A Manner-less Father

revolving2

Being a single dad with three young daughters was scary.  Early on, there were things that caused me a great deal of anxiety.  One was my ability to raise girls who weren’t totally oblivious to typical societal norms.   I really wanted them to be poised – to have good manners.  So, I sent them to Cotillion.

I’m from Fayetteville.  We don’t do Cotillion there.  Although my mother is lovely and has very good manners, she raised a house of boys.  A win for her was no passing gas during Sunday lunch.  Learning to use a bread knife was low on her priority list.

The first year of Cotillion was focused on learning the basics.  A few dance moves, everyone loves a good Fox Trot, boys getting potato chips for the girls and dressing for success.  We learned a great deal through this process.  Gloves are a great way to mitigate gross, sweaty hands.  Wing tips hurt when they clomp on sandaled toes.  Boys are often shorter than girls in 5th grade.

On evening after class, my youngest daughter came home in a huff.  “Dad, you’re not going to believe this one!  During the slow dance tonight, the boy I was dancing with held on to my underwear the entire song!  Like gripped them on either side!”  I was amused but unalarmed.  “I’m sure he didn’t know – he probably wasn’t wearing any himself.”  Sounds like something my older brother would do.

Years two and three were more focused on manners.  One of my kids shared with me that if you go into a building with a revolving door, there is etiquette on how to proceed through.  Apparently if the door is not moving, the guy should go first to get the door started.  If it is already moving, the woman should go through the door first.

I’m assuming this was designed so that the “weaker” sex wouldn’t have to strain to get the revolving door revolving.  That is not the case in my house.  My fiancé could pummel most guys.  She’s strong.  Hot yoga’s her thing.  She can hold a plank for a solid afternoon.  And, she has impeccable manners.  I’ll not be starting the revolving door for her.  She’s more capable than I.

This dad raising three daughters alone left a number of gaps.  Belches aren’t all that uncommon.  Mouths are often full when talking.  Gum might be chewed at church.  Forks, spoons and butter knives are interchangeable.  And I’ve taught them to smell their clothing to determine whether it really needs to be washed.  I didn’t realize that was questionable until very recently.

But somehow, perhaps through out of my house osmosis, they’ve come out alright.  Strong, attractive, polite and well-mannered young women.  Or maybe it was Cotillion.

 

 

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To My Surprise

Kyle

I don’t want to spend a lot of time talking about the specific boy.  It is really irrelevant at this point and not appropriate for me to be expounding upon… yet.  But for the first time, my eldest is dating someone – although I’m not sure she used that term and if I get it wrong, I’ll hear about it.  Maybe they’re going out or courting or strongly connecting.  Who knows what they call it now?

I’m not saying she has never dated before.  She has.  This is the just first time it seems to be sort of exclusive save “The Donald” from 10th grade that lasted about a month and ended tragically, for him, at Moe’s Tex-Mex restaurant in Cameron Village, an upscale strip mall here in Raleigh.

Although, as all this has unfolded, I could totally be wrong.  She could have dated exclusively, and I had no idea what’s went on!  I continue to learn things about our kids that surprise me.  I don’t think the five of them are truly coming clean.

I’ve heard this guy’s name for two years now.  We’ll call him Harry.  It sort of went like this:

Me:  “What did you do this weekend DJ?”

DJ:  “Well, Harry and I watched a movie at his apartment.”

Me:  “Hmm.”

Next weekend –

Me:  “What did you do this weekend DJ?”

DJ:  “Well, Harry and I went to dinner and then a party at his Fraternity.”

Me:  “Hmm.”  Harry again.

I mean I’m not stupid.  Last fall I commented that she and Harry sure did seem to enjoy each other – or she was lacking in the friendship department cause every other sentence was Harry this and Harry that. I was assured they were just friends.  Yeah – and the hairs slowing taking over my temples are blonde, not gray.

The way I found out about this relationship was via a family group text.

Michelle shared a funny photo with the fam and bantering ensued.  At the end of the string of texts, coming from three different cities and four different people, DJ wrote: BTW (By The Way for my mom and dad) – Harry and I are dating.

I called immediately.  She did not pick up.  Probably in class or something, right?

Michelle wrote back – you serious?

Stephanie chimed in:  Yes!  She is.  She called and told me last week.

