The March of the Maggots (another excerpt from the Diaries of a Mad Ranchwife)

*******WARNING*********Triple X (XXX) SQUEAMISH FACTOR********NOT for the faint of heart or stomach*****

(OF NOTE: The following is a copy of an email sent to friends and family on Wednesday 19 October 2011.  It is necessary to the story at the end of this post to give you all the backstory.  So hold on to your stomach, make sure you’ve not just eaten, and away we’ll go!)

Well…hmmmmmm..not sure really where to begin.  Except to say that part of me knows that noone will believe the story.  Because why would they?  It’s so absolutely, utterly ridiculous that it simply begs the question…”ARE YOU FLIPPIN’ KIDDING ME??????”

So, no, I am not flippin’ kidding.  I am totally flippin’ serious.  Only this time I didn’t get Polaroid proof.  Nor even digital proof at that.  I was too busy running through a roll of paper towels, hoping to heck I smooshed hard enough so that, unlike the Zombies, they weren’t going to come back.  Wiggling their way out of the big wad of paper towel, intent on following the trail of the loved ones who went before.

What pray tell am I rambling on about?

The March of the Maggots.

Surely there was a Bach Cantata, or Chopin Overture, or Tchaikowsky Waltz aptly named so?  What…there wasn’t you say?  Well, there surely should have been.  For truly, it is a thing to behold.  And deserves its own musical masterpiece…sort of like, well, there was that Penguin movie.  Or that movie with the runners…remember that soundtrack?  (Yes I’m dating myself here.)  The one with the swells of music as they ran on the beach, in those funny looking running clothes.  Ah yes…Chariots of Fire.  Yes, that’s it.  Forget Bach and Chopin, Beethoven and Shostakovich…the scene in the bedroom was totally reminiscent of  Chariots of Fire. 

Now that you should have that theme music playing in your head, like a disgusting little earworm (ugh…worms…small, slithering, whitish, plump little bodies wriggling along)…I shall tell you a story that just may have you thinking twice about stepping barefoot into your dark bedroom at night.

It all started after Gracelyn and I had been out for a walk in the woods one day.  I walked into our closet to change out of our outside clothes, and there on the floor, wriggling along, were two small, whitish, plump, little bodies.  I thought to myself “ewwwwww….gross…where did those come from?????”  I then thought perhaps..gasp..ME.  As if on our walk through the trees (Gracelyn was intent on finding the perfect little bear cave to hunker down in–PRETEND, not real), we had picked up some wacky, little silk worms or something.  Nevermind the fact that silkworms don’t live in this country, not on aspen trees or Blue Spruce, nor willow bushes or wild roses.  Small technicality.  I disposed of them (yes, BAD karma, but I simply do not do worms or wriggly, wiggly, slinking, slithering things of any kind…so I said a quick prayer to the universe promising I’d save the next spider that came along) and didn’t think twice about them the rest of the day.

Two days later…I walked into the closet and lo and behold, there they were again!  I thought to myself, “but I smooshed you, how could you still be there????”  This time, the gears in my brain ratcheted into place and I began to surmise that perhaps this wasn’t necessarily a good thing and perhaps, just perhaps, I should ask Mr. Man’s Man/Woman’s Man/Everyman/Superman that also lives in this house (how lucky am I????) what those little, whitish, squirmy, wriggly, wiggly, plump things were exactly and why they were seeming to march along (as if little, whitish, squirmy, wriggly, wiggly, plump things WITHOUT legs could march, but who’s getting technical at a time like this????) in a very definite line out the closet door?  So I smooshed them as best as I could while still leaving their bodies intact (?????) so that Mr. Man’s Man/Woman’s Man/Everyman/Superman could do a proper post-mortem.

And then I waited.  Not long after he (Mr. Man’s Man…you get the point, eh?) got home and went to change clothes and sauntered into the bathroom, he reappeared and said, “Why are there smooshed (my word, not his) maggots on the bathroom counter?”  Truly, I almost gagged.  Luckily I had nothing in my mouth at the time.  I sputtered something along the lines of finding them in the closet this afternoon.  By this time he had realized what he’d said and quickly tried to backpedal {{{Insert note from tonight:  it was a backpedaling matched only by the Republican nominee for President on any issue of the day…OH!! did I just write that???}}}.  Quickly.  Knowing, by the look on my face, that the discovery of maggots in the closet, moving slowly, inexorably out the closet door, could not possibly, in any way, work out to be a good thing.  And that ultimately he was going to pay the price.  So he started throwing out things like…moth larvae…silkworms (though you and I at this point know what an impossibility that would be)…anything, ANYTHING but maggots.  Because really…MAGGOTS????  For pete’s flippin’ sakes.

