I’m starting a regular feature here at Biff Sock Pow called Whatnot Wednesday.
And by “regular feature”, I mean I shall probably do it three times, tops, and then never again. When it comes to coming up with regular features, I have the enthusiasm of a 20-year-old golden retriever, the attention span of a gnat, and the stick-to-it-iveness of a damp sticky-note on shag carpeting.
Be that as it may, I’m going to forge ahead anyway because I don’t have anything else to write about and my writing skills have been decaying so rapidly you’d swear they were composed entirely of francium pellets (a nutritious part of any breakfast).
So what is Whatnot Wednesday all about?
It is all about giving me a reason to write when I really have nothing to write about. I will write about whatnots and doodads and thingamabobs.
It’s like when you have an baby that is cranky and on the verge of tears and you look around desperately for anything that will distract him and keep him from crying. So, out of sheer desperation, you hand him your car keys or a spoon or a francium pellet.
I recommend not thinking about that metaphor too deeply because it is really shallow and you’re likely to suffer a pretty nasty head or neck injury if you dive into that shallow pool.
So, today, for my inaugural (and probably retirement) post for Whatnot Wednesday, I am going to talk about the latest critter I’ve seen in my back yard.
Over the years, I have seen all sorts of ordinary things in my back yard. Birds. Squirrels. Rats. Bunnies.
But last night at around 11 PM, I opened up the back door to heave a used coffee filter full of sopping wet coffee grounds into the compost bin (which sounds a lot better than just heaving a wet coffee filter full of soggy coffee grounds out into the darkness for no particular reason) and I thought I saw some motion.
Being of a curious nature, I flicked on the outdoor light and there, waddling through a patch of freshly blooming coffee filters, was an animal about the size of a medium sized dog, or extremely small goat. In spite of the outdoor light being on, the harsh shadows in the back yard made it impossible for me to tell what it was. However, I narrowed down the choices to two.
If it was a possum, it was an unusually large one … and suffering somewhat from possum pattern baldness.
If it was an armadillo, it was a little on the small side … and could have used a shave.
The only feature I got a good look at the tail, but that wasn’t of much help. Both animals have long, stiff, rat-like tails.
Yes, I could have run back inside for a flashlight, but the creature was beating a non-hasty retreat towards a small gap in my fence. Even though it was lumbering quite slowly, it still would have been gone by the time I retrieved my flashlight, replaced the batteries, spoke querulously to no-one in particular about why we keep dead batteries in our junk drawer, replaced the batteries again, and then made it outside to flick on the flashlight that I can only get to come intermittently on by whacking it against he palm of my other hand repeatedly.
But whatever it was, I found it oddly satisfying that it chose my particular yard to grace with its presence (and possibly fewmets).
I’d like to think that that means my yard has a reputation among the denizens of the wild kingdom as a place of safety and refuge, of day-old sliced cantaloupe that was developing a peculiar pong, and, of course, plenty of decorative coffee filters in which to practice one’s rooting skills.
I should win Yard of the Week on those grounds alone.