Don’t Let The Cat Out Of The Bag? – Comedy Open Mic Round 31

When we were kids, we had a live trap by the garden to catch the rabbits that pilfered our produce. It was a homemade one that was pretty effective at capturing the little varmints.

My stepdad, Paul designed and built it with two by twos and the leftover wire mesh from our rabbit cages. It wasn’t efficient at first, but with some R&D and a little trial and error, we had it working pretty fine.

Here is a professional looking blueprint

So I would have to check the trap each day when I got home from school and dispatch the usually wild rabbit in the trap. It was not a great feeling when you slide the barrel through the mesh, but we couldn’t let them go and eat all our vegetables. I would always try to get as close as possible, so it would make less noise and be a clean kill.

Until one day

I got home and there was the cutest little cottontail in the trap. It wasn’t wild though. I put the gun down and put on my leather gloves. (I didn’t want it to bite me as I was petting it.)

It was so tame. I picked it up and cradled it in my arms. It absolutely loved me. I was stroking its fur and it was vibrating (Probably with the emotions of finally finding its boy.) I decided that we wouldn’t be eating this bunny. It was going to be my pet.

I went to the garage and found an empty beer case. I threw a bunch of grass in it for the bunny to eat and then closed up the top so he wouldn’t hop out when we went into the house.

While we were in the basement, I called my mom at work to tell her about my new pet. She started to get a little heated when I answered her question as to where the rabbit was right then.

“Jesus Christ, get that thing out of the house before Paul gets home! They are full of lice and all kinds of other bugs.”

“Mom, I’ve already been petting him. He doesn’t have any bugs.” I said as I looked down at my hand and closely studied the skin.

Oh great. My skin was crawling with something but it was too small

It was right about then that I saw and heard the beer case starting to pop around the floor. Then the top blew open and that rabbit came flying out with the fear of death in its face.

After stammering a bit on the phone, my mom asked if the rabbit was loose in the house. I couldn’t lie my way out of this one.

“Yeah, but it’s okay.”

I tried to make it seem like everything was cool as I watched a ball of fur start racing the length of the house, stretch out and completely clear the couch, slamming headlong into the fake wood panel wall, right under the window.

“I gotta go, Mom, I’ll get it out of here.” I had about fifteen minutes before Paul pulled into the driveway.

I sprinted to the corner where the rabbit would have landed but it was a lot quicker than I was. It shot itself into the wall behind the TV. I started pulling the TV stand away from the corner but it was already on its way down the other long wall. This time it didn’t slam into the wall, it just rounded the corner and started towards the couch again.

WHAM!

This time it was a little closer to the window, which was probably five feet up the wall. That’s when I realized the bunny was trying to escape but the couch was in the way and it didn’t know that it could jump off the couch and easily make it.

Well, easily hurtle through the two panes of glass and most likely get sliced to bits, ten minutes before I got a spanking and had to go cut some lawns to pay back the $15 it would probably cost to replace the two windows.

I also could foresee me cleaning up all the blood and having to putty the new glass into the frames.

I grabbed the beer case and ran to the window as the bunny went back for another leap of freedom. I waited there as it made it over the couch and right into my cardboard catcher’s mitt.

The fight was on!

I immediately crumpled the box around its body and started running for the stairs. It clawed its way free and popped its head out of the box and screamed wildly at me. It was frightening.

Not as frightening as when I tripped at the bottom of the stairs and my face pressed into the box as we both went into the netherworld for a split second of screams mixed with gnashing teeth and my mouth full of lousy rabbit fur.

By the time I reached the top of the stairs, I had the bunny by the scruff and it was flailing like Phil Robertson at a pride rally.

It was a few feet to the back door and I pushed it open it with the rabbit. Two more steps and I flung that thing out to the front yard. I watched it do a few circle jumps in the air and then shoot across the lawn, road, and ditch into the field near the creek.

I put the beer case back in the garage and went to the basement to put everything back where it was when the fiasco started. As I went back up the stairs, I heard Paul’s truck pulling in. I walked out to greet him in the driveway.

He got out of the truck and stared at me as he walked up to the house. Then he looked into the garage.

“What happened to your face?” He asked

I remembered the close encounter on the stairs. “I got into a little fight.”

He looked back into the garage and then asked, “With that beer case?”

“Uh, it was involved,” I replied.

“I don’t even want to know. Did we get anything in the trap?”

“It’s empty. The carrot is still on the hook and I’ll set it tonight.” I hoped that would be the end of it.

“Okay. I’m going to lay down for a while and then we’ll cut the lawn.”

I eagerly agreed to that sentence. It was far more lenient than the one I had envisioned earlier. I went to the washroom to look in the mirror and wash the parasites off of my hands.

