WhiteCoat

Dear Diary

VarmintSo much to rant about today.

The girls are doing a dance competition this weekend. I’m trapped in my own little version of Dance Moms. Aaaaauuuuuggghhh. Somebody help me. One daughter complains because she’s in the back of one dance the whole time. Another daughter is upset because people are mad at her because she’s in front during one of her dances. Glitter is all over our fricking kitchen and it doesn’t come up with wet wipes, either. We have to purchase hair extensions with curls for $25 for the girls, and we have to make SURE to purchase the color that most closely matches the girl’s hair. We can’t just curl the girls’ hair because judges can apparently tell the difference between real curled hair and fake curled hair and that makes a difference on how they grade the performance. Sounds like a Joint Commission inspection.
I just keep thinking that they couldn’t pay me enough to participate in a reality show based on this crap.

Junior WhiteCoat is ramping up lacrosse season. He’s loving it. Playing in a huge tournament at Notre Dame next weekend. Junior was also one of the main characters in a movie that won first place and multiple other awards at an indie film festival last week. He’s now getting requests for auditions with some bigger movies. Hear that, Adam Sandler? Pick him and your movie could grace the pages of WhiteCoat’s Call Room.

On the doggie chew list for the past week include a Jenga block, a decorative pillow from the couch, a garbage can in the office, the leg from a “Monster High” doll (since when did it become cool for young girls to go from modeling themselves after Barbies to modeling themselves after zombie high school kids, anyway?), and the middle of her doggie bed. The last one is most interesting. You see, she’s chewed half of the inside out of her own bed and now she no longer wants to sleep on the bed. So when it gets dark out, she runs upstairs to the bedroom and lays on the other dog’s bed before he gets there. That means that the innocent dog is stuck sleeping on a disaster of a dog bed that he had no part in creating. After the first couple of times that happened, I started moving the doggie garbage disposal off the good bed and letting our other dog lay on his bed. By the morning, though, there was more foam filling sitting on the floor, Chewmeister was laying on the good bed, and our other dog was laying on the floor. I’m getting to the point that I’m going to start making little Chewy sleep in a cage … on her own frigged up bed.
Then I thought to myself … those beds are a lot like, say California and Texas right about now.

Speaking about cages. I’m in the closet getting my clothes for the day and I hear some little animal running in the wall. My back has been bad lately, so I haven’t been able to climb in there and see whatever the hell it is that is running around in there. But now I’m in pain, but at least I can move. So I pull off the piece of plasterboard covering the wall, shine my flashlight in there, and a damn squirrel stops, gets on his hind legs, and gives me a “what are YOU doing in here” look. So I did what every normal homeowner would do under the circumstances. I barked at him at the top of my lungs like a dog. He jumped up in the air and then scurried into some other hole he had chewed in the wall. Now at least I know what the varmint is.
So I went to Home Depot and found the varmint killing aisle. There were surprisingly few choices for varminticide. There was the humane live animal cage trap and then there was the not-so-humane sticky board for large animals. I got both.
So I set up the cage trap. I put some almonds and strawberries on it because that is what the trap directions say that squirrels like. I set the trap up at 11 o’clock at night. About 6:00 the following morning, I am woken by the trap snapping shut and I hear some additional banging around. Well. That was easy. I put on a sweatshirt and looked inside the wall. The little squirrel had knocked over the trap and taken all of the almonds. Okay. I balanced it over two of the ceiling studs, so that was probably my fault. One point for the squirrel.
Then I got a piece of old floorboard and put it inside the area, and I set the trap on top of that. Nice and sturdy. Added another handful of almonds and set the trap. Then I left for work. I checked the trap after work and it was knocked off of the floor board. Again, the almonds were gone. Score: WhiteCoat love, squirrel 30.
Okay Mr. Smarty Squirrel, this time you are getting the sticky board. So I put a bunch of almonds right against the wall and it put the sticky board right in front of the almonds. That way, when he stepped on the board to get the almonds, his foot would become stuck to the board. Gotcha this time. When I went back to check on the second trap, both the board and the almonds are gone. WhiteCoat love, squirrel 40. Little bastard.
What I have learned from this experience so far is that squirrels like almonds and that I don’t like squirrels.
So I’m trying to figure whether I go try to purchase some cyanide on the black market so I can poison the almonds or if I just pull an Elmer Fudd and wait in the attic until he comes back and then blast him to smithereens with a shotgun. Feel like Bill Murray in Caddyshack right about now.
The chess match continues.
Oh, and if you happen to see a squirrel sitting up in a tree with a rectangular board stuck to his foot, whack him with an assault rock for me, will ya?

The new web site has been a colossal exercise in frustration. I had everything almost ready to go except for a few formatting tweaks. Needed to add a couple of spaces to put ads to help pay for a new doggie bed and some gruel for my kids. Wanted to change the formatting for Healthcare Updates so that I could make a lot of daily updates without making 15 new posts that bury all of the more substantive posts. Then I got advice from someone who will heretofore and henceforth remain nameless. Said nameless advisor recommended multiple changes to the web site. I could help more patients with tips and tricks. I could get higher search engine rankings when I rant against Press Ganey. Oooh, and I could automate! E-mail summaries of the posts of the week for the readers. Maybe even a member’s only section.
Really? Hmmmm. So I listened. I had meetings. We optimized.
And now the site is still sitting like the old rusted-out clunker car in the backyard of the house next door to my brother.