There are three problems here:

  1. This had been going on for several weeks, at least, and I was just finding out
  2. DJ told Stephanie before she told me

AND…

3.  Stephanie didn’t call and tell me the news (she swears she was sworn to secrecy but I thought better of her).

I’m good with all this – actually makes me very happy.  I’m just having to get used to all this going on without my knowledge.

One day I asked Stephanie what she did the night before.  She replied, “I went to Target.”  I do believe that is true.  However, her sister also innocently told me she saw a picture of Steph on her Instagram story at a party that same night.

Maybe the party was at Target…

And I can’t even guess what else is going on with these five offspring of ours.  Julie’s son is holed up in Athens, GA, or so he says.  One weekend he’s at a Fraternity party in Alabama, the next a sorority party in Memphis and the next spring break in Cancun.

Next time Julie and I want to get away, we’re just gonna tell them all “We’re going to Target.”  That’ll teach them!

Maybe it’s best I don’t know all that’s going on.  I like my peaceful life – sitting around watching DVR’d 60 Minute episodes thinking my kids are doing the same.  Ahhh – the joy of not knowing.

 

Little Bitty Neck

Bruce Ham Head Shot

2014, five full years ago!

Bruce Ham Head Shot, 2-19

Little Neck, Today

About every five years, our marketing department decides that the leadership team at work needs new head shots.  These are pictures of your head – just your head – that you use for professional purposes.  Like when I speak at a conference, I’m often asked to send a “head shot” so I forward my pic.

 

I am fairly happy with my 2014 headshot.  I look young.  I’m not sure why we’d want to alter that.

My boss has looked the same for the past twenty years.  You could toss his past five headshots into a basket and not know which came first.  Me, not so much.  There is a definitive difference between late forties and mid-fifties.

I am compliant, so I went onto the Signup Genius to choose the time to meet with the photographer.  When my time came, I meandered unexcitedly to the small conference room where they had set up shop.  The email calling for new pics informed us that there would be a makeup/hair stylist to help us look our best.

I wondered why.  I mean, we’re the Y.  Aren’t we supposed to look recreational?  Besides, there are only like two employees at our corporate office who have ever worn makeup, and I don’t count because it was when I was in a play.

I showed up promptly at 11:20 AM.  I was allotted 15 minutes.  A VP of Marketing was ahead of me.  She looked great – wearing her Sunday best.

I knew there was little anyone could do with the hair.  And I declined the makeup.

She insisted, “I just want to take the sheen off of your forehead.”

I didn’t know my forehead had a sheen!  All this time I’ve been walking around with a shiny forehead and no one told me.  How embarrassing.

She powdered me up.

She then pulled out lipstick, I reared back.  “You’re not putting that stuff on my lips,” I told the woman who was desperately trying to earn her keep.

Give me that mouth, she argued.

I think she got paid by the lip.

When I realized she was essentially putting fancy Chapstick on me, I acquiesced.  There was no color, although I thought I saw a sparkle on the end of the tube.

A friend of mine was helping to coordinate us bums so I asked her to crack some jokes so that I would look happy.  I have a tendency for the fixed pose with a fake smile.  She began to taunt me, which is not unusual for this co-worker.  I laughed and our time was over.

When I received the proof of my pic, I quickly opened my last one taken a half a decade or so earlier.  It was sad really.  The gray protruding from my temples today.  The wrinkles more wrinkly in 2019.  I should have been more lenient on my makeup friend.  Perhaps she could have made this look better.

That night I showed the photo to Michelle.  She sent the pic to her sisters.

DJ responded immediately with a haha text thought bubble.

That didn’t make me feel great.  Haha?  Shouldn’t that be reserved for a hilarious joke??

Michelle then remarked, “Dad looks very happy!!!!!!!!!”

Why so many explanation marks??????  Do I not usually look that happy?

Stephanie replied, He does look happy.  Followed by, His neck looks so small.

Seriously?  Like who wants a frickin’ enormous neck?  It just normal.  Just a normal neck.  On the slightly thin side, but just a neck that’s working hard to hold up a big shiny forehead apparently and two slightly glittered lips.

After that exchange I was worried a bit about my headshot.  Until the Marketing Director sent us links to all of the headshots.  I’ll have to confess, I opened them all just out of curiosity.  And when I saw my good friend’s pic, I felt much better about mine.

Where did she go?

beaker

On Saturday I went to get my hair cut.  Although I want my hair to look good, I don’t invest in it.  I use $1.79 Suave shampoo.  I get my hair cut about every two months.  I get it cut short.  I let it grow long.  Then I pay $15 to have it pruned again.

