Wednesday, September 5, 2018

The Stealthy Predator

I'm used to hearing odd sounds in my dark basement lair. Usually, though, I don't hear them within the lair itself.

Monday night around 8:00, sitting at my desk, I thought I heard a piece of paper flutter. That's not implausible. I have a lot of papers in my office. Stacked none too neatly in some spots. I glanced peripherally, to my left, to see if anything slid off. There was no sign of papers amiss.

A few minutes later, I heard it again. That put my unexplained-phenomena senses on alert. Still, short of a sheaf sailing across the lair and paper-cutting my jugular, I felt pretty safe there in my rolly chair in front of New Delly. I forgot all about it, played some Wordox on my Hoyle Puzzle and Board Games CD. A lot of Wordox. I so enjoy whooping the butts of those mouthy computer cartoon people!

Around 11:30, I went out into the main basement area to watch TV in my OPC (Old People Chair). A couple hours later, nature called my bladder collect, with an urgent message. I took care of business, with the door of the NASCAR bathroom open.

I never used to do that. Even when alone in the house, I'd close the door. But now, with Farmer H asleep since 8:00, and The Pony 490 miles away at college, and Genius living in Kansas City with intentions probably to return only for Christmases...I leave the door open.

Business finished, I started back to the OPC, and saw my nightmare, right outside the bathroom door. Trundling along the base of the wall that has my dark lair on the other side.


I hate millipedes. I also hate feet, you know, and a millipede has A LOT of not-even-real feet, at the end of those hairy-looking legs that flow along like fringe. They are creepycreepycreepy. I despise them. Even more than crickets.


Nobody was there to rescue me. Farmer H was upstairs, visions of auction-hoard dancing in his head. I was on my own. I hurried back for a generous wad of toilet paper (Charmin Strong) and inched over to wrangle that beast from the side. I snapped him up and rushed to the toilet and flung him in, then hit the flusher.

I think his head must have popped off! Even though I was watching to make sure his body went down (or UP, it's a basement toilet, after all), I couldn't see that critter, because he was wrapped in the toilet paper. I'd felt something crunch when I grabbed him. Okay, when I squeezed the toilet paper when I grabbed him, to make sure he didn't flip out onto my feet. Yes, he was mummied-up in the toilet paper, but a little black ball kind of thing NOT POOP swirled round and round. I'm pretty sure I decapitated him.

I hope he doesn't have family out to avenge his death.


River said...

Millipede or centipede? We have millipedes out here and I don't recall their legs being furry or fringe-like, but perhaps there are different kinds. Ours are tiny and black and curl up into a ball when touched. They're sort of seasonal, coming down from the hills area into town gardens for a couple of months a year. Spring or autumn, I can't remember, I don't take much notice unless one gets inside then I squish it into a wad of tissue like you did and drop it in the bin.

Hillbilly Mom said...

A centipede??? NOT-HEAVEN, NO! That would be even worse! Their legs are longer and more hair-like! And I think they have antennae! Maybe not. I run away if I see one, which, thank the Gummi Mary, has never been inside the Mansion, but outside around rotting logs.

It was definitely a millipede, with its hard body that tried to curl when I nabbed it. This was a smaller one, about 3 inches long. We've had them over 4 inches. I HATE THEM! It's the arrangement of legs underneath that make me think of fringe, and they way they move them to walk. Two pair of legs for each segment, way too many segments!

The millipedes I've seen are not completely black, but have kind of a dull orange pattern. Similar to the one in this link, but I've never seen one in so much light, so I don't know if they were striped like that.

fishducky said...

At times, when we owned the condo in Maui, I would hear the dulcet tones of my husband calling, "Fran!! There's a millipede on the ceiling!!"

Hillbilly Mom said...

SWEET GUMMI MARY!!! Was Bud marveling at its beauty, wanting you to share in the experience? Or calling you to come get it off the ceiling and flush it?

River said...

four inches? Yikes! Ours are the really little ones not much more than an inch, two inches at most and rarely seen that large. Completely black.

River said...

Or possibly warning her not to sleep with her mouth open?

Hillbilly Mom said...

We have those little black ones, too, maybe a quarter-inch long, but not out here. When I lived in town as a kid, we used to play with them to make them roll into a ball. My little friend next door called them "pill bugs."

River 2,
Heh, heh! That's so creepy! Yet chivalrous.

Kathy's Klothesline said...

That crunch you feel when you squish unwelcome creatures in your abode is quite satisfying!

Hillbilly Mom said...

It makes my stomach churn a little. I don't mind gooshy slaughter, it's the crunch that gets to me. Must be a texture thing.