Friday, July 6, 2012

Men - can't shoot 'em

I love the Farmer.

Don't get me wrong.

He's a good man. He loves me. He loves the dogs.

But he's a man. He tends to solve problems the quickest way he knows how. This does not always include looking beyond the initial problem. This frequently creates a bigger problem. (Being married to the Farmer is often very much like dog training.)

We had a bug problem at our house. (Note use of past tense: had.) Millipedes were taking over. I can deal with one or two millipedes on the kitchen floor when I get up in the morning. I cannot deal with one or two hundred.

I don't know where they came from. Well, yes, I do know where they came from. They were in the basement. I don't know why they didn't stay there. There are a lot of things in the basement. They could keep each other company.

But they were not content to stay in the basement. Which is why I was vacuuming a millipede invasion off the kitchen floor at 5:45 a.m. on the 4th of July.

The Farmer and I discussed the problem. Apparently he felt being awoken by a crabby woman assassinating bugs with a vacuum was not an acceptable solution. I agreed to pick up some bug bombs in town. Millipedes aren't dangerous. They don't bite or sting. They don't really do anything. They just crunch when you step on them. And they don't look good on my kitchen floor.

Phoenix and I left for agility class at 7:30 a.m. Since it was the 4th of July, we were having class in the morning so everyone could enjoy their evening at home. Remember that. Enjoy. Evening. At. Home.

Keep in mind the Midwest has been baking like a foil-wrapped potato on top of a charcoal grill for the last two weeks. The lowest daily high we've had has been 97 and tropical humidity easily shoves the heat index up to 105 to 110 degrees. Unlike other desert climates, it doesn't cool off at night. We're lucky if it drops below 80.

When Phoenix and I got home from agility, all I wanted to do was chill and work on a couple of projects in the house for a few hours before going to a nearby town to shoot 4th of July celebration pics for the paper.

I opened the kitchen door. I stepped in. I gagged and bolted back outdoors.

The chemical stench was nauseating. My eyes watered. My nose ran. I choked. I could not breathe. I bolted back into the house, grabbed Jamie and drug his furry butt outside. He had been sleeping and looked totally annoyed.

I went and found the Farmer. We had another discussion. He had decided waiting for bug bombs was an unsatisfactory plan. He had decided to wage chemical warfare and sprayed insecticide around the foundation of the house. The man has a private pesticide applicator's license (most farmers do these days) but in the tradition of using a sledgehammer to swat a fly, he'd used a field chemical that probably was never intended for anything a simple as a millipede.

It would have been okay if he'd stopped once he'd sprayed the foundation.

Then he sprayed part of the basement.

And the central air cycled it right up into the main floor and throughout the house. I don't know how long Jamie had been breathing the stuff but he's okay.

We shut off the central air and opened every window and door in the house. I turned on floor fans and the Farmer brought a cattle fan in from the barn to ventilate the basement.

It was now pushing a 100 degree air temp and we couldn't run the air conditioning.

I gave the Farmer the hairy eyeball, put the dogs in the outdoor kennel with lots of shade and huge buckets of water and left to take my photos.

Got home several hours later and the reek in the house had faded to a lingering stench. I managed a fast shower and we were out the door again, going to a parade and festivities in another nearby town. The dogs were fine in the outdoor kennel. Since the chance of rain seems to be in the negative numbers these days we left the house open to continue airing out.

Fortunately for the Farmer, by about 8 o'clock that evening, we were able to close up the house and put the central air back on. Otherwise I was going to put up a tent in the back yard and sleep there. He could join me and the dogs in the tent (he is not a fan of tents) or sleep in the weapon of mass destruction zone.

Haven't seen a millipede since.

We'll be married 21 years next month. Really, some days I wonder what he's going to do next.


  1. I have no words. Wait... yes I do: DUH!!!

    Why do men do crap like this?

  2. I have never understood why men do crap like this, but I don't have to understand. I have come to realize that living in the same house with a man is counterproductive for me. No more chemical warfare at my house!

  3. Um, being married to ANY man is a lot like dog training. And I have to say, Mr. Wild Dingo is extremely envious of having a license for commercial pesticide--or probably more envious of the equipment that comes with it. he smuggles a bit of weed killer from the US to CH now and then and dons his backpack and now electric sprayer and has at the garden weeds. (we have a big garden)

    but that's besides the point. I can't wait til the Farmer tops this little doo-hickey