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Miss Marple? I say — something dreadful has happened at Badger House!


They say we got a month’s worth of rain in one night last night. I believe it, too — we took a drive around today, and most of the fields hereabouts have been magically transformed into lakes. With ducks on!

One of the casualties was our house telephone. There was a leak in the roof right above the kitchen table and it got soaked through. None of the buttons worked.

So we set off to buy a new one.

And came back with this one. The one in the picture. No, really — they’ve jiggered it so it does all the modern British Telecom dealies. It dials out, it rings (rings! with a bell!). It’s made of Bakelite, it weighs fifty pounds, and that thing at the bottom is a brass handle. Presumably so I can do preacher curls and build my biceps while I chat with my girlfriends. As if.

We went in to a clock shop to shop for a clock, and they had about twenty of these. We had to walk around the block a few times to convince ourselves. Despite the Bell Labs on the label and the phone number in English, this one is Belgian.

‘Allo? Allo? Monsieur Poirot? Quelque chose terrible s’est produite à Maison Blaireau!

sock it to me

February 10, 2009 — 7:58 pm
Comments: 38



Welcome to the twenty-four-hour news cycle, President Lucky Magic Sparkly Pony.


Meanwhile, back in Snootyland, Uncle B spotted this headline in today’s online Daily Telegraph. No, it’s not deliberate. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from a lifetime of arguing on the Internet, it is this: if you’re going to indulge in a spelling flame, proofread VERY carefully.

So today, I had my hair done. God, there’s a thing. I’ve had my hair cut before, but I do believe this is the first time I’ve ever had it done. At a spa, no less. It involved candles and plaster Buddhas and massaging things with smelly oils and pinning things with hairpins. Jesus, the hairpins. Oh, it was awful.

It rained and windeded like a bastard all day today. I got home from my do to find flood waters lapping around the front door and just starting to seep into the entryway. The house is considerably lower than the yard, presumably because it’s so old the soil around it has gradually built up, so serious flooding is a constant danger.

I had to slip into my Wellington boots and bail out the doorstep in a howling gale. Five minutes to undo everything the most complex and sophisticated hairpins can accomplish.

That’ll teach me.

sock it to me

February 9, 2009 — 7:35 pm
Comments: 33

Dance? I’d shimmy like a spaz in a revival tent!


Mesablue kindly dropped me this BBC video link, showing a stoat doing the charming Weasel Dance. They don’t dance on account of snow, though. YouTube turns up other examples, and I have seen two different captive stoats do the dance.

The usual romantic explanation for the dance is that it is intended to mesmerize prey. Stoat dances, rabbit goes what the fuck?, stoat bites his neck until he goes dead.

Or it could be the worms up their noses. Skrjabingylus nasicola. Lives in the gut of a snail. Mouse eats snail, weasel eats mouse and the worm — by a process that doesn’t bear thinking of — works its way up into the sinuses of the weasel. Up to 100% of the weasels in some areas are afflicted with Skrjabingylus. Eats holes in their little skulls, no lie (though I think the skulls in the picture are skunk).

Yeah. I’d dance.

Personally, though, I think they dance from the wild exuberance of being a stoat.

sock it to me

February 6, 2009 — 8:41 pm
Comments: 30

We hung Grandma tonight


Relax. Pictures are hung, people are hanged.

Great great great grandma, actually. I got her name; I’m told there’s a resemblance (honestly, if we want to wear crochet’ed earflaps in the house, I don’t see what business it is of anyone else’s). She buried three husbands and owned a bunch of property, including slaves (we saved the receipt). Lived most of her life in Louisiana, but came back to Tennessee to die. Or they shipped her body back, anyway.

I stumbled over her grave in Nashville’s old city cemetery once quite unexpectedly; I had assumed she was in Monroe. That must have been quite a trip for a stiff in 1850. There was a high pointy iron fence around her grave, and no caretaker in sight. I badly wanted to scale the fence and read more of the inscription on the stone, but I feared that would end badly.

Anyhow, Granny has been propped up against the wall of the dining room ever since my stuff got here. Uncle B and I salute her politely whenever we pass through the room. We’ve gotten so used to her company, we kind of wanted to keep her in that room. Tonight, Uncle B noticed some damn fool had screwed a heavy screw into the beam above the booze pile by the door, so that’s where Granny lives for now.

Keeper of the Hootch. I don’t know if Granny Weasel was a drinker, but (knowing what I know about the rest of the fambly) the odds are very much in favor of it.

sock it to me

February 5, 2009 — 7:43 pm
Comments: 21

Little wonder


Little wonder I get the trots when this is the greasy spoon we stop at for a burger and chips. It’s older than Queen Elizabeth.

The first one. With Bette Davis.

sock it to me

February 4, 2009 — 9:16 pm
Comments: 18

How to tell when the badgers have been at your corned beef


Please enjoy this random image off my camera.

Weasel has felt rather under the weather today. I’m hoping I’m just…hungover on lollipops and happiness and unicorns, and not coming down with something. Like the violent shits or something.

sock it to me

February 3, 2009 — 9:03 pm
Comments: 20

Snow day!


Fat balls for everyone!

There must be something in the avian metabolism that says, “eat! Eat like the wind!” when the snows come, because I have never seen so many little featherheaded bastards in my life, all jostling, squeaking and flapping around my leftovers. I had to bring them seconds and thirds or there was gonna be murder. Murder in my garden.

I reckon we got about four inches down here. No big, but enough to grind local commerce to a halt. London, they shut down part of the Underground (“part of it isn’t under ground,” Uncle B explained). That’s more than Hitler managed.

The Daily Mail is full of ZOMG and freakout, but that’s their job. Our local forecast looks like it’s all going over to rain tonight.

Pity. It was beautiful while it lasted.

sock it to me

February 2, 2009 — 8:42 pm
Comments: 13



This is special for Uncle B, who was just twitting me for not having a weekend weasel up. And also for daring to dis his underpants. Two birds, one stone.

Hey, I heard a rumor there was a sports contest of some variety going on in the States today…

sock it to me

February 1, 2009 — 5:52 pm
Comments: 18