eh? *L*
miz minka - I'm having fun so far, except for the part about pneumonia!
buck p - thanks! Yeah, that exhaust thing is a great solution for ratty bidness, innit?
rabbit - I'm fomentin' as fast as I can!
matt g - *L* ok, AMERICAN? Southern? Whatever. OUR pit vipers. My objective is to never be in the way of knowing personally the habitude of any non-American pit-vipers. How's that? And Happy birthday your own self.

Mushy said...

Wow, that one gave me the creeps! Can't stand thinking about snakes...if I do I dream about them!

Thanks.

phlegmfatale said...

mushman - I was born in year of the snake. They ain't so scary!

Lin said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Ms. Phlegm! Sorry, I got a late start tonight.

I think the cake sentiment should have read "42, the new 18" - you have to start high in your bidding 'cause life will try to beat you down at least 50% on the first counter.

Ewww ... GOOD snakey stories, too!

Detail Medic said...

Happy Birthday! Seems alot of us were born this month. Mine is saturday the 13th!

Ray said...

A good old fashioned rat killin is hard to beat. Wish we could have one every week.

Becky said...

Sorry I'm late -- Happy Belated Birthday!

phlegmfatale said...

lin darling - thank you! I like the way you think. And you can also call fudging the numbers "the new math."

detail medic - Thanks! I hope your birthday is a happy one!

ray - Indeed, a rat killin' far excels a barn raisin', in my book.

becky - no worries - thanks! :)

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Congrats on the new b-day miss thing. Snakes don't freak me out much. Too much fun to be had showing them around. Denise freaks out over geckos. I mean, little harmless things, she freaks. Looses it totally. I think I'll be old and in a home some day, chasing little old ladies around with a rubber snake. Never looses it's charm.

phlegmfatale said...

fhb - Thanks!!! Well, _I_ am not freaked out by them, sorry to disappoint you. Still, you'll have myriad other women to squeal and run from your snake-wrangling!

Attila The Mom said...

Happy belated birthday!!