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Chapter 14


Me Again. I cleaned off my patio for the umpteenth time this year. The culprits are those blasted English sparrows who insist on building nests in the gutter that runs beneath the patio cover. To me, these imports serve no earthly purpose. I even built them a large birdhouse with room for several families but do you think they will share? No, a bully and his mate will not allow any other pairs to nest in the house. I became so frustrated I ran the garden hose in and turned on the water full blast. This removed every vestige of their existence but they were back in force the next day rebuilding the nests. Maybe if they were just potty trained it would make a difference. As it is I have to wash the patio furniture every time we want to sit out there and a favorite perch is my gas grill. I now have a polka dot cover.

Not my first run in with sparrows. When I was in the automobile business in Weatherford the sparrows insisted on building nests under the eaves around the show room. Someone told me rubber snakes would drive them out and I spent a small fortune at the local department store. This ploy worked for about five minutes, until they discovered the snakes were harmless. Mistake. We left the rubber snakes in the eaves.

I had a customer, a crusty old gal who had retired from the Army Nursing Corps. Her language would turn the air blue when she was upset or just telling one of her famous jokes. She had purchased a new Pontiac Catalina coupe and I was helping her transfer her belongings from the trade in and had just handed her a bowling ball bag with the ball inside. At this moment, one of those pesky sparrows pulled one of the rubber snakes out of the eaves and it landed around my customer's neck! It was about three feet long, looked and felt like a real snake and she thought I had tossed it on her on purpose. She swung the bag at my head, barely missing it and started a tirade that would have done Captain Ahab justice. It took a few minutes to explain what had happened. I suppose I should be thankful they are not pigeons or worse yet, condors.

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