Mar 9, 2006

House Hunting, Squirrel Phobia, & McDonalds

OK, today's the day I'm really going to do some in-depth discussion about several topics. Grab a snack and a beverage while you sit down and ponder my thoughts along with me.

House Hunt #10
I've been house hunting now going on 9 months or so. Each time I see a house, I think to myself: "Do people really live this way?" Take for instance the home that looked really cute according to the photos taken when it was listed 5yrs earlier... before the current owners took over. I walked in and there was TRASH... yes, TRASH strewn everywhere: On the floors, on the counters, in every room of the house. There were dirty clothes everywhere. Big stains on the carpeting... what carpeting I could see. Cupboard doors were hanging off the hinges... Mattresses half off the bed. Oh and then I made the mistake of entering the bathroom! At some point they had mice. And did they ever have them bad! All of the shelves in the bathroom closet were covered in mice-you-know-what! Not just a few droppings... covered entirely! Did I mention they had pets? Did I mention the entire house smelled like pet urine?? There were other problems I'm not going to go into. Needless to say, I passed. That was home #8, I think. Or maybe #9... whatever.

OK, so that brings me to the house I looked at last night. House #10. My realtor was told it had been rental property and needed some new flooring and that 5 doors were replaced. 5 doors!! I thought it was a bit odd to replace 5 doors... but then again, some renters (self excluded) are a bit... let's say... a bit rough on the furniture. I got there before my realtor, so I walked around the exterior and out to the garage. Accounted for 3 of the doors...LOL What I couldn't figure out is... Why would someone replace a door on the garage when the window RIGHT next to it is broken out? Why I ask?!? As we walk into the 3 season porch, I assess the surroundings. Not bad. I did notice, however a fuse box -- 2 fuses. For what? Dunno. Onward into the kitchen. Nice BIG kitchen... lots 'o counter and cupboard space... appliances go with. Apparently no one had occupied the place in quite some time since there were a lot of dead bugs everywhere. Floors on entire first floor either sagged or were different levels. Now if you like the see-saw effect when you're walking to the kitchen in the middle of the night... Hey, this might be the right home for you! There was a laundry area just off the kitchen. Barely finished... rough... I noticed TWO more fuse boxes (not circuit breaker boxes... FUSE boxes). One was for the dryer. The other was for??? Who knows? Oh, did I mention that most of the rooms either didn't have ceiling lights... and if they did, they were manned by the pull chain? Try finding THAT in the middle of the night! There was a half bath (i.e. just a toilet) between the kitchen and living room. Wouldn't be bad unless you're over 5'6" tall -- That's how tall the door to the bathroom was. Another replacement. That's #4! The main bathroom was upstairs. It has four outlets -- Yay! Oh wait... they're of the 2-prong variety. Code calls for circuit breaker type outlets in bathrooms and kitchens. What a cute little tub! Again, anyone over 5'8" you're outta luck. Either take a bath, squat to shower, or go stinky... take your pick! The bathroom was nice and big, though. Doesn't that count for something?? I never did figure out where the 5th door was. Or, why there were 3 heat ducts in an 8x10 room. Or, what the 4th electrical box was near the furnace in the cellar (not basement... cellar... there's a difference, you know). I didn't know this part until I got home... The property taxes on it were more than the mortgage payment would be. More than what I paid on my other home which was fully renovated inside and out and on 2 acres of land to boot. #10 house was on a lot 66x155, or something like that. All I have to say is... NEXT. I won't even go into highlights of the garage and things I saw in the backyard.

Mickey D's and the Fish Special
I don't know if this special is going on at every McDonald's around the country, but in this area Mickey D has 2 fish sandwiches for $2.42 or something like that. Or, you can get a sandwich and fries, or a sandwich and drink for the same price. I rarely... rarely... rarely... (Did I say rarely?) go to fast food joints. I was in a hurry at lunch time yesterday, so I stopped and saw the special. Thought I'd try it since I like the fish there. I open sandwich wrapper to find a bun with the fish laying half off it and the other bun laying half off the other side. So I pull it apart (in order to put it back together the way a fish sandwich should be!) and I made the most devine discovery! What did I discover, you ask? Do YOU know that the cheese on the fish sandwich is only about 2" x 1½" in size? The fish patty itself is at least 3" square. The cheese doesn't even cover the fish!! What a travesty of fish connoisseurs everywhere! Well, it probably won't keep me from buying a fish sandwich again, but it came as a surprise to me how big.. or should I say... how little... the cheese is. Put some cheese on it, for goodness sake!

Picture in your mind, a sweet 5yr old little girl wearing a bright red sweater. She has big brown inquisitive eyes. Picture also, her 7yr old brother coming toward her with a squirrel in his arms. Excited to show off his new friend. Next thing you know... The girl is screaming. The squirrel reaches out and grabs the side of her sweater and won't let go. The more the brother pulls back, the more the squirrel digs in, and the more the girl screams in terror. In her eyes, a squirrel is attacking her. This is an experience that will stay with her the rest of her life. She will never forget. Heard of traumatic childhood experiences? Well folks, this is one! In hindsight, the squirrel was probably rabid - because how else would a 7yr old boy be able to hold a healthy wild animal??

A 9-1-1 operator receives a call.
911 Operator: "911, what's the emergency?"
A frantic woman (Yes folks, this is the little girl all grown up): "I'm a single woman with 4 young children. There's a RABID squirrel on my front porch and I can't get out!!"
A policeman shows up.
Policeman: "What's the problem, ma'am?"
Woman is now hanging out the upstairs apartment window.
Woman: "There's a rabid squirrel on my front porch and I can't get out!"
Policeman: "What do you want me to do ma'am, shoot it?"
Woman (still hanging out the window): "Yes! I want you to shoot it!"
In reality, the squirrel wasn't really rabid. It was simply a mother protecting her babies in a nearby nest. Needless to say, the policeman didn't shoot the squirrel but did manage to shoo it away. And did he have a story to share with the guys in the locker room at the end of the shift -- about the crazy lady hanging out the window, afraid of a squirrel. Public service, ya gotta love it.

Under normal circumstances, I would probably say: "You've got to be kidding, right?" Both those stories are true. As the case may be, I know that girl who became a woman (No, it is NOT me!). Someone close to me has a mild case of sciruophobia. Sounds scary, doesn't it? LOL You're probably wondering... WHAT IS IT? I'm here to fill you in. It's fear of squirrels. Yes, ladies and gentlemen... there is actually a phobia of squirrels.

Anyone ever see the episode on the Drew Carey Show where Lewis is being attacked by squirrels? In one scene, he comes running out Drew's backdoor, screaming and continues running out the back gate with his back covered in squirrels? LOL I guess that wouldn't be funny to a sciurophobiac now, would it? LOL -- I laugh anyway.

I ponder the thought... What causes a fear of squirrels anyway?

sciurophobia - fear of squirrels. Fear that somewhere, somehow, a squirrel is watching you.

Can be pronounced: ski-ooro-phobia or she-ooro-phobia

Another thought to ponder... Is he really watching you? Or, are you just imagining it?


Tanya said...

That is so funny about the fish sandwich - I always get annoyed when they can't put the fish in the center so now I know I'm not the only one. Ha! It made me giggle when you open a McDonald's wrapper and it says CENTER to show the employee where to put the burger! Good grief. I love the squirrel pic looking in the window - funny. Doesn't George run over a squirrel in a Seinfeld episode?