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Friday, June 27, 2014

Poop! (or A Rural Enigma)

{All events in this story are true, only the names are unchanged to protect the guilty. Norma really does email me chores.}

Behind the peaceful facade of the bucolic countryside is a hotbed of intrigue. Consider this email I received from a rural address:


Norma to me---
POOP!
This is not supposed to be on my patio!  A new fence is     
                   needed.

Things had been slow lately and I was admittedly smitten with Norma's profile pic. --eyes that could melt a heart or electrocute its owner at considerable distance. I immediately made a long arm and hauled my Rural Private Eye Correspondence Course Textbook, by Famous Shamus Gumshoe, down from its shelf, opened its cover and reread what Oscar Wilde famously wrote, "The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible."

Visible and smellable. Should be an easy case. I responded by calling to the other room, " Ok, but remember, I get $25 a day plus expenses!" No answer. I took that as a yes.

I am familiar with crap and the size of bricks. This brick is a standard 3 1/2 inches, which narrowed suspects to Hoodle The Hawk, any coyote --of which we have a sufficiency in this region-- or some undetermined dastardly defecator. I gave my preliminary report: "Examination of evidence suggests presence of a wild animal of unknown genetic persuasion. Please keep me informed of unusual feral activities."

Soon another email arrived:


Norma to me--
There's something nasty in the woodshed!

When one finds a opossum nesting in a bag of Styrofoam pellets, it is prudent not to disturb the poor creature in daylight. I advised my client accordingly and suggested we discard the bag after the opossum moved to other lodgings. She asked how I could be certain the creature would move away.

"Madam, my methods are my own."

"I'm paying 25 dollars a day for that?"

"And expenses."

Her eyes amped up to electrocutive magnitude. 

"However, in the matter of my fee, it is a fixed sum which never varies lest I remit it altogether."

"In return for what?"

"Your withdrawal of the proposition and insistence that I build a new fence.

"D'accord."

Every man, Famous Shamus Gumshoe graduate consulting detective or not, has a non-aggression pact with wild animals, against whose intrusions fences, old or new, are useless. This saves labor on both sides. It is also helpful, if one is a detective, if one's client does all the detecting. 



20 comments:

  1. Eyes which could melt a heart AND electrocute its owner. I do admire a skilled multi-tasker.
    And this one has undoubtedly resurrected you after electrocution - several times. A keeper. Which you knew.

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    1. Indeed, I have been resurrected twice in recent years, always with her image in my mind.

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  2. Well, this is definitely a first. I've never before laughed at a photo of a turd. I suppose I should extend my gratitude for brightening my formerly smileless day.

    Come to think of it - - I've never seen a photo of a turd before. Not while I was sober, anyway.

    The opossum looks so comfortable and benign. I would hate to bother it - - but, if you really want to inflict injury upon it, perhaps Norma's electrocutive eyes could do the trick.

    We call them "possums" here in redneck country. They are edible.

    I once discovered a muskrat in my garage. It was big and quick. It took over an hour to finally chase him out. He left no turds, so far as I know.

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    1. Norma's photo of the turd on a standard 7 1/2" X 3 1/2" brick was, to me as well, hilarious and conclusive. Coyotes leave turds tapered at one end and hawks, well hawks don't digest everything. We used to have muskrats when the creek ran but no more since subdivision. I do recall some lovely photos you've posted of a reservoir near your home, so I guess that is where your intruder went. Jon, I fear we are both hicks now --help!

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  3. Kind of the 'possum to leave you a present. I'm hoping for video of you and Norma running the little devil off. "there's something nasty in the woodshed"....I feel a Hitchcock type poem coming on lol.

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    1. We alarmed the poor 'possum sufficiently by letting her know she'd been found out. New digs have doubtless already been found.

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  4. We call them "possums" here in Kentucky as well, as Jon refers to about Texas. Haven't seen one for quite a while - alive anyway. Sadly, I see them on the roads all the time. So interesting that they are the only Marsupial in this hemisphere.

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    1. For all the roaming they do, you'd think the poor creatures would be wiser about highways.

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  5. Replies
    1. She has an interesting flair for composition.

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  6. Dear Geo.,
    a wise move from the side of the detective - and the client. Drink a Laphroaig as every hard-boiled detective does, look with glee at Norma (every hard-boiled detective does that too) - and maybe you could send your wild trespasser from cold comfort farm to Dame Edna - it is the time of gladiolas and she always is glad to cry out "Hi, opossums!"
    PS: be kind to opossums - here in the zoo (I dislike zoos, but once in a while one can persuade me to come for one visit) I saw two of them swimming - more: floating - on their back, holding hands! Cute - but .. only in the zoo... not in the woodshed..

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    1. Dear Brigitta, I know there's homage in the post to Stella Gibbons, Conan Doyle, Dashiell Hammett, but I had not yet detected Dame Edna. Thanks! And yes, we are kind to opossums --poor things are so near-sighted and blunder into things when alarmed.

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  7. Sounds like you have honed your negotiating skills to a fine art!

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    1. I'm making progress but only write about my successes here.

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  8. Caught a fox pooping in a field once and he'd been eating berries. That was the best poop I ever saw, shining reds and purples, but the fox looked embarrassed. I wish I'd had a camera then! Emailing chores is useful- saves repeating information. One can just say 'Refer to this morning's instructions.' I may borrow this approach :-)

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    1. Sensible fox! I'd be embarrassed too caught pooping berries. You are quite welcome to Norma's chore alert method!

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  9. What’s a little poo between friends.
    possums are friends too, you know. and this one is really cute.

    Norma needs to live and let live a little. Tell her, if you dare.

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    1. Ah, I should have mentioned: it has to be the 'possum's own decision to relocate. Once disturbed, they generally make the right choice.

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  10. I would love watching all those wild animals visiting me. I'm not sure if I'd like the left behind gifts too much though ;) I'll have to check if we have possums here in Germany, I'm not sure.
    Thank you for your wonderful comment on my last post! I hope you're having an amazing week.

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    1. Most kind and most welcome Beate. I believe the word you're looking for is Beutelratte.

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