Sunday, October 25, 2015

Butterfly exlosion

Exiled to the roof
Netted basket filled with green chrysalises

ROOFTOP – What a day it’s been. And, you wanna know something? It’s not over. Not by a long shot.

You might notice that there are no exclamation marks in that intro. That’s ‘cause we’re supposed to be quiet up here this evening, while the birthing process takes place in the house. I was getting way too demonstrative to suit Kay. Her word – demonstrative. I don’t even think it’s the right word.

You may know me well enough to realize I’m not talking about birthing a real baby. That usually happens on the carport. No, it’s butterfly hatching that’s going on inside the house. Kay gets way too protective of her butterfly collection. She received the current collection of caterpillars from the same girl who gave us our first monarch caterpillar. Shannon. On this occasion, Shannon gave Kay 16 caterpillars. Shannon thought she could spare them, ‘cause she still has over fifty… inside her house! (Opps. I raised my voice.)

Each caterpillar in Kay’s collection entered the chrysalis stage about 10 days ago. Today, six of ‘em hatched. Not a boy among ‘em. I helped Kay take the first one outside. That’s when I apparently got too “demonstrative” for her. She can’t tolerate excessive demonstrativeness.

I’ve christened each of the newborns. Thus far, we’ve had Bookey, Cuepie, Dolchifina, Elsie, Fatima and Gertrude. All but Fatima are Protestants. I only got to see phone photos of them, ‘cause of my behavior… as if my being “demonstrative” is going to ruin the lives of a half dozen butterflies.

The remaining nine chrysalises (chrysali?) are getting darker, so they may hatch tomorrow. All but two of ‘em are camped inside an upside-down webbed basket. (That is the first appearance of that sentence in any language.) Two of the nine caterpillars escaped the netting. One formed a chrysalis on the underside of a shelf. The other roosted on the underside of one of the mini-blinds. What an idiot! It may well be our only boy.

For the purpose of shaming me, Kay enlisted the help of Michael, the kid next door, to help her release the last hatched. She told me that Michael was very gentle with the newborn. Like Michael is better than me. Why don’t you just knee me in the nards? -- Scratch that. Kay does not favor my use of testicular slang.  That’s what she said, “I do not favor…” La tee dah.

So, after that blow by blow account, you’ve probably guessed that I’ve been on the roof a good while. Butterflies don’t just appear and then fly off, you know. They’ve got to hang around until their butterfly-hearts pump enough butterfly-blood to their wings inorder to give them rigidities. (I’m pretty sure that’s a word, ‘cause spell-check let it slide. Rigidities.)

Kay took Beverly out too early. The poor thing slowly crawled from Kay’s finger to a milkweed plant. It was my idea for the early release. I was eager to get the show on the road. It was shortly after that I decided to hide up here. Can’t get into any trouble up here with you guys.

So, here we sit. Instead of witnessing the wonders of butterfly birth, we’re sitting up here on this metal roof somewhere between a kitchen vent and the satellite dish.

Speaking of which, what do you do with a satellite dish after you quit using it? DISH network never brought the subject up when we cancelled our service. It may have been an oversight… making me fear to remove the thing, I’ll probably get visited by two guys with black suits and dark sunglasses. “Okay, Mac, we can do this the hard way, or you can just tell us what you did with the dish.” The word “torture” would be thrown around a time or two.

Truth is, I’d have to give Kay up. I just do not do well under torture. Even the thought of torture. – “Oh, yeah, it was my wife. I begged her not to do it. But nooooo. She told me to get out of her way and quit being demonstrative.”

I don’t know if we’re sophisticated enough to possess a satellite dish. I have seen houses that still have those gigantic dishes, like the ones used around Hanger 51. The kind that can receive signals from the Zeta Prostatis Galaxy. The big dishes won’t receive TV signals anymore. Probably. But, they are great leaf catchers. Surely there’s some parts of the monstrosities that can be salvaged.

But then, what do I know about salvage? I can’t even salvage my image as head-of-the-house. I’m up here on the roof with you guys, ‘cause I apparently know nothing about birthing butterflies. I’ll have her know that I was the midwife of Annette, our firstborn monarch. Where was Kay during that birthing process? Out of town! (Oops. We’re yelling again. Hold it down, would you?)

I hope you realize I’m joking about not being the man of the house. Pretty much joking. Somewhat joking. I’m in charge, all right. But, I’ve found it best to pick my battles. I don’t mind giving in on this one, ‘cause the battle coming up involves the possible cancellation of HBO.

Kay thinks it’s ridiculous for us to pay $20 a month just so I can watch six episodes of “Game of Thrones” each year. I hate it when she uses logic against me. It boggles the mind how much this girl has advanced under my tutelage. Just makes me want to weep.


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