Monday, August 4, 2008

I've come to understand that every town has its quirks.

Small town South Dakota: Escaped livestock and noisy peacocks. Also, gossipy frontier wives.

Janesville, WI: A burning desire to be just like Madison, WI. And pretty good roads. Which is weird.

Madison, WI: A burning desire to be just like New York City (um, FAIL). Terrible roads. Constant, widespread road construction. I don't really know how those two manage to coexist year after year. Finally, people who think of themselves and the rest of the town as friendly but freak out if the waitress says hi.

Our New Town, WI: THE FRIENDLINESS IS CREEPY. GET ME OUT. Also, an overzealous tornado siren. Reminds me of Ferdinand the duck in Babe.

I don't know what the deal is. When we first bought the house, it was at the height of our crazy monsoons. There actually were tornadoes and threats of tornadoes and ghosts of tornadoes everywhere. Then things settled down, and we still heard the stupid thing every single day. But it was the fair (the grounds are just a few blocks from our house), and it seemed like it went off at 8:45 every night, so we thought it might have something to do with the fair shutting down.

Now the fair is over, the apocalypse is no longer upon us, and we've had one rainstorm in the last two weeks. But the siren is going off more than ever. It went off at 8:30 this morning and then again just a few minutes ago, around 9:15. I'm familiar with noon whistles and such, but this keeps happening at seemingly random times of day.

One of these days, it's going to go off fo realz, and I'll be all like, "Oh, yeah, blah blah blah. Talk talk talk. Show me some action. I'm not going down into that basement unless the tornado is actually in the process of ripping off our roof." And then a tornado will do just that, and instead of running to the basement, I'll lie on the couch and quietly wet myself.

Speaking of our basement (I call it "Satan's Penthouse".), James found a spider down there that, technically speaking, shouldn't even be able to exist in Wisconsin. The single advantage of a colder climate is the reduction in exotic creepy crawlies, both in size and number. Well, this critter was, apparently, an inch and a half across. That's just the body. If I'd seen it, it probably would have looked more like a foot across. With red eyes and telepathic mind control.

I flipped out when he told me about it (What?? I made an exception to my rule. I went down there the other night to help you! You didn't tell me things like that were lurking down there!), but he told me he killed it. Imagine the splatter on the wall that thing made. Yeaugh.

Imagine the kinds of bugs it was killing, though. Including centipedes. Don't get me started on those. You all know exactly how I feel about them.

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