Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Should have tried that sooner!

On the last day of the Golden Week holiday there was a minor fire at the house at the bottom of the hill I live on. Their bathtub has a fire beneath it to keep the water warm, and apparently this got out of control: They saw smoke pouring out from somwhere under the tub, and that's not supposed to happen. Everyone in the neighborhood and all the volunteer firement from the five or so areas in town showed up to help in their five or so little firetrucks. Mr Yokohata, owner of the house, is one of the leaders of the fire crew in our area, so naturally he was at the front of the hose. Afterwards the firemen, nieghbors and everyone around made a big line and passed all the stuff from the surrounding rooms (the affected bathroom was in an addition) into the garage. Two of my students live in that house, and they were both okay. Their only complaint was that they wouldn't be having a bath before bed that night.

When the firemen and most everyone else was leaving I walked back with Murakami-sensei and his wife (the newlyweds who live in the apartment below mine). We talked about the first mukade coming out. We had each encountered one so far in our respective flats. Speaking of the devil, there he appeared! A massive monkeyfeather of a mukade right there in our parking lot. Quick as a flash our intrepid math teacher grabbed his barbecue tongs and grabbed the sucker. Meanwhile his wife rushed inside and heated some water. We waited, watching the little melonfarmer squirm, trying to bite his way out of those metal tongs. Wouldn't want to try to hold that guy with your fingers! Your arm could get swollen up to your elbow from finger bite and it would not be fun. Anyhow, out comes Mrs Murakami with a bowl full of water that couldn't have been hotter than 50°C. She poured the hot water over the mukade and he squirmed and writhed and thrashed in a way that was very satisfying to watch. Not having quite kicked the bucket yet, he was forced to wait between the tongs for the second bowl of water which spelled his doom.

I have a machine in my apartment which until now I have considered quite useless. It keeps water at 98 degrees. I don't drink nearly enough tea to ever justify keeping it plugged in, but now I have a great reason. You're not meant to crush or squash mukade because the scent of their carcass beckons their mate to come and wreak unholy vengance. I have a poison spray which I have been using to kill the little monkeyfeathers, but I don't like to spray poison in my living space. Also, you don't want to ruin your tatami floors by pouring water on them. Conclusion: I need to get myself some barbeque tongs.

But what in the world are they doing out and about weeks before Tsuyu (the heavy rain season) begins? They have no reason to be driven out of the ground so soon!

3.5 inch long mukade poisoned this season: 2
5.5 inch long monster mukade slain this season: 2
Total mukade deathcount: 4
Escapees: 0

Let's shoot for a perfect season.


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