I explained the two little buggers two days previous, in the same place, heading in the same direction.  (Might I add, a tad bit gleefully, these were on HIS side of the rug on the floor, HIS side of the closet…NOT mine.  Whew.)  He, as always, asked if I was sure. ?!#$%&#  I HATE it when he does that.  It takes every ounce of being that I have not to fly off the handle and scream that “I know what the HE** I am talking about and I know what I saw and I know what I smooshed!!”  Yada, yada, yada.  The perils of living with Mr. Man’s Man/Woman’s Man/Everyman/Superman.  But I digress.

Shortly after walking away from the conversation that was going nowhere, I walked into the bedroom and screeched (yes, it was a screech) “THERE’S ANOTHER ONE!!”  It was wriggling and wiggling its way across the floor.  The superhuman I live with laughed.  Laughed at me.  I tried to explain the whole “I don’t do wriggly, wiggly, wormy things” but he just kept laughing.  Sort of not cool.  He then went and got the tiniest piece of toilet paper imaginable and smooshed the little bastard.  Sorry, that slipped out.  He might as well have done it with his bare hands…ewwww, gross.

Then came the theories about them being moth larvae and perhaps we should look at the berber wool rug right in front of us.  I made him lift up the edge (and thank the universe I did)…it was FILLED with little, whitish, wiggly, wriggly, plump bodies, some smooshed (flattened like tiny white pancakes, oblong not round) and others still wriggling…and all moving inexorably in a straight line across the floor to the windows. 

We flipped over the rug.  I vacuumed every which way but loose.  We rolled up the rug and stored it on the far side of the room.  We went through the cedar-lined closet drawers.  We checked the hanging wool garments.  I ordered $50 worth of cedar products that night.  And slept with one eye open, on the closet, expecting to see little, whitish, wriggly, wiggly things slithering toward the bed, ready to consume us all.

The next day dawned bright and cheery.  No evidence of the nightmare from the previous night.  I sauntered into the closet midmorning, WITHOUT looking first, and ran smack dab into four (4) of the wriggly, wiggly things.  AAGGhhhhhhh!  I hauled out the paper towel roll and called Mr. Wonderful.  He didn’t really believe me at first.  Of course he didn’t.  But then, as I was talking to him, right in front of my eyes, a small, whitish, wriggly, wiggly, plump, little body squeezed itself out of the door jamb and tumbled to the floor.  Then it proceeded to move along that invisible line toward the window (remember the March of the Maggots..cue the Chariots of Fire music).  I can’t remember at this point if I screamed or not.

So then we (the crackpot team of Mr. Wonderful aka Mr. Man’s Man/Woman’s Man/Everyman/Superman and his wife) began to put two and two together.  And yes, we got five.  We have animals in our walls.  What, you say?  Animals in your walls??????  Are you insane?  How can that be OK, you ask?  (AS IF I think it’s OK.)  You mean you DON’T have animals in your walls???? You don’t have the god-awful smell of decaying chipmunks permeating your closet or bedroom or bathroom on a frequent basis?  Really?  You mean, this is not normal, I ask????

So, slowly, the lightbulbs started flashing.  The same wall where I would be woken up at night by the scrabblings of whatever animal (sounded pretty darn big) got stuck down there, had gone through a smelly stage…and there was that last fly hatch with that bout of warmer days…so feasibly, these little, whitish, wriggly, wiggly, plump bodies could, well, possibly, be…deep breath now…maggots.  That hurts just saying it.

This chain of thinking by the both of us (crack team that we are) didn’t take all that long.  We reached the same conclusion actually pretty quickly.  And while were were concluding, I watched four more little critters squeeze out of the door jamb and start their slow march across the floor.  Mr. Man’s Man, etc said he’d be home right away (which, because we live in the middle of nowhere, on the side of a mountain, at the end of an unmaintained BLM road, means more like about two to three hours) and he’d take care of it.  (That is one of the perks of living with the superhuman that I live with, you know, Mr. Man’s Man/Woman’s Man/Everyman/Superman.  He can fix just about everything…sort of a mix of Jeremiah Johnson–be still my heart–and MacGyver all rolled into one.  Though he’d tell you, with SOOOOO much humility you wouldn’t believe it, he’s more like that Bear guy on tv.  Whatever). 

So…every 15 minutes or so, I’d drop what I was doing, run into the bedroom, watching where I put my feet mind you, and I’d yell “MAGGOT CHECK” just to make Gracelyn laugh.  I saw nothing, NOTHING, funny about the whole damn thing, but she seemed to think it rather humorous.  And I’d smoosh about five or six of them, with a paper towel apiece (can’t be too careful when it comes to those little, whitish, wriggly, wiggly, plump bodies).  My paper towel pile was growing.  I got a plastic bag.

And then, salvation!  Superman arrived.  Duh-duh-duh-daAAAAAAA!!  Albeit, sans cape.  He watched them move, slowly across the floor and I swear I could hear the Chariots of Fire in the background.  Then he got mad and started tearing apart the door jamb.  (Only one little chip in the wood remains to this day mind you..not bad really for how mad he was.)  And then the caulking began.  That man caulked everything he could think of to caulk.  And then he caulked some more.

