First seen on Abby Has Issues
I was working out, trying to peddle away from the cheese steak and bottle and half of wine I’d enjoyed the day before, when my husband Mike entered the room. He walked back and forth past my stationary bike.
“Look at this. You’re peddling so slow I can WALK faster than you.”
I rolled my eyes. “Ha, ha.”
Mike cut the small talk . He sighed. I felt a vague feeling of dread wash over me. He paused, allowing me to fully appreciate the tension, and then uttered the six words that never end well for me.
“I need your help with something.”
I looked up at my beloved. Chances were good that he wanted me to help him pick out a shirt. The ritual is a daily stress for me. He wants me to choose between two shirts,identical, except for color. Maybe the the only difference is the type of logo critter on the left breast. But I can’t just say,“They’re both nice.” I’ve made that mistake before. I have to be wildlypassionate about one over the other, or he doesn’t think I’m trying. I have to have a GOOD REASON, why the red polo is nicer than the green polo on any given day. “The blue, because it goes with your eyes,” is starting to sound canned. I need new material.
“We have a problem,” he said.
I nodded, probably not thinking the same thing he was at that moment. I was thinking my next husband shouldn’t be color blind.
Mike put his hands on his hips.
“All over the trashcans. We have to clean it up. It’s horrible.”
Tired and sweaty I shook my head, defeated. This was much worse than shirt-picking. A moment ago, all I wanted to do was get off the damn exercise bike. Now the alternative seemed much, much worse. On the positive side, now I had a recipe for weight loss success. Put people on exercise equipment, and then tell them when they’re done, they get to clean maggots out of a trash can. Some of them might stay on their treadmills for weeks.
I knew there would be no way to avoid Mike’s request for help. If left to my own devices, I would just wait until the maggots all turned into flies and flew away. Or I’d drag it to the curb and let the trash men deal with it. Maggots are just an occupational hazard for them. But I knew my much neater husband could NOT abide by maggots all over the trash. I remembered the chicken carcass we’d thrown out a few days earlier and groaned.
We went outside.
The smell was HORRIFIC. I would just capitalize the “H,” but that wouldn’t do it justice. How could our delicious chicken have turned on us like this? This couldn’t be just a chicken. I imagined our weird neighbors had dumped a ritual sacrifice into our trash. I immediately implemented a mouth-breathing-only policy to keep from retching.
I peeked around the corner. In the can, hundreds of maggots writhed blindly in the throws of rotting chicken ecstasy. Sharing the rapture were giant black bugs, 2″ long, never seen before. They looked like a beetle, a silverfish and an ant had had a menage a’ trois and produced demon spawn. I choked back a gag reflex and danced back and away from the scene.
Mike and I exchanged a silent “This is going to suck” look.
Mike tried to get the hose off the sprinkler, but couldn’t with his already wet hands. He handed it to me and I easily removed it, because I was wearing gloves. Secretly, I hoped our neighbors had been watching his struggles, and now thought I had superhuman strength.
We dumped the maggot covered bag into a huge contractor bag and tied it up. Then we put that in another one. This Russian Nesting Doll of Maggot Protection might have gone on forever had we not run out of bags. Mike began to spray the writhing white nasties off the cans and away from the side of the house. He sprayed. And sprayed. I watched him spray a maggot-free spot for a full minute. I was afraid I was going to have slap him.
We poured bleach on everything, stopping just short of lighting the whole area ablaze.
Finished, we stood there, panting and sweaty.
We went inside and got showers.
And then I happily picked Mike out a shirt.
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