There were some burning claw marks on my cheek, in addition to the bite on my lip that was starting to throb, but I doused everything with a couple foamy shots of peroxide and went out to finish my chores.

That was the last time that I tried to keep a wild animal as a pet, and the first time I changed the statement in the title to “Don’t let the rabbit out of the box.”

Thanks for reading and I would like to nominate @amberyooper and @smithlabs to partake in the merriment. You can learn more by checking out @comedyopenmic’s last post. It has a link to the rules and everything.

Probably.

Old Red

Red bought the farm yesterday. I didn’t think it was time for her to go yet, but she had her own thoughts, as she always did.

She’s on the left. It was when she was pretty new.

I wonder if it ever gets easy to say goodbye to your chickens. I was glad that this was quick, unlike when Henny P bit it, but it was still pretty hard for me. At least Henny had the decency to just die and freeze before I found her.

It was easier that way to give her to Roger so he could teach his kid how to trap a marten.

Red kicked the bucket too far ahead of the winter, so she didn’t get to enjoy the part of the circle of life where you become bait. She only gets to be the end and the beginning.

Well, I guess that’s not true. She’s probably baiting blowflies and a plethora of bacteria and other bugs that help with decomposition.

I tried to find a good infographic of the circle of life to support my claims, but all I got from Google images was this.

So, right from the death of Henny P, Red was my favourite chicken. She was the smallest, but she was also the lead chicken. If I would find a bunch of bugs somewhere, I would call the girls, but Red was always the first one there to get her fill. She had no fear of me, that’s for sure. She would peck and scratch my shoes if she thought I was hiding a worm under them.

I called her the ant sniper

The other chickens didn’t bother with ants very much, but Red would get in there and eat tons of them when I’d flip a rock over that was housing the little buggers. The others would stand around and try to eat some of the eggs, but Red would jump in and run them off. If she was going to do the work of getting all the ants, you can bet she’d be the one reaping the eggs. Even chickens know how delicious eggs are.

Another thing I loved about her was that she would jump up in my lap if I was sitting outside. She would get really close and stare at my face. I’m sure she was just hoping some mealworms would fall out of my nostrils or something but I like to think that she just liked the cut of my jib. It would explain why she liked to get all flirty when I would go to pet her.

She was always so envious of Henny’s bra.

In all seriousness though, when I went out to give them the melon guts last night, only three of the girls came running. I looked out to see where Red was but there was no sign of her. I peeked in the window to see if she was laying, but her head was hanging way out and bobbing up and down.

That got me worried

I went in and saw that she was having a hard time breathing and her eyes were closed. I put my hand under her and her crop was empty and her neck was really bony. She could barely open her eyes. I thought I took a bit of video and went in to show Gerri but I guess I didn’t hit the button.

We talked about how she was just out the day before running around the yard and eating lots of grass and bugs. It just seemed like there was no way she could have started failing so soon.

But she was.

By the time I got back out, she was looking even worse. I carried her outside and sat with her on the swing. It was taking all she had to breathe and I sat there crying and debating on the best way to ease her pain.

By this time our cat, Tubs had jumped up beside us and was smelling Red’s face. He started rubbing into my arm and being the sweetest cat you could ever imagine and then I noticed the old butcher knife on the chair. I thought that I would just go over to the fence and cut her head off in one quick motion. It seemed to be better than wheezing to death.

When I lay her head on the fencepost, I moved the knife over her neck and her blue eyelids opened to give me this horrified look and then she jerked her head back.

I, of course, took this as a sign that she wanted to live! Yes, that must be it. She’s letting me know that it’s just something stuck in her throat and if I could just get her to the vet, she would be back eating and drinking in no time.

I went back and sat with her again on the swing. Tubs gave her another sniff and she just laid her head down on my leg. I was back to crying again. She started to convulse like she was having the dry heaves and then she had a shit on my leg.

I had to act fast. I grabbed her neck and snapped it while getting up out of the swing and walking to the fencepost where I lopped her head off to be sure she was dead.

She was.

I put her in an old feed sack and wiped the last of my tears on my sleeve, which as it fell to my side, got smeared in the turd on my leg. Fitting.

I went into the house and solemnly thought about how there was no way I was taking a two and a half year old chicken that hadn’t laid more than two eggs a week for the last three months to the vet but I used that as an excuse to selfishly spend a few more minutes with my friend as she was going into the throes of death. I hope that she was comforted a little.

I’m going to miss my ant sniper and I’m happy the bylaw officer moved away two days earlier and gave her the chance to be a free-range girl again, at least for the last few days of her life.

Red knew that having her own dirt was better than sharing with two others. She would get all the worms.

Why Don’t Nobody Shoot Straight No More?

