Friday, June 19, 2009

a crabby day

For those of you who tuned in to read about factor #4 (warm, sunny days; cool nights), we are going to head off on a tangent.

A related tangent. But a tangent, nonetheless.

Melaque has entered the rainy season. Thunder. Lightening. Rain.

None of that is news. What is news is the march of the creatures from the deep.

Two nights ago, Jiggs and I were headed out through the garage for his midnight walk. When I turned on the lights, the garage floor turned into scurrying mayhem.

My first reaction was that the cockroaches were on steroids. But, I was wrong.

They were crabs. Land crabs.

And the sound they make can only be called scuttling. Carnivorous scavangers with their stiletto defenses -- as if J. Alfred Prufrock had discovered his ragged claws in the second chapter of a Kafka novel.

But The Professor and I ignored this phenomenon -- though it was new to both of us. I have heard the tales of land crabs, but I had never seen one.

The Crab was not to be so easily ignored. Yesterday morning, while opening the house to catch the cooler morning breeze, I found the fellow pictured above. He decided to repose on the screen door.

I took that as an omen to spend part of the day away from the house with Jiggs. So, over the ridge we went to a small beach community: Cuastecomates.

I suspect because it was in the middle of the week on a rainy June day that the place was deserted. Deserted as in ghost town deserted. Other than seeing two dogs, Jiggs and I had the beach to ourselves. We still had to share the town with a mottled carpet of land crabs.

Just when I thought it was a perfect day, Jiggs discovered the one strip of boggy septic water on the beach. I know it was septic because I have a nose. I could also see the source of the pipe -- rest rooms next to the beach.

The solution was easy. We simply took a quick wade in the warm ocean.

But the incident reminded me of another of Jiggs's antics.

The year was 2001. I was doing trial work at the time. Jiggs and I had driven down to Klamath Falls, a town John Calypso and Gypsy Rose Lee (at different times, I might add) know very well.

I had just checked out of my motel room and was about to drive over to the courthouse. Jiggs needed a walk, and the county fairgrounds was just across the road. So, walk we did.

While I was practicing my opening statement, Jiggs wandered. I looked around and discovered that his wandering included getting into a ditch that drained the waste from the fairground livestock barns. He was in it up to his shoulders.

So, there I am in my three-piece suit and a dog that could scare away a skunk.

I am not certain that being in New York City would have been any better. Where do you take dog that is a scent sample for a perfumist's nightmare?

I grabbed the yellow pages. Found a pet groomer. Wrapped Jiggs in a sheet. And headed off to the groomer.

The groomer knew only that I needed to get my dog washed, and agreed to fit him into the regular schedule. When I unwrapped him, the groomer almost backed out of the deal.

But I headed off to my trial. I think it went well. After all, what law war story ever goes badly?

I do know I was happy to have Jiggs back in the car for the seven-hour drive home -- through the worst snow storm I have ever experienced. But that is another story.

Yesterday, Jiggs smelled a bit of the sea (and land crabs). And I can tuck away this story with my growing treasury of dog tales.

The day was not sunny, but it was warm. And the night certainly was not cool.

But that sounds like a lead-in to factor #4.




American Mommy in Mexico said...

That picture made me smile bright and early this morning.

Guess we need to go check out the crab situation on our beach ...

BoBo's Mom said...

I bet Jiggs loved that smell. Kind of reminds me of the time when BoBo decided to roll in a dead rat.

Julian from SC said...

Ah, yet another reason that I've always had cats over the last 35 years. Never will you willing see a cat do such a thing to itself!!

I'm reminded of a phrase Rush Limbaugh used once: "Dogs have masters - cats have staff!"


Anonymous said...

Hope we get to hear about the worst snowstorm ever, someday on the blog. Might be a nice contrast some hot August day.

Feel so happy here in Texas that Jiggs has continued on in the land of the living.


Steve Cotton said...

AMM -- Try the lawn -- especially, under the trees. It is a treasure trove out there.

BoBo's Mom -- He is attracted to septaic drains as if they were scent magnets.

Anonymous said...

For him, I guess they ARE scent magnets. My dogs favored dead things, when we lived in the country. Now they're frustrated in a fenced suburban yard... they're going to love Mexico!

Steve Cotton said...

Julian -- Jiggs doesn't buy that "master" stuff -- unless it refers to his role.

Charley -- I am certain that the snow story will figure into one of my future posts. It stars Jiggs in his Michael Tyson personification.

