i am a planner. well, more of a dreamer. i come up with schemes and plots and adventures continually. most likely this is a survival skill i developed at a young age when i fully realized that most real people in my life were somewhat....inconsistent in their behavior. that's a nice way to say crazy. ok, maybe they aren't crazy. they are probably just as crazy as anyone else- maybe they were even boring- and that's why i started making up stories, plans, escape routes.
in any case, i still do this.
a small gesture- like stirring honey into a cup of tea- blooms into an old woman living her last days in a nursing home, desperate for a cup of tea fixed to her liking, but alas she can no longer talk and no one pays any mind to her grunting until one day a soft-hearted visitors takes notes and....well, it goes on from there. ending with lots of money being given to this kind person.
i like those kind of endings. bright red bows on the conclusion. neat and trim. no messy crap like real life- where nothing ever really ends...until we do. and stories that end with lots of money are fun to imagine sometimes.
because i sometimes like to wonder what it would feel like to just do stuff- like buy 4 tickets to a seattle play, kidnap friends or strangers and go. or to send a thousand bucks to the food bank. or to go to an art festival and actually be able to spend $39 on a pair of earrings made out of acorns and rock shards. doesn't that sound fun?
hell. yes. it. does.
so how do i get there? plans, i got mad plans.
this one starts with garbage. see, for some unclear reason we don't have the garbage picked up curbside. once a month or so, we load it into the back of our 1987 Ford F150 and drive it to the dump. and when i say "we" what i mean is "not me." i like garbage to disappear- it's part of my american heritage. i like to put nasty stuff in a big black bin and pretend it had disappeared. leaving no trace.
except on monday- not long after the mustard on the back porch incident- as i flipped open the lid and started to haul 13 gallon tall kitchen garbage bag over the lip of the bin into oblivion i see wriggling, white traces of last week's dump excursion. stop reading now if you are eating chinese food or are squeamish.
maggots. hundreds of maggot all doing their nasty maggoty dance. squirming blindly about on the lid, down the insides, at the bottom. it's like the remains of a serious fly orgy- and it's fucking disgusting. i do the "maggot repulsion dance"- that ancient move of flapping arms, goose bumps on flesh, shaking head in a quick whip- while i try to figure out what deity i have pissed off to deserve this kind of monday. and then go right into problem solving mode of how to deal with these maggots.
because it is hard to get rid of maggots. first, you don't want to touch them. or look at them. or think about them. or write about them (unless you are me- and if have hung in here this long i really do appreciate it- cuz i know you are going to have to shower soon). but what to do with them? especially when they are already in the garbage where they are going to hatch into flies and have more orgies in your garbage and create the next 239 generations of larvae!
it's a conundrum. you can't vacuum them up- cuz then they are in there. you can't flush them down the toilet cuz then there are down there- and oh my- you would never sit there again! even if you pour some toxic sludge on them you still have to deal with their corpses. so it's a big problem to contemplate on a monday morning with less than 4 hour of sleep and a toddler who still refuses attempts at cleaning or clothing and a big brother who is supposed to be at a ukulele lesson in less than 2 hours.
and then the dark clouds of my mind were cleared away as the solution appeared- all five of them. cue disney music...
chickens. my lovely ladies: opal lemondrop, freckles la fluff, speedy cleo, matanewie, and amelia "jesus" one dot.
i flipped the lid shut and wheeled the garbage can into the yard. the girls gathered round. i lay it on it's back and opened the lid with a dramatic thud- revealing to the hens the hovering hoards all over- yes, this makes me itch to write- the garbage can.
they twitched their heads sideways and stepped closer- their claws clicking on the black plastic. they plucked cautiously at the first maggot- and then, holy hannah- it was like the had won the protein lottery! they couldn't gobble those grubs up fast enough. peck. peck. heck- yes! peck.
i stood transfixed. it was disgusting and awesome at the same time. i didn't want to watch but i couldn't believe it was happening so i needed the visual proof. maggots truly disappearing right before my eyes! maggot gone. over and over. and happy chickens to boot. chickens that were giving me eggs as a thank you for letting them eat those lil' wormy bastards. in less than 6 minutes there was not one maggot in sight.
i'll take that over christmas anyday.
and then- that's when the plan hit me.
people rent out their goats to munch blackberries. and their sheep to chomp pastoral lawns. and their pigs to root up...whatever pigs root up. you see where i'm going with this?
maggot patrol chickens.
got maggots? get chickens. my chickens. my girls show up and eat up your maggots like they are powdered sugar from the donuts in heaven. chickens give me eggs that i use to cook up french toast. you give me money that i use to buy maple syrup to pour over my french toast.