I have Supercuts saved in my contacts so I can call about 15 minutes before I arrive.  That way when I walk in the door, I get to jump in front of the big haired dudes sitting on the purple benches who got there before me but hadn’t called in advance.  I LOVE that feeling.  I feel so… special.

This time, right when I walked in, my stylist, I use that term loosely ‘cause there ain’t that much style, called me to the chair.  She was a short, plump woman with long, thick, curly blonde hair.  She wrapped my body in a black, plastic cover and tucked a dryer sheet looking piece of cloth around my skinny little neck to keep the clippings out of my shirt.

She began her work.  A number 5 clipper guard in the back of my head, a number 6 on sides.  The top is hacked with scissors.  As she was nearing the end of the clipper stage of my cut, she abruptly left the room.

“Excuse me,” she said.

She walked quickly to the back of the salon and disappeared.  I thought it odd but assumed she had a little stomach issue or something.

I waited.  After 8 or 9 minutes, I grew tired of looking at myself in the mirror and pulled out my phone.

After 12 or so minutes, I’d glanced through my emails and had begun to wonder if my friend was OK.  What if she’s out cold in the break room?  I wondered.  What if she’s had a medical emergency?  What if she had grown weary of giving haircuts and had left for the Caribbean?

I looked at my head.  My hair had been sheered with the trimmers three quarters up my entire skull.  The top was the exact same length as when I’d walked into the place thirty minutes before.  I looked like Beaker from the Muppets.  If she didn’t come back, would another employee finish the job?  Would I have to walk out with a bowl cut?  Would there be another salon open on a Saturday afternoon that could fix this issue?

At around 15 minutes another staff member disappeared into the breakroom.  It had become noticeable to all that she might not return.

I glanced around nervously concerned for her (and for me).

At 18 minutes she appeared, her face was blanched.

I wasn’t sure if I should say something, but it was obvious that I noticed she was gone.

“Are you OK?” I tentatively asked.

“Un.  It’s hot in here isn’t it?” she responded.

“Yeah.  Sort of.”  There was a temperature change that day and the heater seemed to still think it was 24 degrees outside.

Then she began to explain.  “Well I’m wearing a wig.  It’s squeezing my head and heating me up!  I bet I’m 15 degrees hotter than you.  I was about to pass out.  I had to go take that thing off for a little while.  Get some blood movin’ up there.”

I wasn’t quite sure what to say.  I didn’t know a wig could do that.  In fact, I had no idea she was wearing a wig!  I had not seen a wig since I opened my grandmother’s closet in 1972 and a Styrofoam head with blonde hair fell down and nearly made me wet my pants.

I’m not sure what I said to the woman after she confessed that her hair wasn’t real.  I think I came up with something like, “Well.  I’m glad you got that worked out.”

I left her a big tip and told her maybe she should take the rest of the day off.  Or maybe, just remove the wig.  I mean, she’s a cosmetologist.  I saw her credentials hanging at her booth.  Couldn’t she fix her real hair?

Oh My Aching Back

I’ve done it reaching for toilet paper.  This time it was bending down to pick up a cup – a very light, unheavy, glass half full of water.  I pulled my lower back out on New Year’s Eve morning helping Julie straighten up for the cleaning ladies who showed up unexpectedly.

That begs the question, “Why do we cleanup for the cleaning ladies?”  I don’t do any prep work for the yardman.  Well, if I had a yardman I’m certain I wouldn’t pre-mow.

There is a guy at work who has a ton of back pain.  I have jabbed about it – referring to him as Broken Back Boy.  I will not do that again.  This is not funny.  Not funny AT ALL.

It has been a week, and I can just now wipe myself without excruciating pain.

You know you’re in a bad spot when…

IT HURTS LIKE HELL TO WIPE YOUR BUTT!

It is the little things I take for granted.

Who knew putting your socks on could be such a challenge.  Julie did it the first day, but then she had to go back to her house.  Then it was up to me.  I’d bend over as far as I could, hold the very edge of the sock with my longest fingers and then toss the sock toward my big toe in the hopes I’d get some traction so I could pull back into my comfort zone and get those little boogers up my calves.  It was a loafer kind of week.  Tying was out of the question.

Thank goodness I’m a slight guy.  At night I’d gently lie on the edge of the bed, then take my left hand, grab the side of my boxers and drag my body toward the middle of my Mattress Firm, which it ends up is not even that firm.  The nightstand was my grip to get out the next day.  I didn’t even consider a mid night bathroom run.  OUT OF THE QUESTION.

