No, not really. I’ve never even hugged a tree although I’ve got my eye on this shapely little maple at the back of the yard but it hasn’t progressed beyond the ‘gazing wantonly’ stage. She dresses nicely, a little revealing perhaps…her leaves are well above mid-trunk but considering her firm limbs she can definitely carry it off. She’s a pretty quiet tree, a great listener but not much of a conversationalist. My point here is that if I was actually going to hug a tree I wouldn’t head into the wild and hug a stranger. You never know where they’ve been or how many huggers have been there before you. Plus none are as cute and personable as my little maple.
I bring this up because over the last few weeks I have regularly been called a treehugger (among other things) because of my stand on apex predator wildlife…tigers, lions, bears and, of course…the wolf. It seems some folk figure that calling me a ‘treehugger’ is an insult (somebody really gotta take these ol’ boys aside and teach them the difference between a conifer and a carnivore). By the purest definition a treehugger is an environmentalist or one who believes trees should not be cut down or harmed…someone who works to protect the environment from destruction or pollution. While it has come to represent a wider field of environmental concerns the root of the name still rests with trees and forests. I’m really not a treehugger but if I was I’d be damn good at it and proud to be called one. So if you really can’t distinguish between a willow and a wolf (yes, I suppose the ‘bark’ thing is a similarity but that’s really stretching it Bubba) then keep on calling me a treehugger but be aware that it really doesn’t offend me. Treehuggers are people who care for and value the environment and all the flora and fauna therein and are simply trying to help create a better, more sustainable ecosystem…so what does that make the people who are against treehuggers?
But on to the point of this blog…household cleaners.
Most cleaning stuff is confusing. Right under the ‘all-purpose’ label on my fave spray cleaner it says ‘not to be used on glass’. To me all means all. They should’ve said ‘nearly all purpose’. The label also bears the skeletal hand corrosive symbol. I’ve been using it on the toilet seat for some time so obviously the cleaner knows the difference between your hand and your other parts. The toilet seat sits atop the most prominent feature of the least likable room for cleaning. I can’t think of another household job, other than handling raw chicken or fish that I loathe as much as this one. It’s not the porcelain throne in the corner that concerns me. A couple of heavy duty squirts with a cleaner, a quick brush ‘n flush and it’s done. It’s the bath tub that drives me nuts…in particular that bath mat with the little suction cups on the bottom. It’s like peeling an octopus off Detroit’s Joe Louis Arena. Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop…you get the drift.
And there’s the slippery sludgy yuck that gets in and around these little cups. This disgusting soap residue/by-product sticks to everything yet it’s too slippery to remove easily. A scour with a stiff brush and cleaner usually clears up most of it and by taking the mat out into the yard and blasting it with the garden hose you can insure a good final rinse. It also provides hours of entertainment watching the neighbor’s cat slip ‘n slide across the grass trying to get the slippery sludgy yuck off his paddy paws.
Back at the tub all goes fairly well although I’ve never been able to figure out why the bathtub ring is always above the overflow drain. Soap scum by nature floats on top of the water therefore I have to assume that either the water has been consistently above the overflow or our scum jumps. A close inspection of the drain reveals that marine scum bunnies have set up camp and plugged the outlet. Marine scum bunnies are pretty much like their carpet cousin dust bunnies except they can hold their breath longer. They try to slide down the drain but sometimes get their tails caught on the little metal bar that’s designed to stop things from sliding down the drain. This is good. It gives you something to grab. Except it’s also covered in that slippery sludgy yuck and, even when you get a good hold, the rest of the critter hangs on for dear life down around the bend.
With perseverance most hairy things can be extradited from the pipes, even the trophy sizes. I have a photograph in the den with my personal best. It was a fifteen inch sucker that I caught just after we moved into the house. It was of the tortoise shell breed, hair of many colors, and my proudest catch.
At my age you’ve sometimes got to create your own adventure.