Sunday, August 16, 2009

Four Days ...

I've been pretty lazy and lethargic this weekend. The heat has come, and brought with it my overpowering desire to nap every few hours. Mercifully my bedroom stays the coolest room in my apartment, but that means that my bed beckons me almost all day. That being said, it's not too bad. A few cool showers, sitting with a bottle of frozen water behind my neck, sticking my feet in a basin of ice water ... it's not too bad.

I have started talking back to my tv, though. Well I guess it isn't technically talking "back", because it isn't like the tv is talking "to" me in the first place. Yesterday I was watching a fascinating and tear jerking documentary exploring the possible causes of elephant rage. It started by showing footage of an elephant herd tearing apart a village apparently for no reason because they weren’t looking for food. Turns out the villagers had “accidentally” killed one of the baby elephants earlier in the day, and had dragged the carcass through the village to dispose of it. The herd was just following the scent into the village looking frantically for their lost baby. So, not really a mystery. Another gang of rogue adolescent males were indiscriminately killing rhinos in a wildlife preserve. At first, rangers took to assassinating the males one by one – until someone thought to put two bigger, older males in the preserve. See, when they looked into it, they discovered that these rogues males were orphaned due to culling practices that killed their mothers in an attempt thin out the herds. These males then grew up without any elder direction. As soon as the older males were put into the preserve, the rogue males backed right down and the rhinocerocide stopped. There definitely were stories of quite random brutal killings, where the elephants were “musty” (I think that was the term) – basically in heat and horrifically aggressive, or tales of clashes between villages trying to protect their crops from herds trying to find something to eat. But that is what is going to happen when two species vie for the same resources. What made me talk back to my tv were the stories of elephants turning on their “handlers”. And, as far as I was concerned, that right there should tell you the problem. The elephant had a handler. Had a trainer. Had a jailor. That creators would occasionally turn to their tormentor and cry “Enough!” shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone. And the fact that the feet being put down are attached to behemoths, someone getting crushed shouldn’t be all that much of a shock either. The fact that this documentary was claiming that this elephant behaviour was unpredictable and inexplicable and, as such, we should fear and eradicate the randomly psychotic creature that is elephant, got me talking to my tv.

I have no problems, however, with eradicating the wildlife in my own apartment. No, not the pigeons. The Barbie Dream Discotheque seems to be doing the job admirably. I haven't had to chase a pigeon from my balcony in a couple of weeks. No, I'm talking about the foreseeable result of the increased number of fruits in my apartment due to the proximity of fruit and vegetable stands near my apartment, coupled with the humid heat of the past week. Yes, fruit flies. Everywhere. I've tried everything -- clipping closed my garbage bag so nothing can get in, washing my fruit immediately so that anything that has been lain is removed, throwing out one-third or half full garbage bags out so nothing gets permanent residence. No joy. So, my last idea is to keep a covered container in my fridge for peels, pits, rinds, etc. Hopefully the combination of sealed location with low temperatures will neither attract nor sustain the little jerks. I'll keep you posted.

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