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Jewish World Review
Nov 29, 2011
/ 3 Kislev, 5772
Me vs. Mother Nature
Mother Nature is trying to kill me.
She's been after me for quite a while. She came at me when I was a kid with rainstorms and lightning and trees that jumped in front of my bike.
I made it to adulthood and bought my first house, a fixer-upper in the country. Boy, did she come after me then.
My first project was to tear off an old porch enclosure -- only to discover 80 hornet nests hidden in the walls. I got away with only a few stings. I had to wait weeks for cold weather -- hornets move slowly in the cold -- to finally zap them with spray.
As winter came on, nature followed me indoors. One night I was awakened by a loud scratching noise inside the wall next to my bed. I discovered three mice had taken over my house. I set traps, put out poison and even rigged up an electronic device that was supposed to drive them away.
It took weeks to get rid of the freeloaders.
The closest I ever came to dying -- and I am not making this up -- was when I was attacked by ground bees nesting in a planter I had just built. These vicious buggers keep stinging you until you are 100 feet away from their nest.
Following the advice of a rural neighbor, I got a canister of gasoline and poured some into the nest. I set the canister on the ground, 4 feet away. I lit a match, but before I could throw it into the nest, I heard "Wooooooooooof!"
You see, "Wooooooooooof!" is the sound gasoline makes when it ignites. It ignites because it gives off fumes. And gasoline fumes -- I tend to learn things the hard way -- are flammable!
Suddenly, an 8-foot-high flame shot out of the bees' nest -- right up the side of my freshly painted house! I noticed to my right that the gas canister, which I had previously filled with two and a half gallons of premium-grade fuel, was on fire!
Thinking quickly, I picked up the canister and ran down my driveway, cussing loudly. I launched the two-and-a-half-gallon Molotov cocktail into the air. When it landed, it exploded into a ball of flames. I raced for the hose and barely managed to douse both fires before I burned down the neighborhood.
These are just some of the many confrontations I've had with Mother Nature. I haven't mentioned the snake incident, my war with the groundhogs or how, every time we get a drizzle, the water that enters my basement makes Niagara Falls look like a lap pool.
In any event, this is one thing that puzzles me about the tactics of some environmentalists. They try to scare us into believing that mankind is destroying Mother Nature, portraying her as feeble and weak.
But anybody who has faced the wrath of Mother Nature knows that isn't entirely so. Given the first opportunity, she will chew us up like we're some kind of cud in a cow's mouth and spit us out -- and she'll do the same to people who've gone to desperate lengths to save her from humanity.
So wouldn't the people and politicians who want stringent new laws and higher taxes to correct the harm they say we are causing Mother Nature be better off focusing on cold, hard science, rather than playing our emotions to convince us Mother Nature is feeble and weak?
Maybe if they spent the winter at my rural house, they'd arrive at the same conclusion -- assuming they'd survive it.
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© 2011, Tom Purcell
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