Monday, August 12, 2013

City Boy, Country Boy: When the Creepy Crawlies Invade

Traditionally, men are called upon to deal with anything that's alive and has fewer than one leg or more than four. We are the slayers of snakes, the smashers of spiders, the squashers of cockroaches, the obliterators of ants, the crushers of beetle bugs, the destroyers of centipedes, the mashers of millipedes, the killers of plant-eating worms.
I am not traditional. And let's just say that tonight, I'm glad the neighbors weren't watching, and they know that my dog squeals like a little girl. Flatulence is not the only thing that gets blamed on her.
My partner is a country boy. He can look at bugs of all manner and identify them, where they come from, how long they will be around. He can do this calmly and rationally. I am a city boy. I identify them this way: "Honey, there's a crunchy bug. Can you get it?" "J! Get in here! There is a BIG f-ing spider! Kill it NOW!" "Ahhhhh! Like, 10 things just flew in! Bring the cats!" And the infamous, "Bug bug bug there's a bug in my hair! (swat furiously at my head where there is nothing)" and the now-legendary, "Spider! Spiderweb! Getitoff! Ahhhhhhhh!" (throw the platter of cut veggies and ranch dressing ten feet in the air before sprinting down the driveway). We don't discuss the willow-fly-outside-the-restaurant incident. We'll just say a lot of diners got a good laugh.
Tonight, though, my poor, long-suffering darling came home to me having a near meltdown. It involved something that should be harmless, healthy even. Field corn.
Field corn, according to J, is corn that is grown for feed, not for grocery market. His mom got us some from his uncle's farm. It's been on the counter since last evening. This is an important point. He asked me to make him two ears tonight. No problem, I think. Shuck them, desilk them, boil them. Easy, I think. It's corn.
You are nodding in agreement. Let me stop you right there.
Field corn brings hitchhikers. These hitchhikers are sneaky. You peel back several layers of husk and  the tassel of silk and there, still very much alive, is a worm. Or a caterpillar. Or both. On the corn. That has been sitting on your counter.  If you score high on the Gay Man Scale of Squick[tm][by our girlpartner Z] as I do, you drop the corn and let out a squeal that makes the dog look sideways at you. When you get your breath, you decide that the most sensible thing to do it grab a large knife, go outside, and hack off the offending chunk of the cob with its hitchhikers. You repeat this with the second ear, this time without squealing.
I did this. I am proud. I survived the Invasion of the Corn Worm Things. And I very carefully took the cobs by two fingers, rinsed them well, and dropped them in boiling water. If there was anything else living on them, too bad.
When J got home, he was informed about the aforementioned incident.
And told that in the future, he can clean his own damn corn.

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