Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Things That Intimidated Me On Sunday:

1. Jessie. I have not experienced the intimidation/warning/introduction/handshake/hug (yes, in that order) greeting in some time. After she got past what she called the "A-hole Speech," she was pretty nice, but still a little scary. I tried to remind myself that I am technically an adult while she is still technically a teenager, but since she sort of one-upped me in size, vehicle, and being an EMT, it did not help keep me from being somewhat nervous.

2. Panda Hamster. Sounds cute, doesn't it? I had such good luck shoving my hand in the Teddy Bear Hamster (awww) cage, I assumed the Panda Hamster would also love me. Alas, no. I hope he loved the taste of my blood.

3. Rat Poo. When it is not still partially in the rat, it is not that bad. However, when a rat has burrowed itself halfway down a girl's shirt with its derriere sky high and you realize that it is actively excreting, well, yes, intimidating is one word- but unnerving is closer. The girl in question, in response to this realization, yelped, "Oh, no!" and then leaned over so that the rat droppings slowly fell to the floor while he was still safely tucked in her bosom. Yuck.

4. Chinchillas. They look cute, don't they? They are actually foul, wicked, unpleasant things and I really, really don't like them. It turns out that they don't like being removed from their cage, even for the perfectly reasonable task of cleaning their cage... which they really do need to be removed for, otherwise, they may get wet, and then they may turn the rest of the way into Gremlins. Grabbing at one, I found that they are fast (unexpected), and also that they sit up on their hind legs and make hiss-quacking noises with their tiny, evil mouths. I had to get someone else to extract them, which was fine with me. They also run around in their own urine when they're scared. What jerks.

5. Abigail. No, not really. Abigail is just a baby. A human baby.

6. The Feeder Room. This room is unsettling for these reasons:

     a) The Freezer of Death. This really is what they called it. Open the door to this freezer and you will find the stuff of a rat's nightmares - there are literally rows and rows, stacks and stacks, bags and bags, of frozen rodents. There was also, allegedly, a dead rabbit, but I didn't dig around to find out about it.
     b) The Crickets. One cricket at a time is not that bad, but a tank full of crickets stinks... three or four tanks full stink worse... and they are jumpy... and they are not easy to put in bags. And they apparently eat each other if they are in enclosed spaces for too long.
     c) The Roaches. I shouldn't have to say anything else. "The Roaches" should be enough to upset anyone. Still, you should know that I held an open plastic baggie out for a fifteen-year-old girl to dump a couple dozen in, and that many did not make it into the bag, which meant that, since she was sock-footed, I had to squeeze the bag shut and do a quick roach-killing dance (similar to clogging). I also needed to make a split second decision as to whether someone would mind terribly if I killed a roach beneath their book. Then I had to re-kill that particular roach by covering it with a folded paper towel and hammering it mercilessly with my fist. Then we both got reprimanded for our terrible, high-pitched screaming... I mean me and the girl, not me and the roach. The roach was dead by that point... presumably.

7. Armfuls Of Jessie's Ferrets. When Jessie had to leave, she took her ferrets with her. They had been playing in the large ferret cage with all the resident ferrets, and I really didn't know how many she had, so when she asked if I could help her gather them, I agreed, partly because I'm nice, partly because I like ferrets, and partly because, like I said, she's a little scary and I wanted her to like me. So she began to dig into the ferret cage and hand me furry, slithering mammals one by one. I put two between the fingers on my left hand, threw one over my right shoulder, piled the fourth on top of the first two, and then pulled the fifth to my bosom and followed Jessie, hoping I would not drop anyone. By the time we got to the Ferret Transport, I fortunately had only lost half of one, and he was dangling only almost to the floor. It was fine.

Things That Intimidated Me On Monday:

1. Barbara Streisand in "Hello, Dolly." She was a little disquieting.

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