My wife has a smart phone. I, in turn, have a stupid one. My phone works great. It rings. I say “Hello,” and hold conversations. After all, it’s a telephone. My wife’s smart phone is a device. That means it does a million things from telling jokes to predicting the weather to saying how long the lines are in Disney World. Why knowing how long it takes to ride a roller coaster in Florida, when you are swimming in the Great Lakes is important, I don’t know, but she can tell you. Of course, you all know this, because you all have such phones as well. It is I who is the fool with the old technology. The problem is that as she gets apps on this miracle device, shows them to me and I grow to feel more and more like an old hermit from a fairy tale.
You know the kind. He has a four-foot-long beard and lives in a cave, falls in love with the princess and is usually wiped out by a good-looking hero, a dragon or both. Sometimes he gets a cool ability like spinning straw into gold, but more often than not he’s just an oaf. That’s me An Old tech oaf, and It’s making me feel pretty darn bad.
Take this week for instance. My wife’s bank sent her an app which helps her control her spending. It tells her where she spent her money for the last month. I would consider all this no great shakes, but then she showed it to me. My wife’s device has caught me in a tighter web than a TV private eye with a two-million-dollar camera. Perry Mason won’t be able to get me out of this one. You’re probably thinking she caught me having an affair? NO Way! That would much easier to explain. She showed me that app and wanted to know how I spent a total of five-hundred-seventy-eight dollars at the hardware store?
I was in trouble. Heck the grocery bill only came to a little better than six-hundred and that’s feeding all five of us. At first, I tried to tell her I fixed something, but she knows my record. I don’t fix things, I break them. Frankly there’s only one thing I purchase at that store, and that’s bird feeders and seed.
Now I’m not really an outdoorsy kind of guy, but I do like watching birds at the feeders. Well I’ve been stuck at home so long I thought, “Why not add a couple of feeders this year?” I never knew that such a noble, kindly gesture was actually changing the balance of nature. Allow me to explain.
First remember, I have a bird feeder. Actually, I have two. A big one for big seeds songbirds come to, and a smaller one, for smaller seeds pretty finches like. My sister, the naturalist, informed me there are four kinds of feeders. One for hummingbirds and one for woodpeckers as well. Armed with this information I began my quest and went to the store and purchased my seed and two new feeders. Humming birds drink liquid and woodpeckers eat suet, a mixture of seed a gooey fat. So, I bought that to. On arriving home, I hung feeders, filled the seeds and suet. That stuff is gross. I could not fill the humming feeder right away, because you need to mix that stuff. I mixed and got sticky all over my hands. All’s well that ends well, and I went to bed.
The next morning, I awoke to devastation. There was a squirrel hanging upside down on my seed feeder. I yelled at the beast but he sneered at me and kept digging seeds from the feeder. On the second yell he ran, taking a piece of the feeder with him. So now it was leaking seeds. I was angered. I gathered one of my children’s super water guns and was ready for the beast’s return. The first time he came back I soaked it. The water worked and the cretin did not return the whole day. I had won the skirmish.
I was confused next day when I saw a scratchy note taped to the window asking for a warmer temp. I understood the day after as he returned wearing a shower cap, with friends and a bar of soap chittering and wanting a shower. He was mocking me and I won’t take that from any beast. And this is just the story of one feeder!
My suet feeder was gloppy and half empty the first day. It had been opened by raccoons. I secured it. They destroyed it! I have the pieces. Furious, I purchased a second, that was stolen to be opened later. Common sense told me to stop, but I was crazed. I bouget a power screwdriver and five-inch screws. The feeder is now filled and secured to a fence well enough so that the A-Bomb couldn’t dislodge it. The woodpeckers won’t come near it, but at least I’ve thwarted the raccoons.
To continue, the hummingbird feeder leaked a little and left a puddle on the ground. You guessed it, Ants came. New feeder, new refill, almost okay, the bottle says it will fill seven times, so I can handle it. But I left it a little sticky on the outside. Deer love to lick that off. They licked the thing right off the hanger. Rehung, the feeder leaked, more ants, new feeder. Five fills out of the bottle and I haven’t seen a single freaking hummingbird.
I could talk on for ages but let me just explain my final shopping list and let you figure it out. In time two bottles of humming bird nectar, four feeders (The first clasp didn’t work) Three bags of seeds, Anti-Vermin Hot Sauce (Squirrels called it Cinco de Mayo and kept me up all night partying loudly) Two very expensive anti-squirrel bird feeders (Who knew they could use lock picks?) four woodpecker feeders of various types, suet and all the associated hardware, where purchased from that hardware stare. The thing is, it’s only August! This doesn’t include the pest control guy. When the feeders stopped leaking the ants turned to my fence and took out two of the supports.
Well I was done. I surrendered. During the extensive peace talks I was required to provide corn for the deer, a one-kilo peanut log for the squirrels, and to leave the trash open one night a week for the raccoons. I should have given up land. Even that didn’t work out. Ravens ate the corn, jays the log and coyotes got in the trash. now I’m being sued by Mother Nature for breach of contract.
So now I look into my once beautiful yard. Pigeons and sparrows now eat the seed off the ground from the broken feeders. There is trash and busted plastic everywhere. A hive of honeybees found the nectar feeder, took it over, and have chased all the colorful birds away. It’s not quite what I wanted when I spoke to the naturalist.
The worst part is: I still haven’t seen a freaking hummingbird or woodpecker.
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