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NOT FOR NUTHIN’ - A series of unfortunate events

My grandmother always intoned, “Darker than midnight it can’t get.”

Of course she said it in Italian, and it loses something in the translation, but basically it means that since midnight is the darkest part of the night, and it can only get lighter (go up) from there, your problems can’t get any worse if they are already really bad to begin with. But as you know, every comforting adage has a corollary, and the one to this one I say, “If I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck.”

It all started off with a bad reaction to a new medication, necessitating a trip to the ER. It was supposed to be fixed with just a shot (two to be precise) or so I thought, before I went home to sleep it off.

Midnight had come and now gone, so I went home, rested up and got up bright and early Monday morning to go to work. Big mistake. The reaction hadn't really gone away; it had just calmed because of the two shots. Once they had truly worn off, I was back to square one.

Back to the doctor I flew. More medicine, and then back to home and bed again. This went on for almost the whole week until Friday, when I got up and felt almost normal. Now that I was up and around I was volunteered, along with the car, to give my daughter a lift to a friend’s house.

I grabbed my car keys, went to the fridge for a bottle of water and got sidetracked from who knows what. I left the house, only to realize I had not only locked my bag (my whole life) inside, but my house keys as well. Not to worry, my husband Bob would be home by 3 p.m. and I could wait until then. And I still had the car keys.

After dropping off my darling daughter, I decided I would visit the doctor one last time, just to check my blood pressure and kill some time; I still had two hours to go before Bob came home.

I got the A-okay from the doctor and headed home. Being that it was the hottest day of the summer, I decided to take a dip in the pool to cool off and relax. No bathing suit, no problem — my back yard is pretty private and secluded, so off went my jeans and into the pool with my tighty whiteys jumped I.

Now here is where the midnight got darker even though it should have been really close to morning.

After jumping in and enjoying the cool water, I noticed an inordinately large number of bird feathers floating in the pool, and now and again a really bad smell. I took out my handy dandy scooper/skimmer net and began collecting the feathers. I cleaned them up and settled in for a nice long float, the smell be dammed.

After two attempts I managed to get on the pool float — but not for long, and as I began moving around the pool I lost my tenuous grip and fell off. Sputtering I returned to the surface looking for the malevolent float. There it was right behind me. Not wanting the float to get the better of me, I pulled it to me — hard — hard — and that's when a big black mess of unknown something popped out at me.

Yuck! I had found the source of not only the bad smell, but of all the feathers as well: there, to my shock and horror, was a badly decomposing bird.

I jumped from the pool in my tighty whiteys trying not to scream and ran over to the table to get my pants. I stiffened my upper lip, closed my nose and grabbed the net to fish out the bird. Bird in hand and jeans on butt, I ran screaming into the front yard, looking to see if any of my neighbors were out. Fortunately for me, Tracy had just gotten home and she offered me her shoulder, her phone and a place to calm my nerves to wait for my husband.

Eventually Bob came home, we disposed of the bird, and I called 311 for advice. It was, after all the third dead bird we had found on our property in two weeks.

The operator was very nice, but unfortunately had no answers for us. She couldn’t tell us how we should treat the water in the pool or how long we should stay out of it after whatever treatment we used. There was no one to ask. We only had three, and according to the operator we needed nine dead birds before the city would take action.

So I used a little common sense, shocked the pool with so much chlorine that a little mushroom cloud appeared for a day or two, filtered and hoped for the best. The pool is clean, the birds are gone and not for nuthin', but I will never jump into the pool with only my undies on ever again.

***

A shout out goes to Eileen Koop of Sheepshead Bay. She found 13 out of the 21 pop references from last week’s homage to pop. Her prize: you're looking at it!

E-mail “Not for Nuthin’” at JoannaD@courierlife.net. All letters become the property of Courier-Life Publications and are subject to publication unless otherwise specified; please include your name, address and daytime telephone number for verification.

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