Thursday, July 06, 2006

Dust Bunnies

I have learned to appreciate anything that has a strong sense of survival be it animal, plant, or dust bunnies. That's right, I said dust bunnies. We are infested with dust bunnies and we have learned that their survival instincts far out weight my obsession with having a clean, and dust bunny free, home. In our house dust bunnies have been elevated to sentient life status.

Living in an old house we knew that the corners would collect dust and that dust bunnies would take up residence under anything more than 1/4 inch off the floor. What I have only recently learned is that no matter what we do, we can not get rid of the dust bunnies. They move faster, hide better, and reproduce quicker than any other creature on this planet.

Like most timid creatures, dust bunnies prefer to not only hide under things but to hide in the most inaccessible corner of said things. Usually their warrens are exactly 1/2 inch further under the bed that the vacuum hose will reach. But in previous homes moving the furniture was enough to temporarily eradicate the population. We have also discovered that besides reproducing, the dust bunnies diversions include collecting paper balls and riding on the air current created by the pedestal fan.

We first knew we were infested when 5 minutes after completing our spring cleaning I went to retrieve a cat toy only to find a rather large, and menacing, dust bunny chewing on the toy methodically. When I reached in to retrieve the toy the bunny took it deeper into the shadows. A small flashlight revealed that there was more than one bunny. In fact, I counted at least 10 that were almost as large as the first.

War was declared. I took great delight in using the vacuum hose to intimidate and remove the little blighters from their favorite hiding spots. I developed several special techniques to insure that each attack was a surprise, changing tactics like a seasoned Commander. All, to no avail. Immediately after clearing out the warren I would turn on the fan only to see one or two of the larger bunnies gleefully riding the air currents off the floor, over the bed, and down to the floor again. Even a quick grab as they floated by failed to net a capture. With a quick dodge they would zip passed me every time.

We admitted the war was over last night. In a coordinated attack I turned on the fan while PeterC waiting on the opposite side of the bed, with the vacuum, for the bunnies to emerge. Instead of emerging as they have always done, on the opposite side of the bed from the fan, the bunnies swarmed out from under the bed on the fan side. Their light bodies floated into the air and with deadly intent moved against the air current to attach themselves to my face and upper arms. With a trail of sneezes I fled the bedroom and called for a truce. The attacking bunnies returned to their warren under the bed with soft little snickers and much tribal dancing and whooping.

Now don't get me wrong. I will still run the vacuum hose under the bed to clean up the bunnies abandoned toys, garbage heaps, and other unsavory items. But, the joy I took as a predator hunting her prey is gone. I will instead clean up their debris with nonchalant sweeps of my vacuum and if I catch a live one or two, oh well. Survival of the fittest and all that.

But the peace is an uneasy peace. Soon the bunnies will become careless. They will come out into the daylight of the bedroom floor and they will find me waiting vacuum in hand. Either that, or they will learn to create fire, or worse, an atomic weapon and I will be reduced to hiding in fear under the bed while the dust bunnies stalk around the house terrorizing the cats and chewing on the dogs ears.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Have the dust bunnies got the better of you. Two Sunday evenings and still no new posts. Any pictures of the painted house? Gardens? Really enjoyed the dust bunny post, maybe you were a writer in a previous life--or a future one.