Clock Him in the Snotlocker

I’m not a violent guy, and the last person I punched probably was Christopher, in the 3rd or 4th grade. We had been arguing over who should get the most money after we had walked the highway for about four miles picking up aluminum cans. He was right; his father’s primer of beer cans gave us a good head start, but I wanted half the loot. Thus came my first lesson in not mixing business with friends. On the playground the following week, Christopher made some snide remark (I’m sure anyone who knows him isn’t gasping in disbelief at that one) and stuck his chest out. I punched him in the stomach. No fight resulted, probably because we both were shocked.

My peaceful nature aside, I had to share this phrase (with all two of my readers). I was listening to NPR on my way to work at about 3:45 a.m. a month ago, and a guy was telling a story about a bully who had thrown a rock at his face. It busted up his mouth and his dad ended up taking him to the bully’s house for dental bill reimbursement. His dad told him that if he would just fight back, he wouldn’t have a bully problem. “Clock him in the snotlocker, and he’ll go down like a bag of rocks.”

I had never heard that word for “nose” before then, but after two years of wiping Ben’s nose, I can’t think of a more appropriate term.

The Snake That Lived in Our Grill

Here, Snakey, Snakey...

We think maybe it was a black rat snake. It was some kind of king snake, anyway. He was fairly big, and took up residence in our grill between when we put our Missouri house on the market and when we sold it. I’m kind of glad he came back after the two times we thought we were rid of him, because I think he kept down the gopher population. Gopher holes had been popping up in our yard, and getting rid of them is not easy. Those dirt mounds make for an unsightly showing when a potential buyer comes over. And no, they were not moles. They were much bigger. I have video. They were gophers.

Once, after I already had moved to Plano temporarily to my new job location, my wife had to have a neighbor (one of our company’s pilots) come down and put the snake over the fence using a stick. The snake was back the next day, coiled up and staring out at my wife when she lifted the grill lid.

The other time we thought we had seen the last of him, I put some moth balls in the grill, because I had heard from a customer lady at Lowe’s that they were the best snake retardant. That’s when I first noticed he was not in the grill when I was back home for a weekend. Instead, he was on the grill leg, and that’s where this image comes in. As I stood just outside our deck door snapping shots of him, he finally slithered slowly into the green watering can on the right. Shannon said she had moved that thing one day and thought it was awfully heavy to be empty. I guess so. Ugh.

I don’t adhere quite as closely to my dad’s philosophy as others do: the only good snake is a dead snake. However, had someone been there who was willing to kill him, I can’t say I would have tried to stop them.

Ben is Relentless

Ben loves to chase the dog. He’s relentless at times. We’ve tried putting him in his playpen for a couple minutes. We’ve tried slapping his leg. Nothing phases him. A moving target is just too much fun. Cockers are not known for getting along well with children, and Lexie, who lived with us for 10 years before we brought Benjamin home, is a classic example.

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Mowing Misadventure

I got out there and was ready to mow the new lawn for the first time. I had my new Black and Decker Grasshog, no-bump feed, 5.5 amp, electric weed trimmer that, with just the flip of a switch and a flick of the wrist, becomes an edger.

An extension cord was nowhere to be found. We had boxed it up for the move, and I didn’t have time for a swim in the sea of boxes our garage had become.

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