The Norman Transcript

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December 20, 2013

The unpleasant threesome

(Continued)

NORMAN —

My second bad event was painful hickeys, courtesy of fire ants that invaded my pantry and master bathroom. The hickeys popped up because unbeknownst to me, they jumped from the shelves to my neck. When that burning sensation got my attention, I performed the shrieking, stomping I don’t want a hickey dance.

Although fire ants are normally found in open spaces such as pastures, this pesky group found our home to their liking. When you open the pantry door and are greeted with frolicking fire ants on every shelf and inside containers you would never imagine such as Kosher salt, you must clear out the pantry and get rid of the ants. The latter was easier said than done.

Starting with the top shelf, every item was removed, checked, discarded and/or wiped down. On the first go-round with those Solenopsin (toxic alkaloid derived from piperidine venom) injecting critters, the shelves where cleaned and sprayed with orange oil, an environmentally safe product. When the ants returned with a vengeance (I think I even heard them laughing at me), I sprayed with House and Garden Raid. The third time, I wiped all the shelves with straight Clorox bleach. Of course, with each attempt to wipe out the critters my hands and arms were bitten.

The fourth time, I called in the big guns, the exterminator.

Just when things were starting to get back to what passes for normal, the third event happened. The dogs chased a skunk into our garage. El Stinko became irritated and sprayed the garage and our vehicles.

Driving to work in 20-degree weather with the windows open to air out eau de skunk was both a chilling and odiferous experience. Even after a week, I can still smell my car from five feet away in our company parking garage. I’m tempted to douse my Lexus Lite with gallons of tomato juice to get rid of the smell.

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