Yeah, I know that this isn’t a new phenomenon. I have worked for a lot of people over the years and a lot of them have been manipulative and try to use psychological tactics on me. This is one of those stories.

First off, I should mention that I have never asked an employer how much I would be getting paid to work there. My thoughts were that I would do the job for a few months and if I don’t think they are paying me what I am worth to them, I leave. I don’t barter. I don’t threaten. I don’t want to work somewhere that operates in that manner. Pay me what I’m worth to you.

That said, I have been working as a temp on a road maintenance crew. I have been there for two and a half years. This last year and a bit I have worked straight through, but there were a few times I was worried about getting laid off. It’s hard enough getting by on full wages, I couldn’t imagine doing it at 70% or whatever unemployment gives you.

Being a temp, I am in the union but don’t have the benefits of a full-time, permanent employee. Like full dental, drug plan etc… I also don’t get vacation time and can’t buy shares in the company.

This was all fine and good until recently when a bunch of companies came to town and plan on working here for a few years.

They pay very well.

We could actually put some money away towards our dream of going off-grid.

People keep telling me I should go work for these companies because they are looking for people and I live right here. My answer has always been that I like the job I have and that I was sure I’d be offered the full-time position soon.

Then I was told the other day that I wouldn’t be getting it. This was from a coworker who had talked to someone, so I figured I should ask the big boss, face to face.

I was told that unless one of the full-time employees quits, I would not be getting on full-time with benefits. I thanked him for letting me know and left the office.

I was a little miffed, but at least I knew where I stood and could now look into other options. I got back to our crew and the next morning I mentioned it to the coworker that had told me I wouldn’t be getting the full-time job. I just told him that if I got a better offer, I would be leaving. Maybe I could even train for a trade that would benefit me as a future homesteader.

I guess he mentioned it to another employee and next thing you know we are having a staff meeting and I have to explain that I will leave if a better offer comes in, as we have kids and ourselves that need glasses, dental work, prescriptions, etc… My inhalers alone are over $100/month and I only get about $200 in my health spending account. I had to explain that it was pretty sad that my teeth are needing some repair work, but after everything is said and done, there is never enough left for my teeth.

They all understood and realize that I’m not thinking of leaving because of them, but because I need to think about my family’s future.

An hour later my foreman came out and told me that he had spoken to the president and I was asked not to do anything rash until they could see what might be able to be done about getting me on full-time.

This pissed me off, almost worse than when they told me, sixteen hours earlier, I wouldn’t get it.

If there was a chance that I could have it, why tell me there wasn’t? Why is it only after I mention entertaining other offers that there might be something that can be done?

If this was the old days and I was single, I probably would have left for that reason only. Now I have others that rely on me, so I called my wife. I just love her so much. She was very supportive and told me that whatever I chose would be fine.

That was two days ago and I’m still pretty upset about all this. It just makes me mad that people don’t lay their cards on the table. If I’m not worth the extra five or ten thousand dollars per year, then tell me that, or just let me go.

My real problem is deciding whether I even want to stay. I like the people I work with now, but who knows what will happen when we have to double our manpower for the winter? You never know what kind of crew you’ll be working with. I also get tired of working with machinery that has been thundered pretty hard.

I think the best part of the job is that I only work forty hours a week and about thirty-six in the winter unless it’s snowing. Then we get overtime. This means I get plenty of time to be with my family and can actually have balance.

It’s also the devil I know.

It’s the first time I have been in a union and I can’t say I’m a fan, but I do see the appeal for established employees. The union has sort of messed me around, but at least I may also be established soon and can take advantage of whatever benefits have been negotiated prior.

On the other hand, I can sort of see why the company might dick employees around when they have to play by the union’s rules. I’ve seen a lot of people abuse every last bit of their available perks. I understand that it was negotiated, but come on; lets at least be fair. If you’re not really sick or hurt, don’t use all of your sick days. You get plenty of holidays already.

Anyhow, I have never done anything to make the company think I was being less than honest or out to get more than I was paid for. If I have to leave early, I always fill out the paperwork and deduct it from my pay. I have never taken anything unless it was getting thrown out and was okayed by the boss. I am not a partier, so I don’t refuse work because I’m to messed up to drive and I haven’t wrecked the equipment too bad or done any public damage.

I guess I just want to be treated as I treat others. You know, innocent until proven guilty, the benefit of the doubt, and whatever other cliches fit the bill.

Anyhow, this is my first ulog, so be gentle on me. I’m sure it’s not exactly what a ulog is supposed to be but I will learn as I go. It’s also going to be entered in @penderis contest, so if you haven’t, go check his posts and find the one named Abject Sleuth. The info is in there.

All photos from pixabay.com. Thanks, Pixabay, and all of the photographers that give their free images.