Thursday, January 10, 2008

Pest control

CB is gone, off visiting different cities to investigate postdoc opportunities. Rather than dwell on it (OH MY GOOOOD IT SUUUCKS), I will entertain you with a story from my latest workplace.

I write and edit materials about plant conservation for a Very Important Institution. We have gardeners on-site to manage some of our exhibits, and yes, I'm being vague in the hopes it will take you longer than 30 milliseconds to figure out where I'm employed.

Just after Christmas, one of the staff gardeners let out a bloodcurdling screech from the shed where he kept his tools. Moments later, he came into the office looking several shades paler than normal.

For background information, this is a nutria. It looks cute, but it's actually slightly more evil than European starlings. Or your worst relative, in case you are a normal person who doesn't understand why starlings are the spawn of Satan over here. Nutria are an invasive species who happen to be champion eaters, so they inflict irreparable damage on our native wetlands as they munch their way across the United States. This is why you can find all sorts of interesting information online from people who hate this handy book of recipes...

Anyway, our gardeners hate nutria. Haaaaate. And while we environmentalists are all supposed to be hippy-dippy treehugger types, the truth is that we get downright pissed when invasive species show up and throw one more wrench into our sputtering ecosystems. Apparently, we aren't too good at keeping quiet, because someone figured out that our group is anti-nutria.

The gardener, he found a box outside his tool shed. After cautiously toeing it, thinking it might be some kind of misshapen bomb, or maybe even full of puppies, he opened it. And screamed. That's right: Santa brought us a dead nutria for Christmas.

Welcome to my world. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Where have you gone, my dear? Your faithful readers miss your posts...(we say as though entertaining us is the most important thing on your mind)