Have I mentioned that there is never a dull moment at my house? "Bizarre" just seems to follow me around. Before I tell my story, I need you to understand that I am married to a Type A personality, while I am a Type Z, (if there is such a thing) with A being the most high strung, serious type and Z being the most laid back, humorous type. You know, they say "opposites attract". I suppose that may be true...
If you would indulge me, I'd like to tell this story in my "author" persona:
(Da-da-da-dum) dramatic music cue -
It was late...time for little Buddy's, the Yorkie, "business before bedtime" walk-a-bout with his mommy, Sandra. Their ritual always included a flashlight to spot all of the creatures of the night. You see, they lived in the wilderness where bears, deer, coyotes, skunks, armadillos, snakes, frogs and spiders roam at night.
On this particular evening, Sandra was entranced by the ten eyes of the deer reflecting in the light as she shined her flashlight into the field. She carefully scanned the flowerbeds, the patio, the yard and was satisfied that all was quiet. A bullfrog caught her attention...then another. As her flashlight swooped across the mulch, something else caught her eye. Coiled up so nice and tight was a beautifully marked, very well camouflaged Copperhead. It was a wonder she ever saw it. "Dang, I think that's a copperhead," she said to herself. "They really are pretty snakes." But, she knew what must be done, so she scurried little Buddy to the back door and went inside to fetch her man.
Putting Buddy inside, Sandra and her man ventured out with flashlight/shovel in hand to deal with Mr. Copperhead. Sandra was in charge of the flashlight, which if any of you have ever held this esteemed position with your man, knows that no matter how you hold it, it's not going to be right. So, the tension was already in the air as her man repeatedly said, "Hold the light still!" "Quit moving it around so much!" "What are you doing!" "Don't get so close." "Don't you have any common sense?" (Type A)
As the shovel hit it's mark and the bottom two-thirds of the copperhead was twitching, Sandra glanced away for just a brief second. Creeping up behind her man so close they could have licked his feet were two of the biggest armadillos on the face of the earth! May I digress for a moment?
For weeks now, armadillos had been annihilating their flowerbeds. Sandra and her man had been stalking around quietly with Ninja stealth, trying to catch these creatures of destruction in the act. Nada...never a sighting...each morning revealing more and more damage. So, what's up with this? Her man is banging a shovel, they are raising their voices to one another, making the racket of a battle in progress and two armadillos come running to what...check it out??????
Needless to say, Sandra was completely caught off guard by these creatures sneaking up from behind and was so startled she shouted, "OH MY Gosh! There are two big ones right behind you!"
Did you know that it is of utmost importance to define WHAT is behind a person who is in the middle of chopping a copperhead in two? Well, Sandra didn't either until her man yelled a few choice words and jumped 6 feet in the air. (are you beginning to get a visual here?) He was some kind of mad when he realized that Sandra's warning was about armadillos instead of copperheads. (well, mad in the sense that she nearly gave him a heart attack for nothing, not because he wanted it to be copperheads) He yelled, "There's a huge difference between an armadillo and a copperhead! A copperhead can kill you! And I'm not afraid of an armadillo! You nearly caused me to have a heart attack!" (which is really not too funny because he has had a major heart attack and also has 7 stents) But for some reason the whole scene just struck Sandra as funny and she was nearly hysterical with laughter. Her man did not take too kindly to that. (keep that visual going)
The armadillos ran off in separate directions, so Sandra stayed outside with the flashlight to track them while her man went in to get the shotgun. About 45 minutes later, a few more choice words, a lecture on the "correct" way to panic - "Oh Honey, there are two of the cutest little armadillos right behind you, but don't you worry a thing about it. They are just curious and want to see what you're doing" - and following a midnight clean up operation - Sandra, her man and little Buddy went to bed.
*Notice there are no pictures included in this post. There is a reason for that, which had something to do with the "common sense" part of the discussion on "Proper Flashlight Holding 101."