But then there are the good things in life.
Over the holiday we had friends over, cracked open a couple of bottles of wine, and just talked … and laughed. Wish we could do that more often.
Mrs. WhiteCoat and I rented a movie and curled up on the couch to watch it. We’ve been running so much lately that we both fell asleep within 10 minutes. When I woke up, I had to smile and think about how luck I was to be able to curl up on the couch and relax with my honey.
My brother came out to visit for the holiday. Not sure what it is that makes certain grown adults act like teenage kids when they’re around each other, but I need more of it. I haven’t laughed that much in a while. More about that in another post.
Came home from work one day and found a note sitting on my chair. It was a picture of me with a big head and really long legs holding hands with my daughter who had flowing blonde locks and was in a dress and wearing a crown. The sun was shining and there was a single colorful flower growing out of the barren dirt around us. The caption said “You’re the best dad ever. You relly are.” That made a half-sucky day into a really good day.

Despite the stress, the freeloading squirrel, and the web site, life is good.

Then again, I’m typing this before sitting through 7 hours of dance competition.
I may have to post an update.

11 Responses to “Dear Diary”

  1. Mary says:

    We had a similar issue with squirrels. Put a bunch of moth balls inside the wall (before you do this, make sure you know where they are getting in and how you will secure said area.) In theory, the mothballs will drive them out, and you can fix the hole before they decide to return. This worked well for us except for one who didn’t leave. We fixed the hole anyway. He died in there, presumable of thirst. We heard the scratching get weaker and weaker. Eventually dear hubby had to go into the soffit for another reason, found skeletal remains of the hold out.

  2. SeaSpray says:

    “What I have learned from this experience so far is that squirrels like almonds and that I don’t like squirrels.”

    If it could be squirrel vs tennis racket, I’m guessing you’d like to lob your your resident squirrel varmint over the moon by now. I know this is annoying but so funny. What about just hiring an exterminator? I saw the last half hour of Caddy Shack the other night and so of course it came to mind as I was reading this. If we hear about some crazed doctor muttering about a squirrel and blowing holes through his house with a shot gun …we’ll know who it is. ;)

    Great post!

    Laughed out loud all through the dog story. You should write a book!

    Actually, I laughed out loud throughout your post.

    You’re blessed with a beautiful family and they are blessed to have you WC. Thanks for sharing.

    Oh and this? “(since when did it become cool for young girls to go from modeling themselves after Barbies to modeling themselves after zombie high school kids, anyway?),”

    What? You don’t mean for real – right? Just dolls? I’m so NOT into the zombie thing ..yuk.

    And I hope your back is feeling better every day.

  3. Elle says:

    Tape (scotch tape or packaging tape) can remove dry glitter. The Pet hair removal rollers that have the sticky sheets can also pick up dry glitter.

  4. DefendUSA says:

    That squirrel thingy? Go to WalMart and buy some glue traps for mice. Lay them in succession of two.They are rectangular, so go for long. They love peaches (fresh) so maybe you can lace it with something…ahem.
    I have had to make a maze from my upstairs to downstairs to get baby squirrels out…and thus, chimney caps solved that problem. They are very destructive animals.

  5. Peebles says:

    The only rat poison I have found which will consistently kill squirrels is called “Just One Bite”. Alternatively, there is a rat trap which electrocutes them, called the Rat Zapper (do a search on amazon.com, that’s where I got mine). The large “ultra” version works on squirrels, just make sure it’s got brand new alkaline batteries in it.

    Your only other option is to name the thing, declare it a pet, and learn to live with it. Really, is it any more destructive than your Chewy?

    • SeaSpray says:

      “Your only other option is to name the thing, declare it a pet, and learn to live with it. Really, is it any more destructive than your Chewy?”

      LOL!! And squirrels don’t even need a rabies vaccine. ;)

      • Mandy says:

        “A Squirrel Named ‘Fido’” … the more I think about it, the more I like it :-D

        Ooooorrr… give it a human-sounding name (“Susie”, “Sam”, etc), draft some official-looking adoption papers, and chuck it on your taxes as another dependent ;-)

  6. Ken says:

    “Glitter – the herpes of craft supplies.” – Demitri Martin

  7. tracy says:

    Maybe you should shoot the ‘ol critter and fry it up like i saw on tv today! Jest kiddin’

    When we lived in CT we had an accidental (sp?)squirrel for a pet for a few months. looooooooooooooooooooooog story, but he was fun.

    “You’re a good shot, Private” “Thank you Sir” “Where did you learn?” S-s-squirrel hunting, Sir”.

    Prize for winner of the film that quote is from.

Leave a Reply


6 − = five

Popular Authors

  • Greg Henry
  • Rick Bukata
  • Mark Plaster
  • Kevin Klauer
  • Jesse Pines
  • David Newman
  • Rich Levitan
  • Ghazala Sharieff
  • Nicholas Genes
  • Jeannette Wolfe
  • William Sullivan
  • Michael Silverman

Earn CME Credit