Jodancingtree -- Mexico has more than enough scents to keep Jiggs interested. Our forays on the beach are a Whitman's sampler of smells. I have to watch him, though. He is as bad as a two-year old -- putting everything in his mouth. The beach has a lot of deadly tastes for dogs.

Islagringo said...

You still have jellyfish season to get through. Which I believe is late June there. Don't let him bite into one of those! You will find them littered all over the beach. They look like clear breast implants.

Are you saying that that pipe was draining directly into the ocean??

glorv1 said...

It's good hear that Mr. Jiggs has his sense of smell and is discovering "familiar" things on the beach. I like hearing that he is having fun and doing doggone fun things. If I wore a hat, I'd be tipping it to the Professor Jiggs, I'm tipping it anyway. You go Jiggs, get up to your shoulders in whatever you want as long as you have fun! I really felt relaxed reading your post this morning, now I can go outside and hang clothes and think of the wonderful things there are to do in this life. Ah, septic....where we live, we have one too, a tank that is. :) Take care and have a great weekend.

Babs said...

Custacomate is never busy - a great place to have a cool one and a shrimp cocktail, usually.

I don't know if you could catch those crabs and boil them. We sure did that with the blue crabs in Galveston.....ask around. Your dinner might be clinging to the screen door.....YUK. I killed a scorpion last night, that was bad enough. The second this week! It was near my bed!!! HORRORS.

Steve Cotton said...

Islandgringo -- Jiggs and I know all about jellyfish. We have the same problem on the Oregon beach. As for the drain: No, it did not drain directly into the ocean. It drained directly onto the beach -- right next to the volleyball net. Reminded me of Andee's complaint about the RVers in Chacala dumping black water on the beach.

Gloria -- Enjoy your day.

Babs -- Cool ones and shrimp cocktail were not to be found. Nothing open. Not one person to be seen in the entire village. It was weird. Remember the SMA photographs you posted the other day? It was just like that. But it looked as if no one had been there for weeks. Not a single car at the hotel. All of the restaurants were locked tight.

Beth said...

Crabs scuttling through the house, snakes lurking in bushes, crocodiles in the local swimming holes, engery-zapping heat & humidity. Remind me again why you moved there?

peachland said...

Possibly a win win for Jiggs,stinky sewer and a bit of a dip in the salt water.Good thing he had the summer haircut on easier for you to get him swished down.Yes go Jiggs,nice to see him out an about even if it is at midnight.The water looks fairly calm there,can you swim without worry of the big waves,better question do you want to,maybe the other end is outflow free.
take care

Constantino said...

"They look like clear breast implants."
....ah....that's an interesting picture...
Steve, you make it sound so uninviting to live in that area. first the heat, then the sewage on the beach, then the alligators and lack of any culture....what made you come to pick that area in the first place?
It's nothing like Salem or any coastal town on the Oregon border, as a matter of fact I don't know any town on the coast that still has stuff like that on the beach.....That would be a reason not to eat the fish from that bay.....

Jackie said...

I have a friend who lives on Isla and I remember her telling me when her son was little she was always finding crabs in his toy box. Another story was when a couple of friends and I visited another friend who lives on the island. My friend was a quite hung over and ready to vomit. She ran into the bathroom and nearly lost it when a crab scuttled by her. It totally freaked her out and she was already pretty shaky. They are harmless and as scared of humans as humans may be off them.

Steve Cotton said...

Beth -- Adventure. Remember?

Peachland -- That beach would be great for Jiggs to do a little swimming. But he is very wary of the waves now, having been knocked down twice on this trip south.

Constantino -- Melaque has a lot of things that I enjoy. Just being by the water tops the list -- even though that does not show up on any of my factors. By the way, I do not eat fish out of any bay. Really dislike it.

Jackie -- The crabs are great. They continue to amuse me -- especially with their shyness. They can scuttle through some of the smallest imaginable spaces in their desire to escape. I suspect they must be very low on the food chain. I find their skeletal remains scattered across the yard.

peachland said...

They scare me after being knocked down,it was like somone held me down,I remember thinking,am I ever going to surface,it was just a few seconds and that was years ago,I am very careful to watch those waves

Steve Cotton said...

Peachland -- The waves on the beach behind my house can be deadly. Jiggs is accustomed to waves rolling over him, but not with the force of the Melaque waves. And with his weak back legs, he lacks confidence around any moving water.