My children are ribbing me, mocking me when they walk past in a bent position with their hand on their back yelling strings of sentences with silences to represent the bleeping out of curse words.

A lady at work left a walker in my office.  I tried to use it but it was too short.

I’ve been to a chiropractor three times.  I got a therapeutic massage.  My MD gave me a muscle relaxer.  I’ve taken more ibuprofen than there are stars in the sky.  And my back is still as tight as a tic.

Is this what old looks like?  Will this happen more often?  Are other things going to go out of whack?

No.  That can’t be the case.  I’m only 53.  This must be a fluke.

 

 

The Final Driver’s License

Michelle got her driver’s license yesterday.

These transitions, they are glorious.  These transitions, they are painful.

How happy I will be that I can sleep a few minutes later each morning, I do love my bed especially before 7 AM.  How nice it will be NOT to have to spend 8 minutes of my day at the stop light at the corner of Wade Avenue and Dixie Trail.  Seriously, you could cook a 20 pound turkey on low while you wait at that light.  How nice it will be not to be running into the office with my hair on fire, the last one at the meeting, ALWAYS.  How nice it will be not to have to rush out of the office at the end of the day, the laptop constantly needing to update on my way out the door, knowing my kid is likely the last one sitting on the bench outside wondering if dad will ever come.

And SAT-TUR-DAY MORNINGS!  How does this kid end up with so many stinkin’ activities on Saturday mornings at 8?  When I was a kid the only activity we had on Saturday mornings was quietly watching Shazam so I didn’t wake my old man:

Chosen from among all others, by the immortal elders Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Achilles, Mercury – Billy Batson and his mentor travel the highways and byways of the land…

I loved Billy Batson and his mentor.

Michelle can now go on a weekend morning.  I can give her a hug and wave goodbye, still in my sweats with a warm cup-o-joe.

It’s a wonderful rite of passage.

It is breaking my heart.

My favorite time of the day is when I ride around with Michelle.  It’s when we debrief.  I tell her about my day, she shares about hers – unless she is cranky, and then we just ride.  We laugh.  We run errands.  We solve the problems of the world.  She shares new music with me, I’m hip like that.

Now it’s just me.  Me and my tired Spotify playlist.

I remember the last lunch I packed for her over a year ago when she was a student at St. Timothy’s School.  Before that day, I cursed the turkey sandwich.  The Zip Lock bag was my nemesis.  I wished for a lunch fairy to meet me each morning with the bag packed and the water bottle filled.  I dreamed of a day when I wouldn’t slop greasy lunch meat at 6:30 AM.

My dream came true.  Now I miss turkey.  Funny how that happens.

So often I ponder and wish for the stuff that will come.  Then it does, and I wish it weren’t so.

Yeah, I’ll enjoy a few more minutes of sleep.  I’ll get used to her new independence.  But damn, it went by too fast.

The Ads, Good Lord, The Ads

Deviere

I am thankful, thankful that political ads are OVER!

What the heck?

Apparently Kirk Deviere, a candidate for the North Carolina Senate, dresses nicely, with cuff links and  pocket squares – a criticism from his opponent that he looks good on the outside but apparently is a scoundrel on the inside.  I don’t give a rat’s behind how Kirk Deviere dresses.  I just care about what he might vote for!!  And whether he’s competent!  And I also have cuff links!  And his opponent, who had a photo, very small, at the bottom of the ad, looks sort of messy.  AND, Kirk Deviere is NOT even in my district, yet I am subjected to this hourly bashing of him!

One Super Pac, whatever that is, found the worst photo that has ever been taken of a North Carolina US Senate candidate, and accused her of not paying her taxes on time.  Like not paying them on time 66 times!

I’ll have to admit, I was quite appalled, until I read an article in the local newspaper that quoted her OPPONENT as saying that the ad was unfair and misleading to her explaining that the candidate in question received her property tax notice that says it is due by Sept. 30 each year but delinquent if paid after January 1.  Apparently she paid before January 1 like EVERYONE else in Wake County but missed the September 30 “due” date.

Guess what?  My property tax bill, which was due on Sept. 30, is sitting on my kitchen counter.  It will be paid by January 1, and my $5,000 will be collecting interest in the interim.

What ding dong would pay it in September?  Maybe the guy who ran against Kirk Deviere?

