Friday, November 26, 2010

cowed thoughts

I know I promised tales of Yucatan road trips.  And then came the plagues of Egypt.

Well.  That is a bit dramatic.  More like the hurdles of daily life.

Two more were added yesterday.  The microwave decided to die -- and my wireless keyboard decided that s's were an unnecessary sound in English when the z key works perfectly well.  Only to be followed by lines of s's without a key being touched.

But that is not our topic for today.  Instead, I have animal tales.  Not the plague type.  Just interesting things.  Two, to be exact.

I started to open the gate Thursday morning to pull out my truck for some pre-Thanksgiving errands.  But the road was blocked by a team attempting to fix a water main that was turning my cobblestone lane into a bit of wilderness white rapids. 
I was going nowhere until the hemorrhage was stanched.  So, I started closing the gate.

Ants are everywhere in Mexico.  Including the gate area.  I had seen the evidence of their work -- tiny cones of sand -- between the paving stones.  But I never paid any attention to them -- until today.

I had dropped the gate key.  When I picked it up a tiny ant hitched a ride on my hand.  But she was apparently not a very happy ant.  I first felt a tickle, and then a sting -- what nurses now reassuringly call a "pinch" when they insert a hypodermic.

It turns out I have fire ants in my courtyard.  I remember years ago reading about farmers in the south who would run over fire ant hills with their tractors -- and suffer the consequence of ants swarming over the tractor and driver.  The tales had a certain Irwin Allen aura to them.  Frightening -- and just a bit fantastic.

Let me tell you, I am now a true believer.  If that little ant could inflict the damage it did on its own, I cannot imagine what a Ganny of her sisters could do.

There are days when I swear Allent Funt is hiding around the corner from my house.  When I next checked on the progress of the water workers, they were gone.  But just as I opened the gate, what should wander into view? 

A cow.  With a lead trailing behind in the mud.  Merely sauntering from one end of the street to the other.

It is moments like that when I feel an Eddie Albert moment coming on.  The only thing missing was Eva Gabor trailing behind in heels and chiffon.

Of course, my camera was back in the house.  But this photograph from one of my favorite spoof movies will do.

But we have some road trip tales to tell.

And they are coming.  Just you wait.


Tancho said...

Oh Amigo, it is comforting for you to bring up Allen Funt and Eddie Albert, however anyone younger than US, will loose any comprehension to those names.....
And I thought I remembered lots of old stuff?
Who are you going to bring up next , Arthur Godfrey ?

Steve Cotton said...

Tancho -- I had not thought of using the red-headed uke player's name. But I did use Ed Sullivan and Shelley Berman in the same sentence last night. Does that count?

Calypso said...

Red Skelton or Buttons for that matter. It is a given we are old! Now get on with the Yucatan report!

Anonymous said...

As per usual, you fail to understand what lies in front of you. The ants and cow were signs sent by the gods to warn you of impending events which will shape your life to come.

I cannot interpret these signs for you (messages from the gods are always personal and coded). But they are not to be ignored.

You important work to do, Amigo, before it is too late.


Steve Cotton said...

Calypso -- Yucatan coming.

ANM -- The auguries were clear. Don't count your ants until the cows come home.

Adrienne said...

An adventure a day keeps the boredom away. I love enjoying your adventures vicariously - without enduring first-hand the bites, stings, and not knowing when [fill in the blank] will be repaired/replaced. Thanks for taking the hits for me!

Anonymous said...

I once woke up while camping in the middle of a fire ant attack. Those little critters are no joke. I thankfully have not seen them yet in Guanajuato.


Chrissy y Keith said...

FYI, Fire Ants will continue to bite even though they are drowning. Personal experience. After clamering out of the pool in my work outfit. I spent the rest of the day in a self induce Benadryl coma.

cwilson284 said...

I'm sure your use of "staunch" instead of the preferred "stanch" was a keyboard error, not a lapse.

Glad you're back home safe and sound (but for the ants and modem and microwave and the thousand other natural shocks that flesh is heir to). Sorry I didn't get to see you more frequently during your Oregon sojourn. Here's hoping you'll be back soon.

Steve Cotton said...

Adrienne -- Always glad to be a mercenary of adventure on your behalf -- especially when I get the joy out of it.

Wyn -- Yikes! One was enough for me. I give them wide berth now.

Chrissy -- Another fact that makes me respect them.

Ceilson284 -- I am sorry we did not get together. My handicap did get in the way. But I will make appearances now and then. Count on it.

Islagringo said...

You were lucky. Usually those awful ants will wait until about 100 of them are silently on you and then give the attack cry whereupon they all bite at the same time! Been there, suffered that!

Steve Cotton said...

Islagringo -- From everything I have read (and heard), I was expremely lucky. I give them a good deal of respect these days.