Sprengue Fever

I’m gradually amassing a body of evidence that indicates rather strongly that—while my wife and I are best friends and much in love—we are of different species. E.g., on the first really warm, sunny spring day this year, my beloved and I were on the front porch reveling in the sight of songbirds cavorting in the warm blue skies and buds bursting forth when she did a little jig and said, “I’ve got spring fever!”

I thought Wow, that’s why we’re best friends. We’re on exactly the same frequency. I’ve got spring fever, too! I feel like throwing a Frisbee or a baseball, lying in clover watching the clouds scud by, drowning a few worms while watching the river amble along, or maybe hiking through the woods and blasting away at some cans.

I put my arm around her and said, “Me, too! What do you want to do?”

She rubbed her hands together in delicious anticipation. “I want to pull everything out of the closets, get rid of everything we don’t need, reorganize it all and do some serious dusting and mopping!”

I tried to maintain my bright grin, but it deteriorated into the expression of someone at a tea party who knows the hostess emitted a noxious odor but must pretend she didn’t.

“Really?” I said, trying to sound enthusiastic.

“Yeah! Wanta help me?”


If a fever ever compels me to do some serious dusting and mopping, it’ll be dengue, not spring. Or maybe typhoid, because I’ll clearly be delirious. I’m typically male in that I lack the Scouring Gene. I confess that I don’t honestly see the logic of maintaining a surgically-immaculate toilet bowl considering what we routinely put in it. On the other hand, I do prefer ours to the ones commonly found in biker bars.

My wife knew I didn’t share her rapture at the thought of cleaning closets, and she let me off the hook, bless her. She knows her Y-chromosome Neanderthal has vastly different urges, and she’s given up trying to understand them.

Case in point: we lived in L.A. for 30 years before moving to the Highlands, and our neighborhood was teeming with squirrels whose playful gamboling provided endless hours of entertainment to the average observer. Not being average, I saw them as destroyers of Christmas lights and an endless source of savory protein. I can say with some authority that I was the only resident of that city of ten million who regularly had buddies over to play pool and eat squirrel gumbo. Happily, the critters are easily fooled by a peanut on a trip-wire, and it takes only five of them to make a great gumbo—four if you catch a porker who’s let himself go.

I once made the mistake of hiding one of them in the freezer in an unmarked bag for later use. My wife thought she’d found a forgotten pork loin, instead discovered something looking back at her, screamed, and unilaterally passed a new household law on the spot: nothing with eyeballs, tails and claws allowed in the freezer. Okay, fine. I’d remove those parts first.

Admittedly, choosing the downstairs bathroom as my theatre of operations was not the best choice, but the garage was just FREEZING that day.


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