Carl Spackler is the greatest everyman character Hollywood ever created.
I saw the movie Caddyshack in its original version and was not impressed by what I thought was the sophomoric humor at the time. Many, many subsequent viewings (it was one of my Ex's favorites) and a quarter century of living has changed my mind completely. I am particularly enamored with the character of the greenskeeper played by Bill Murrary. I have come to believe that Murray is at his best when paired with a furry brown animal, gopher or groundhog. Although I would like to think I do not have the goofy countenance of Carl Spackler, I definitely have a drive to succeed in my domination of all things small and destructive in my yard. Since I am also helping out with yard work at my two neighbors houses I have tripled my commitment to track and eradicate the varmints.
On Sunday mornings I like to putter a bit and catch up on weed pulling, raking, trimming hedges etc. It is not a day for heavy labor but observation and attention to the errant dandelions or overgrown lilies. This morning however; my normally mellow mood was interrupted by a series of disturbing discoveries. First there was the tell tale sign of a critter relieving itself in my organically fertilized vegetable garden. This was followed by a rank odor along a newly developed path from my yard to my neighbors. I do not have my dogs this weekend and I thought it might look a bit silly to put my nose to the ground so instead I peeked around a few fences and found the source of the odor. Hiding in the tiger lilies behind a privacy fence was a bushy feral cat. It turned its head away from me as if ignoring my intrusion. I took the averted gaze personally and decided to seek out any hiding places on our combined properties.
Within moments I had ferreted out at least three spots and began to plot the destruction of their fairly secluded locations. I borrowed a hedge trimmer from my neighbor and in the manner of Johnny Depp as Edward Scissorhands, I trimmed the juniper bushes to reveal a cozy little evergreen den obviously used for feline trysts.
When my Ex and I bought a farm we found literally a shit load of droppings in the barn left by raccoons. Over a very unpleasant weekend my niece (she still reminds me that I owe her) my Ex and myself cleaned the area and fertilized some acreage in the process. While I am not a student of poop I have acquired some knowledge of the various animals based on their droppings. I have not heard hootin' or hollerin' outside my porch window but I am fairly certain more than one cat has been frequenting the juniper. Now that I have opened up the den to viewing by the whole neighborhood I hope the wanton critters will simply move on.
This spring my Ex and I engaged in critter hostile landscaping by cutting back the lilacs, securing the front porch with wire mesh and opening up a path along the garage. On occasion like Carl Spackler I grab a flashlight and sit on my front porch monitoring the dark and hidden areas. For those few moments I feel that I am mistress of the yard and believe like Carl that I have shown man's superior intelligence over animals. Often my reverie is broken by the distinct odor of skunk and I quickly retreat inside the house before becoming overwhelmed by the smell.
I am still not sure why Noah was allowed to let those odoriferous creatures on the Arc.