Manor Matters

News and reviews of recent events in and around the Manor.

—When you are a squirrel, and you use a hind leg to scratch a flea or a mite or something, said leg moves faster than the speed of light.

—There is no rug so long, so large, or so thick, that these cats cannot Somehow rug crimepropel it around the room as if it were weightless.

—I have obtained Scientific Proof that dust bunnies are created by cats. Dust bunnies are (nearly) everywhere in this place. Every morning, I awake to a new and forbiddingly large crop. These must be soon Dealt With, lest I become trapped in here, unable to get out. There is so much material there, in the daily haul of dust bunnies, that I am thinking of discovering a means by which to spin it into clothing. I will then become a dust-bunny-sweater magnate. But there is one room in the Manor where the cats are not permitted to go. I go in there, but not them. In this room, there are no dust bunnies. Never have been. This means I do not make dust bunnies. And neither does anything else. Only cats make them.

—The deer known as Mom has shown up here pregnant again. Apparently this is an annual thing with her. Clearly, there needs to be a Study as to the availability of birth control among deer. She don’t look so good as she did last year. Guess this pregnancy is harder on her than the last. In this, she is like the woman at the lawyer’s office.

—Whenever I lie there wondering, “how come I haven’t seen any skunks lately?,” somewhere outside, usually directly next to the Manor, a skunk perceives a Menace, reacts accordingly, and then all the air belongs to stench, and I must reach for the gas mask. Therefore, I try not to have these thoughts.

—Also in the olfactory arena, whenever I am running short on sleep, really need to get some, and have to be up very early for some law project, just as I enter dreamland, some cat proceeds to the catbox, and there blats forth a load so poisonous and extreme it requires evacuation of the entire neighborhood, and the arrival of the HazMat team.

—There is a very nice washer and dryer combo in this place. However, I have come to Know that these units are from space, and from the future. They are studded with many mysterious controls. And although I have tried to master these, I have come to reluctantly learn that once I press “power” and “start,” my control over these machines ends. They then take over completely. For instance, the jesus is coming to your washerdryer will display a digital read of the time remaining to do its thing, but will then change its mind numerous times, shifting the digital display accordingly. It will tell me, say, that the clothes will be dry in 35 minutes; I will arrive back in 30 minutes, only to find the thing switching from 5 minutes, to 15 minutes. Right there in front of me. There is no digital time display on the washer, and no way of ascertaining just how long it thinks it needs to run to wash the clothes. I am helpless before it. Also, the washer flooded the Manor on Christmas, and on Easter. Only on those two days. What this means is obvious. Some people see Jesus in a tortilla. Some people see Jesus on their windshield (see photo above). I have Jesus in my washing machine.

—When you are in a city, the police station is a hulking, menacing, brooding, fortified compound. It is like you are in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Fiefdom. You can be arrested, or even shot, simply for looking at it Wrong. When you are here, there are daffodils around the police station. And sometimes you can see the police tending them.

—Serious eccentricity is permitted here. And only a block from the police station. For there is the lair of Rat-Dog Man. The ground level of a perfectly nice house is eschewed by Rat-Dog Man, who chooses instead to dwell in the basement. And down there in the dark, he cohabits with a coven of rat dogs. I discovered this upon one nerve-wracking afternoon, when I was wandering areas outlying the Manor, because the young-un cat had gone astray. I saw this open basement window, and, thinking maybe the young’un cat had jumped in there, I leaned down and called his name into the darkened basement. Only to be immediately assaulted by the hideous yaps of multiple rat dogs. This, I believe, was a good test of the valves to my waste-disposal system: as I did not void any substances, I think they remain in good shape. In any event, Rat-Dog Man regularly permits his herd out of the bowels of the basement and into the yard adjoining the unused house, so that they might offer up their wastes. Occasionally—usually in the rain—Rat-Dog Man will bark at them nastily to hurry up. The rat dogs have been known to object to this, generally by bolting out into the alley. We call this The Great Escape. Rat-Dog Man then climbs into his car and proceeds to slowly roll down the alley and neighboring streets, bellowing at top volume for them to return. It is for reasons like this that we do not need television here.

—The police also turn a blind eye to the wanton Crime Lords of the feed store across the street. Because the state legislature here is infested with howling imbeciles, there are many Laws forbidding—under penalty of fines and imprisonment—the feeding of various wild animals. The Crime Lords know that we free human beings alive on this earth don’t care about these Laws, and so they offer up innumerable vast bins clearly and contemptuously marked with such legends as “squirrel mix” and “deer treats.” This, legally speaking, godly dragonfly switchplateis equivalent to a pharmacist setting up prescription-less shelves cheerily offering such goodies as “Friday night coke” and “mushrooms for the masses.”

—There is still the hideous belching from the lube shop. Not today, though. For today is Sunday. And the lube shop is closed. It is the day of rest.

—Hunter Thompson once said: “when a man gives up drugs, he wants big fires in his life.” I don’t know about that, and anyway it’s April, and so here the season for big fires has passed. However, I have discovered that, here in my dotage, I require decorative switchplates in my life. I did not know that such things even existed, until a few weeks ago. And maybe they didn’t. ; 0 Now, though, I need them everywhere. They have become a Requirement. When you go into the tubes, you will find that there are creative men and women, all over the land, bringing art to switchplates. And they will send this art to you, if only you give them just a little Money. So this I am doing. Pictured here is the dragonfly switchplate I obtained and affixed by the front door of the Manor. It is beyond godly.

—I have been here a year now, and still the ants continue their ceaseless march to and from the attic. There have been days when they’ve been sluggish, and days when they’ve moved but in ones and twos, but never has the march ceased entirely. They are like a perpetual motion machine. I still have no idea what they’re doing up there. But because there has never once been a single ant actually inside the Manor, I stick still to the agreement, set forth in the link above, that they be permitted to go their own way, without any snooping from mine.