By the way, I don’t even know Kirk Deviere, whether he is a Democrat or Republican.  I also don’t know his opponent, not even his name.  The ad just annoyed the crap out of me.

You can tell when an ad starts if it is going to be snarky.  The images are gray, clouds are surrounding an unattractive candidate wearing workout clothes with her mouth wide open, a sprig of spinach tucked in her front teeth.  And then, suddenly, like the second coming of Christ, the clouds part, the sun comes out, the photos become clear and spring flowers descend upon the screen while the professionally taken photo of the sponsoring wannabe politician slowly comes into clear view.

Give me a break!  I know what they’re doing, and it makes me want to vote for someone else!  Stop it!  It is rude and distasteful.

I have an idea.  What if folks running for office honestly told us what they believe?  What their values are – what issues they would vote for and what they would vote against.  How about disqualification if they mentioned their opponent?  And what if we limited their commercials to two.  Only two.  And only the week right before the election.  We could all go to Singapore that week to put us out of our misery.

I recorded CBS Sunday morning before the election and turned it on last night to catch up.  Because it was a week old, I walked in the room and heard a political ad.  I had a visceral reaction.  It threw me back to a time of my life I didn’t want to return to: last Tuesday, pre-election.

It’s just a sad, sad state.

Hurricanes, Go AWAY!

It must have been the first of September in 1996 when Lisa’s grandmother, Tutu, called to see if she and Papa could stay with us.  Hurricane Fran was on her way.  The grandfolks were living in a very nice retirement community in Wilmington.  The place was evacuating.

I loved Tutu and Papa.  She was more fun than a barrel of monkeys, she called me Mr. Wonderful.  And he, he was just a very good man.

Fran left us without power for over a week.  The devastation was significant in eastern and central North Carolina.

Toward the end of their stay, Tutu called a friend who had evacuated with the other residents of the retirement community on chartered buses.

“How was the armory?” Tutu asked.

“We didn’t stay at an armory!  We stayed at the Omni.  The nicest hotel I’ve ever been to!”

While Tutu and Papa had been roughing it out in an unairconditioned home, brewing coffee on the backyard grill, their friends had been hooting it up at a five star hotel in Chapel Hill, NC, one city over!  Apparently, they didn’t clearly catch the evacuation plan.

For Florence, my workplace had an extensive, well thought out plan.  One slight glitch:  I was assigned to check on our corporate office in the event of significant damage.  Made sense.  I live nearby.  The conference call for preparations went something like this:

We may take the servers down on Thursday afternoon.  If we do, we will just need someone to bring them back online when the weather clears.

I heard a few snickers on the line.

Someone asked, “Didn’t you say Danny was the primary contact for the corporate office?”  My name was emphasized like when Scotty Cannon didn’t pick me for the kickball team in elementary school – “I don’t want Danny on my team.”

More snickers.

I knew what they were implying.  I’m not that technical.  My mind is just not made that way.  But I am very adept at talking, something not every IT genius excels at.

I jumped in the conversation:  Hey, hey.  I know what you’re implying.  Don’t you worry.  Those little servers are in very good hands!  I got it.  By the way, where are the servers and will they have food?

I knew that’s not the sort of server they were talking about, but it was fun to envision the head IT guy squirm a bit.  I’m still frustrated that my Google Chrome keeps cutting off for no reason what-SO-EVER!

I am thankful that, for the most part, my family and friends were sparred the worst from the storm.  I am, however, very sad that so many people are suffering.  And often it seems like those who get the most damage are the ones with the least financial resources.  My heart goes out to them.  Perhaps we can all find a way to contribute to the recovery effort.

Roll Call

Last week, at Elon’s orientation, Julie and I were with a group of parents and were asked how many kids we have.  It’s sort of complicated, I thought to myself, but at the time, the word “five” just rolled off my tongue.  The other females in the group looked at Julie like she had lost her mind because y’all, that is a lot of kids!  Like more than two is a great plenty.  But FIVE?  Had she birthed them all she would have been pregnant for half a decade.

Three are in college.  One in DC, one at the University of Georgia and one in Burlington, NC, at Elon University.  Julie and her youngest are in Charlotte.  Michelle and I are in Raleigh.  We span five cities and three states.  If you speak to various members of this new tribe, you can often piece together a picture of what’s going on with each family member.  I secretly love it when siblings know something about each other that I’m unaware of.  It means they might talk to each other and be kind in the long term future.  A nice change from “You wore MY DRESS without MY permission????”

