Odd Happenings You Should Know About In Case There Are More

1. Ducklings. We returned from the
Water, Precious
concert Sunday afternoon, and everything seemed benign-usual, well,
other than the state of Onondaga Lake and world water crises. Besides
that, I mean. I snapped the leash onto Y.’s collar and into the backyard
we bebopped. There we found a distressed-seeming duck and heard a chorus
of chirps. Steady help-us peeps floated from the window well close by.
Foreseeing that Y. would only fuel the strange animal energies, I tugged him
back inside. D. and I went to the basement where, through the screen, we
observed four small, squabbling ducklings bobbing around the window well with
their clumsy, random flap-n-jumps. Were they there by accident? Were
they stuck? Hungry? Given the cool temps, D. suggested they might have been
attracted to the heat (why is heat pouring out of an open basement winter in
June? That’s another matter altogether.) Still, we weren’t sure whether
they could get out, and we’ve watched a fox amble through the yard a couple of
times in recent weeks. Their urgent chirping and the mother duck’s display
of uneasiness left us deliberating whether or not to ramp them out (a cardboard
ramp?). The reliable internets shone a light on the dilemma we were in:
the ducks are federally protected. Tampering with them is a roll of the
dice with Law. We waited, hoping, meanwhile, that they wouldn’t expire
there. And then–the stuff of fairy tales–they were gone.

2. Ants. This one is easy. An infestation. Out from
the kitchen walls they march, hurrah hurrah. But all the food is
contain(er)ed, and I’ve laid down enough Terro to, pray-it-works, constrict
their sweetness-sucking little throats. Fine, so it’s not on par with odd
happening #1. Still. This next one is:

3. Parking garage derby. Today we’re at the CNY Medical Building
parking garage. D.’s in for a routine baby-check. Ready for this? We
spiral through the parking garage until the fourth floor where spaces begin to
open up. 9:13 a.m. A lt. blue minivan two cars ahead of us was
driving in lurches, as if every next space must be the one.
Patterned: sprint. Stop. Sprint. Stop. I parked the Element. We
hopped out, walked over to the elevator, where we waited. The van was
finally parking; as we walked, the driver waved us ahead. Go ahead, walk
in front. The one was next to where we stood, waiting for the
elevator to arrive. And then: the van sped into the spot and rammed the
steel guard rail. Fiberglass and plastic splintered, sailing everywhichway.
And the driver, her window down, was repeating, "I’m sorry, I’m sorry."
Her teenage son, resting in the passenger side with his crutches (a broken lower
appendage; an appointment for which they were late?), sat there, shocked as we
all are. Who was she apologizing to? Explained that she went for the
brake and missed. Judging by the rate of impact, though, I’d say
the missed brake meant a centered hit for the accelerator. Helluva
unfortunate way to smash a van, and an odd happening because I’d never witnessed
anything quite like it. Parking garages already feel awkward to me
(low ceilings, all concrete and steel), now, even more so.

4. Garage door cable. Around noon, D. went to water the
on the front step. Pressed the garage door opener: a loud crack (or two).
One of the door-lifting cables snapped. Being a heavy-built door (1950’s
heavy, that is), the uneven weight yanked loose a garage rafter. Oy.
And with the Element, our only motor vehicle, nestled smartly inside, what could
we do next. So I phoned our landlord, and he got on it. The repairs
were underway within two hours and finished before another hour passed.
Still, strange enough to be an O.H.


  1. Wow! Lots of odd happenings. We had an ant infestation once and the only way we got rid of it was to get professionals who found where they were coming from (our neighbor’s garage) and took care of the whole thing. The parking garage incident really makes you think about crossing in front of a vehicle, the next time a driver waves you to go ahead.

  2. Much to our satisfaction, the ants have dissipated in the past 24 hours. I don’t think they’re gone for good, but I don’t see a new one every time I walk through the kitchen, so that’s an improvement.

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