The house next door to us is empty, but its owner is fixing it up, so new folks can move in. I hope it’s just people, with no big dogs or a mean cat like Bicklesworth. Bicklesworth was the orange tabby who beat up on me, and I had to go to the vet. Mom hopes it’s a young family that she can invite over sometimes.
Mom says you gotta have friends of all ages if you wanna stay in touch. Mom was going crazy cleaning house one day when a twentyish gal, Mia... Monica... something like that, came by. Ha, ha. I’ll bet she left thinking her “in touch” granny friends was getting touched –in the head.
Here’s the scene:
As Mona, or whatever, comes up on the porch, Mom halfway greets her. But Mom acts more interested in the dirt she dumped from the vacuum cleaner's cup to a big piece of white paper she had spread over the porch’s table. Frowning at the stuff on the paper, Mom says, “I'm checking for black specks.”
I'm thinking, Wow, Mom—you got black specks outta the sweeper's cup? Tsk, tsk. I don't know what Mila Whoever thinks, but she sure looks puzzled.
Without explaining, Mom wets the dirt with a spray bottle. No kidding! Then she blurts out, “Oh, m'gosh, there are specks—tons of them, turning red.”
I can tell the only reason Myrna, or whatever doesn't turn and run is she's got what my brown tabby friend Snookie (and Mom, too) call breeding. Once, I told Snook what I call breeding, and, well, put logic plus Snook in the same sentence and you got a whole other story.
Staring down at the paper, Mom continues. “When a wet speck turns red, you know it is extra-mint from a flea that bit an animal.” (I found out later that extra-mint is poo.) “I wish I had a microscope,” she says “so I could make slides to see the extent of the flea problem.”
Mom is serious! No fooling! And, ha, ha, just as this poor M girl takes a look to show polite interest, a flea hops up and zaps her on the forehead.
Better her than me, right? I'm shaking with silent snickers. Like, if hopping fleas aren't funny enough, both Mom and the M-lady (I could tell they were horrified) pretend not to notice.
Folding the paper over the dirt, the fleas, and their poo, Mom says, “Let's go in. I have tea, lemonade and root beer.” She drops her dirt package in the trash bin.
Mumbling something about getting kids from day care, the M gal says a few nice things, and leaves.
I hate fleas, and hate getting flea powdered, and hate to see Mom go all bonkers because of the critters. But seeing What's-her-name's expression as she fleed ... Well, it made all that 200% worth it.
It would be nice if Mom could have a new 20-something friend next door, cuz I don’t recall that Mia (was that her name?) ever came back.