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9 Responses to “Manor Matters”


  1. 1 possum April 7, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Ahhhh, Science Man, it would appear the Manor inhabits the piece of space from which the lowly possum may originate. Stranger things have happened. Maybe your search will be short.

    • 2 bluenred April 7, 2013 at 9:48 am

      I would like the possum people to come around here more often. I think that, at present, they are, in concert with many other creatures, off doing the Baby thing.

      If the Manor and environs is indeed the Possum Planet, or close to it, this should enhance my chances of receiving Grants. For I will not have to seek massive mountains of money in order to build spaceships to fly Far Away.

  2. 3 sally April 9, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    Oh,my god (take note – I did not use “OMG” because for some time I did not fathom the meaning of OMG — perhaps I do not pray enough. And I thought people signing LOL were stating they were Little Old Ladies — but some were of the male persuasion, so I decided it must be Lots of Laughs. Then someone said it was Lots of Love, but some LOLs came from people who never professed to love me before. To this day I’m uncertain what LOL means?) BID — (I just made that up = BUT I DIGRESS) I digress. I came to tell you what a great piece this is. Your unique (?) view of your world never ceases to astound me. Of course, I’m in love with cats and Young ‘un, but you also had me recall my love for eccentric ants. And my police station has no flowers, but it is friendly looking, 5 long blocks from me, and they send me notes asking if I am happy with their service! That’s strange since I am not partcularly fond of cops.) Whoops– BID — again. You made me miss the deer who visited us when living in the Berkeley hills — though they ate our strawberries. One day, weiner dog, Herbie, decided to take on a fawn and her doe, though HE cared not for strawberries. I saw him bark at them through a kitchen window and Mother Deer turn toward him. Suddenly I hear him yelping at the front door, which stood at the bottom of a flight of cement steps. I open the door to see Mrs. deer clomping down toward us. Herbie skittered in and I slammed the door. I waited for her to kick the door in, but she gave one sharp rap of a hoof and let me hear heavy breathing, then noisly clomped back up the steps. Out the kitchen window Fawn still stood frozen– as taught to do– until Mom licked his ear.Then they calmly enjoyed more strawberries. Ah, I envy you, your wildlife. I have only birds and squirrels — and I am pleased to do without the skunks who inhabit the nearby park. Daughter’s dog only smelled god-awful for some three weeks. (Forget the prescribed tomato bath!) I’m also jealous of your dragonfly light-cover, though I do see irridescent green ones flying about. Okay –this was to be a short note to express joy at your words, but I GCA (GET CARRIED AWAY!) AND I am VDH (very damn happy) to “see” Possum back. I love it that he is doing a Baby thing. The wildlife world and this real world needs his little Possums. And, please, none of you climb into a space ship and fly away. I would be desperately lonely. Namaste. xoxox

    • 4 bluenred April 10, 2013 at 6:40 am

      lol means “laugh out loud.” People generally inscribe it in response to something that has, well, made them laugh out loud.

      Deer are criminal consumers of strawberries. And many other plants as well. The disadvantage of having deer in your life is that you won’t have much of a garden. Unless you erect a six-foot fence.

      Birds and squirrels are the primary inhabitants here, too. Well, and also ants.

  3. 5 Julia Rain (the deviant daughter) May 14, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    There are worse things to have than a space-age Jesus-washing machine.

    I like that the police tend the daffodils. That makes me think maybe I wouldn’t have an asthma attack if I saw one, like I usually do when confronted with a police officer.

    Hooray for rebel feed store.

    That is a lovely dragonfly switchplate. I used to have a Little Mermaid one for the bathroom light, at Grama Agnes’ house. I’m assuming Jeanie threw it away during The Great Remodel.

    There is a squirrel couple here who like to hang out in the tree over the bench where I wait for the bus every day. They are named Grayson and Grie-Grie. I think that is how you spell Grie-Grie, but as it is a French word, I am unsure. Anyway, she is small and dainty and very pretty, but timid. Grayson is not afraid of me and sometimes he does this neat thing where he rubs his hands against a tree branch too fast for me to have any idea what he is doing. As my highly subtle names for them may suggest, they are gray squirrels. Sometimes they dance and chase each other around the yard.

    • 6 bluenred May 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      If he’s not rubbing his hands, but instead rapidly pounding them onto the branch, faster than the eye can follow, what he is doing is communicating that he knows you’re a predator, but he himself is tough and fierce, and so you better bugger right off and not get any closer to him and his Gris-Gris.

      When I feed these people, sometimes I look out the kitchen-door window at them. Sometimes they will spy me. Then, there one of them will be, on the brick railing, eating the food I put out, but staring into my eyes and savagely pounding the bongos, to let me know I need to keep clear. ; )

      • 7 Julia Rain (the deviant daughter) May 15, 2013 at 11:53 pm

        Yes, that sounds like what he’s doing. Of course, everything squirrels do is at the speed of light. I’ve apologized many times to both Grayson and Gris-Gris for looking like a predator, and explained that it isn’t my fault my eyes point forward, but they are yet wary. At least Grayson is protective and brave,

        I’m sure your squirrels will come to trust you and lessen their bongo pounding. I still remember the colony of exceedingly friendly squirrels who lived in the mammoth tree outside the window in your old apartment. It was fun watching them scurry.

        • 8 bluenred May 16, 2013 at 5:33 am

          Yes, those apartment squirrels, that was the last time I was around them for an extended period of time. They are fun. This time I get to experience them on the ground, rather than in the trees.


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