Oh, (insert curse word here).

Ever have one of those days? You know, the kind where you discover you know more curse words in more languages than you would have previously thought possible? I had one of those days yesterday.

It started out innocuously enough. Promising, even. See, there’s this shelving unit in the barn. It’s been there since pre-me, and was used to hold defunct sports stuff, like the Island of Misfit Toys, only for roller blades. I’ve had my eye on that shelving unit since before the coop went into construction last spring. It’s well-enough situated, but it’s precisely the perfect size to go right outside the inner coop door, making for a very handy storage system for all things chicken.

It’s been one of those things that you look at day after day, and might even remember, from time to time, that you have a higher purpose in mind, but…there it sits.

Until yesterday. Yesterday was the day the shelving unit was going to reach its glorious full potential. I was going to empty it of its athletic flotsam and jetsom, take it out and give it a good hosing and re-purpose it (insert heavenly vocal chord here) in the spot of my dreams.

I cleared off the sports equipment and dumped it somewhere else. What?! You want I should actually find a decent place for all that junk? Silly reader. I then took off all the accumulated chicken stuff (including Hermione’s tennis racket, because…where else would it be?), and wallowed in the anticipation of taking it outside and hosing away a year and a half’s worth of sand dust, feather dander, and mouse poo. Heady stuff.

You know how I complain about Hermione being a “Production” Red, when her record really isn’t so great? (Search: “production, my ass”). Don’t get me wrong, her eggs are glorious to behold (and to consume), but she will leave the nest empty on occasion. Imagine my frustration and resignation when I emptied out the bottom shelf of the unit to discover this:

Oh, gravity; you bitch. Yes, they were cracked and spoiled. You see, the shelves aren’t quite flush against the wall, and there is a small crevice on the shelf where Hermione lays, and…you do the math. These eggs plunged about two feet to their death.

You realise what this means, right? This means I have the stupidest groundhog in all creation living in my barn.

Oh, well. Lesson learned. Once the shelf was cleaned and moved, Hermione would adapt and I’d block the gap.

It was time. Time to take the unit out to be washed so it could begin its new life as my chicken caddy. I grasped it firmly, prepared to shoulder the considerable weight of a solid wood shelving unit, and carry out to the garden where the hose awaited. I grasped firmly, and heaved.

The gorram, fracking, frelling thing was screwed into the wall!!! (Why, yes, I do watch a lot of science fiction; why do you ask?) And, I mean really, most sincerely firmly affixed to said wall. Il ne bouge pas. De tout. Jamais.

I stared at the thing, my glorious plan evaporating in mere seconds. Not only was I not going to be able to relocate the shelving unit five feet northeast to The Perfect Spot, but I was going to have to clean its revolting surfaces…by hand.

I’ll spare you the details, gentle reader, but, let me ask; why is it that mouse poop is so much more disgusting than all the other poops I clean on a daily basis? I can pick up a fresh, two-hander Great Dane pile without blinking, but mouse poop? <<shudder>>

Anyway. The shelving unit is clean, if unmoved, and now firmly dedicated solely to the management of my steadily-growing collection of poultry paraphernalia. Hermione’s racket remains unmoved (if degunked), and new safety measures have been implemented:

Because, an Hermione egg…is a terrible thing to waste.


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