Ma! He's Makin' Eyes at Me!
But I digress…
Ever notice how when it rains the tree toads throw a hoe-down? I mean, d'ya' hear 'em much when it's a dry evenin'? Let the first little bit of rain hit, 'tho, and they're out there doin' their version of Hee Haw. And they're not shy about passin' around the ole' corn likker jug either.
The other night one figured he'd hop on inside and invite us to join 'em. AHM rounded him up and sent him back to his pickin' 'n grinnin' buddies, but damned if he didn't show up again five minutes later. I checked him out just to see if he was wearin' a little lampshade on his head 'cause ya' wouldn't think a toad would wanna' visit a house full of dogs. Guess he was serious, though, 'cause no sooner did AHM send him on his way than he hopped right back in. She had to slog all the way to the back of the yard to set him free. Think she set him up with a cute little toadette 'cause we haven't seen him since.
Some people just aren't as understandin' about toads.
The other day I rode along when AHM dropped by to visit an older lady friend--I'll call her "May." I got stuck in the back yard 'cause that lady is scared of dogs. Turns out she's scared of lots of other livin' things, too, which is kinda' strange considerin' she spent forty-some years livin' in a New York City apartment. Way I hear it, they got a leash law for the cockroaches up there.
Anyway, there I was, camped out on the back patio, starin' through the open slidin' glass doors at AHM, May, and May's grown-up daughter sittin' and chattin' in the family room. AHM was tellin' 'em funny stories about her new job, which I'd love to repeat, but I'm not allowed 'cause she'd get fired.
Pretty soon May's daughter gets up and leaves the room, sayin' she's just gonna' make a little stop before she leaves to pick up her own daughter. May was insistin' on makin' somethin' to eat, like AHM says she always does, when all of a sudden the daughter comes shriekin' and hollerin' down the hallway.
Now, ya' gotta' understand this daughter is a very large woman. In all directions. 'Specially from the rear elevation, if ya' know what I mean. Let's just say, if ya' ever heard Chris Berman describe video of a lineman "rumblin', bumblin' stumblin'" into the end zone, you pretty much got the picture.
It took a second or two for coherence to set in. Then came the awful news--there was a toad in the toilet. Before AHM could offer to help, May sprang into action, careenin' down the hall to slam the door shut, then grabbin' a bunch of towels to stuff along the bottom. That toad wasn't gonna' escape on her watch.
Silence briefly reigned, then May asked "What was a toad doin' in the bathroom?"
"Lookin' at me," her daughter said.
(Continued in Read the Rest!)
At that point AHM disappeared into the kitchen and returned with a glass of ice. She came outside and dumped the ice into my water bowl (even 'tho I already had enough ice in that water bowl to freeze my teeth) 'cause she was about two snorts shy of bustin' a gut.
"What if you need to use that bathroom?" AHM finally asked when she went back inside and May's daughter had driven away.
"I've got other bathrooms."
"Well, you've got to open the door sometime."
They both went out to the kitchen so May could calm her nerves with cookin' stuff, and I moved to the other end of the patio door tryin' to hear. Not much seemed to be goin' on, 'cept May kept askin' how a toad could get in the bathroom. AHM said it probably came up through the drainpipe, which seemed logical to me considerin' May doesn't have Maury around to haul 'em inside.
AHM kept offerin' to check the bathroom while May kept bangin' pots and insistin' the door stay shut. They finally came back into the family room carryin' plates and glasses, and headed for the table in the corner.
"I sure hope I don't sit down and see that toad starin' at me from the other chair," May was sayin'. So AHM had to check all the chairs. No toad.
At least not on the chairs.
They had just startin' eatin'--and I was hopin' they'd toss something out the door for me--when May jumped up with a shriek that could split a rock (not to mention my eardrums), yanked her chair away from the table, and went trundlin' off to the kitchen as fast as a woman her age could trundle.
AHM kept askin' "What? What?" but May just ignored her, barreling back, huffin' and puffin', with a broom cocked and ready. Smart person that she is, AHM got the hell out of range while May started beatin' the crap out of the bookcase.
"Get out (puff, puff) of here! Out (puff, huff), out, OUT!"
With that last out, May yanked open the sliding screen. Since I was facin' the wrong end of a broom, I didn't figure she was invitin' me inside, so I sidled backwards out of reach. Good thing, too, 'cause May seemed to have forgotten I was out there when she started flailin' away again, bangin' and sweepin'.
Next thing I know, somethin' comes rocketin' under my nose and lands with a splat by my right paw. Right then and there I knew the wisdom of never havin' bought into that treat-toss-'n-catch game 'cause this was not the treat I'd been hopin' to have tossed out the door in my direction.
A dead toad.
A dead, flat toad.
So flat it looked like a starfish. Only flatter.
Imagine catchin' somethin' like that when you're expectin' a Liver Snap®.
"Don't even think of eatin' it," AHM yelled when I sniffed at it.
What was she, nuts? I was gatherin' together my best what-do-you-think- I-am,-stupid? look when May wrenched open that slidin' screen again. Now she was throwin' out little white balls. This time she got me right between the eyes with somethin' so foul it made my toes curl.
"Moth balls," she explained. "That'll keep 'em away."
Hell, lady, enough of those things would keep Godzilla away.
By now I was havin' serious issues with what might come flyin' out that door next and decided livin' was easier down by the back gate, even if it was that much closer to the pool. Don't know if they ever got around to eatin' or not. Eau de mothball is not high on my favorite seasonings list, so I doubt it. And then there was the view of that dead, flat toad lyin' just outside the door…
Like I said, some people just aren't as understandin' about toads.
posted by Harrison at 12:04 PM