Keeping up with the crew is becoming increasingly difficult.  I believe it was DJ who started the first family Roll Call.  One kid sends a text to the entire family group:  Roll Call.  The appropriate response is a photo.  A come as you are, right then, right now pic sent back to the group as soon as possible.  This was our last call from earlier this summer.

Bailey

Child #1

Will

Child #2

Lucy

Child #3

lizzie

Child #4

Annie

Child #5

When Julie and I sent our picture, Michelle was shook!

“I cannot believe that the kids all sent pictures from our bunks at camp, with boxes of Cheez-It’s, hair in towels, unshaven, looking all regular and you and Julie sent this!”

Bruce and Julie

“I mean seriously?  Julie’s all in a long dress, and you’re wearing pants!  Probably just finished a glass of wine or something.  Are –  you –  KIDDING?  Is this how it is going to be?  We sit at home eating Cheez-It’s while y’all go out to fancy dinners?  We want in on that action!”

Truth be told, this crew would probably prefer the Shake Shack to grilled salmon and Nike shorts to pants with a button any day of the week.  Regardless, a little Roll Call every now and then is a good way to see your kids’ faces – which is nice when they are not coming in your door on the daily.

I HATE Snakes!

black_snake_l1

About two years ago, my fiancé, Julie, sent me a frantic text.  It was afternoon.  I was sitting at my desk.

I’ve been bitten by a snake. 

Julie has a large natural area in the front of her house.  She walks her dog down to the mailbox most afternoons.  On this particular day, the coiled up viper saw her.  He was jaywalking across her driveway.  Unfortunately, she didn’t see him.

Ever since, I’ve been leery of walking outdoors in Charlotte, NC.  I DON’T LIKE SNAKES, and apparently on that side of our state they are rampant!

Therefore, I was rather taken aback two weeks ago when I walked into Julie’s kitchen on a lazy Saturday morning at 10.  It was hazy outside – thus not real bright inside the house.  I glanced down at the floor and saw a long, black, squiggly rope half way under the fridge.

I stopped.

It was still.

I turned on the light.

It was still still.

I took a step forward wondering if it could be rubber foam from underneath her appliance that had fallen off.

As I approached, the squiggle wiggled.

“JULIE!  COME HERE!  NOW!  There’s a SNAKE in the KITCHEN!”

By the time she entered, homeboy had slid all the way under.

I don’t care if a snake is black, white or polka dot.  Poisonous?  Doesn’t matter.  As a friend says, I don’t trust nothing that ain’t got shoulders.

Julie called Critter Control.  He said they didn’t have a technician on hand and that it was the weekend.  They’d charge an awful lot to come get him.

“I’ll pitch in!”  I yelled.

I love my money, but I hate snakes more.

He told her to call 311, it’s a city number.  And to tell them the snake was distressing her.  That would not have been a lie.

What the heck is 311?  It sounds like a place that you put people who flunk out of the Police Academy.

I told Julie to watch the refrigerator – not to let the snake out of her sight while I went to get a weapon.

When I came back in, Julie was chatting it up with the 311 operator while she stood on the other side of the dining room.  Julie tends to stroll around when she’s talking on the phone.

“You’re not watching the snake!!!!”

But she and the operator were having a lovely conversation.

It was clear that this job was not going to be taken care of by a professional.  No.  It was going to be taken care of by me.

We called Joe, a neighbor.  Joe too dislikes snakes, but perhaps less than I.

Joe asked, “Danny, do you want to pull the refrigerator out from the wall, or do you want to kill the snake.”

That’s like asking “Do you want a hand full of cash or a rectal exam?”  But it was my fiancé’s house, I had to offer.

“You pick Joe!  I’ll do either.”

I’m sure he could sense fear.

“I’ve never killed a snake before.  This’ll be a great story for my wife.”

I love Joe.

He got the spade. I grabbed the appliance.  As I started shifting it forward, Joe informed me that our friend was headed my way.  I jumped ten feet in the air grabbing my flat shovel in the process.  He squirmed along the baseboard with his mouth wide open.  His fangs were enormous (or maybe incisors, I couldn’t really tell).  I pinned him against the wall as he squirmed for his life.  Joe got his tool near his head.  Victory was ours.

The next day the critter man did come out.  He checked for entry points.  Nothing.  I’m guessing he came in through the door just like the rest of us.

The only unanswered question I have from this incident is “Why would someone work for Critter Control?”  I just don’t get it.

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