I continued my “MAGGOT CHECK” the next day, finding a few stragglers every now and then.  Determined little buggers.  But the paper towels did the trick and into oblivion they went.  Yes, again, BAD karma.  But there are some things I simply cannot live with.  And maggots marching merrily across my bedroom floor constitutes one of them. 

I would love to report that there is a happy ending to this tale.  But alas, I cannot.  Even as I write this, in the quiet of the night, there are creatures stirring, and they are probably bigger than the mouse in the Night Before Christmas.  I just almost jumped out of my skin as I began hearing this “scritch, scrape, scritch,scritch, scritch” somewhere above me in the ceiling.  Last week it was in the main bathroom.  And the wall that started it all???  Yes, they’re back there too.

So…basically, I no longer walk into a dark closet.  I stare suspiciously at door jambs, expecting them to wiggle.  I pounce, with paper towel in hand, on pieces of dirt or lint or straw or hay, smooshing first and asking questions later.  I am no longer a carefree, walk-around-barefoot sort of gal.  I feel as if some of myfreedom has been stripped away.  By tiny, little, whitish, wriggly, wiggly, plump bodies, marching inexorably (I really love that word) across the floor. 

Cue Chariots of Fire…the music swells…the picture fades to black…a woman screams in the background…”noooooooo, not again…..”


And that dear friends brings us up to the present day.

And I will admit, I got lulled into a sense of complacency by the extreme caulking (sounds like a reality tv show…”Extreme Caulkers…competing for the Caulking Gun Trophy after 8 elimination rounds…).  {I think that last sentence should be a dead giveaway that someone needs to take my computer away.} 

Anyway, the maggots did make another visit a couple of weeks after that first appearance.  This time in the living room, dropping from the ceiling through the hole from the light fixture.  Right onto the rug where the darling, dear daughter sits to watch her DVD’s.  NO KIDDING!!  Man, that was a freak-out.  But never fear, Superman arrived again to save the day, whipping out his caulking gun and showing those maggots who was boss.  Can you just visualize that?  It’s making me laugh right now, albeit quietly as the entire household is sleeping, save for me…idiot that I am.

Oh yes, that complacency thing.  After that second appearance, life got pretty good on the maggot front.

UNTIL…yesterday.  Seriously.  I just happened to be talking to Mr. Man’s Man/Woman’s Man/Everyman/Superman on the telephone and was nonchalantly walking into the bedroom, BAREFOOT, and there, RIGHT in front of me, moving slowly, inexorably (there’s that word again), toward the wool berber rug, on his (her????) way to the window.  I felt like I was in some bad, bad, baaadddddd B-rated horror movie.  I did scream this time.  And muttered, well, let’s be truthful here shall we?  I YELLED some very bad words.  Not so much at Superman on the phone, just a general yelling of a string of non-reprintable words.  Yes, the darling daughter was following me into the bedroom, concerned and curious about the ruckus.   I know I’ll pay dearly in the future for my choice of words right in front of her.  But right now I’ve got real, live maggots to deal with.   This just about trumps everything.

Mr. Man’s Man/Woman’s Man/Everyman/Superman did that thing again…when I had calmed down enough that he could get a word in edgewise.  He said, and I quote, “Are you sure?”  Really.  He really said that.   I almost sailed right through that phone and throttled him.  So this time I took a picture.  And then we (well, I…Gracelyn just watched gleefully) scooped the damn thing up ever so carefully into a tupperware as proof that I was sure.  As if I could be mistaken about a little, whitish, wriggly, wiggly plump thing on the bedroom floor.  Gah!

As is his wont, Superman just kept repeating “but I caulked everything, it’s all sealed…where did it come from?”  Because, in his world, he’d fixed the problem, so there could be no possible way it was repeating itself.  For once, I wish he was right…and I hadn’t really seen what I’d seen.  Because the implications of this tiny white intruder are just not good. 

So I leave you with the following sage advice: DO NOT WALK AROUND BAREFOOT IN YOUR BEDROOM IN THE DARK.



About madranchwife

Mother, Mad Ranchwife(as in--at times-- crazy, nutso, loco, off-my-rocker insane), Veterinarian, Physical Therapist, "Liberal, pinko, gay-loving, Subaru-driving Socialist" (as I've been called), proud to be a totally tree-huggin', climate change believin', granola girl environmentalist, ObamaGirl, Pro-Choice (don't even get me started here...), and in my younger days a feminist vegetarian as a result of time spent at CU Boulder (this lasted approximately 14 months, until all the Jimmy Buffett I was listening to caused me to crave a cheeseburger). #FindingMyVoice #ScienceMatters
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