Sorry, Thumper…No Lifegaurd on Duty

I couldn’t sleep last night.  At all.  My husband travels for work, and he happened to be out of town, so I spent the night by myself, drinking wine, watching shows he would never watch with me, and looking forward to getting into my nice comfy bed…all by myself.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my husband, and I enjoy having him around, but he’s a giant man, and he takes up a lot of space, and he practically sleeps on top of me.  Every night.  And I’m claustrophobic.

I went to bed around 12:30 am after watching lots of trash TV.  I totally caught up on the happenings of those classy ladies of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and their stripper poles.  So clearly, I felt enlightened and enriched as I slipped into the nice cool sheets.  As I lay there, eyes covered by my sleep mask, I heard something.  I sat up in my bed and listened closer.  Then I remembered something my husband said as he left town, last Friday.  Almost a week ago.  “Hey, keep your eye on the water level of the pool, and make sure you clean out the skimmer baskets every day.”   To which I said, “Duh.  Of course.”  And he said, “You really have to do it this time.  Seriously.”  And I said, “Ok.  Whatever.  Got it.  Go.”  Or something like that.

As I lay in my bed, listening to the strange gurgling of my pool, I realized that it had been six days, and I had yet to even step foot into the backyard.  So I played every worst case scenario over and over in my head, tossing and turning, and not sleeping.  At all.

Fast forward to this morning.  Before I dropped my son off at school, I stepped into the backyard to take inventory of the task at hand.  Pool level, lower than I’ve ever seen it.  Leaves everywhere.  Strange consistent gurgling sound.  I decided this would take some time, so I took son to school, turned on Doc McStuffins for my daughter, and headed out to “fix” the pool.  First things first…I started the water.  Already, I felt better.  Second, clean skimmer baskets.  I lifted the lid to the first basket, and looked into a sea of leaves.  I reached in, pulled out a handful of soggy leaves, and threw them into the trash.  Then I pulled out the skimmer basket, emptied it, and set it back in its little watery home.  Nice.  I’m taking care of business.  Husband will never know I’m a slacker.   Feeling much more confident, I reached into the second skimmer, also full of limp wet leaves, so full that I couldn’t get to the handle of the basket to pull it out of the water.  So I shoved my hand in further.  I stretched my fingers, reached in and grabbed a huge cluster of ice cold leaves.  Hmmm.  Why are these leaves so heavy?  I thought to myself, but I was in a hurry, so I just squeezed my hand around the leaves and pulled them out further.  Then I felt it.  Fur.  An animal.  A cold furry dead animal.  In my hand.  My bare hand.

I dropped the dead animal and leaves back into the skimmer basket and squealed like a little girl, jumping up and down, in total complete freak out.  My first instinct was to run inside and wash my hands, so I sprinted, full speed to the back door, and turned the handle.  Locked.  Come on!  I banged on the door, hoping my three year old would tear herself away from her fictional doctor cartoon to let me in.  Nope.

This has happened before.  My daughter likes to lock the bottom lock, the one that tricks you when you turn it and it lets you go outside completely ignorant of what’s to come when you try to go back inside.  Thank God for good neighbors.  Crisis averted.  Back in the comfort of my kitchen, I washed my hands for twenty minutes calculating my next move.  I still had a dead rabbit and a bunch of leaves in my pool, which might have been the cause of the strange gurgling sound, so clearly, I had to get them out if for no other reason, I need my sleep.

My rubber gloves were somewhere in a landfill, having been thrown away last time my husband left and I had to fish a dead animal out of the pool, so gloves were not an option.  I cursed myself for forgetting to buy some replacements, but who would have thought I’d be fishing dead animals out of my pool so frequently? I had to come up with a plan.

What would MacGyver do?

I grabbed a wire hanger, twisted it into a hook, and stepped back out to the watery morgue in my backyard, feeling brave and not at all freaked out.  Right.  I hooked my hanger pully thing around the rabbit, and pulled him out.  I tried not to look.  I held it, hooked to the hanger, with my arm stretched out as far as it would go, squealing with every step, and threw it into the field behind my house.  And then I sent my husband an explicit text message that we needed a bunny lifeguard because I’m over fishing dead animals out of my pool.  He responded with this:  When was the last time you checked the skimmers?  Really?  Pfft.

Why is it that the “sh*t hits the fan” when the husband leaves town?  If it’s not a dead animal in the pool, the water heater explodes, the kid needs stitches, the  roof leaks, and every single time there’s a tornado, I’m here by myself with the kids.  I can handle tornadoes, roof leaks, exploding water heaters, and even ER visits for stitches, but I cannot be the undertaker for these foolish animals that can’t swim.

Rabbits  - they're smart.

Rabbits – they’re smart.

Does this happen to anyone else?  What’s the worst thing that’s happened while the husband or wife were away?

36 thoughts on “Sorry, Thumper…No Lifegaurd on Duty

  1. Yuck. Yuck. Yuck. How many times did you have to wash your hands? Creepsville. You are one brave woman to do that more than once. Silly rabbit, pools are for kids.


  2. Oh my goodness, I feel like I have read so many stories like this lately– that make me shudder in horror! Snakes in the house, a mole running around the bedroom, maggots on a pantry shelf and now a dead floating bunny?
    I need therapy.


  3. Ohmigosh! Thank goodness you didn’t leave it longer – you might have had a poolsworth of rabbit soup!

    Things are fine when Husby’s away, and I’ve even left him to fend for himself and no disasters. We tend to have more issues when we’re together; both too self-sustaining. Apart from cleaning. Hate cleaning.


      • Lizzi, a slab leak occurs when there is a leak under the foundation (concrete slab) of one’s home. It builds slowly, allowing your water bill to get really high before it makes its appearance. My husband stepped out of our bedroom one morning to a lake in the hallway, so they had to rip up our carpet and jackhammer into the slab beneath our hall to repair the leak. It was awesome. And expensive. But still not as bad as bunny carcass.


  4. As soon as I read the title I was all, no no no no no! Do not tell me a bunny drowned in her pool!


    that’s awful. For you and the bunny. Once I had a cat literally in the act of dying in my closet. I had an 8 month old baby, and no hubby home. Thank G my FIL (who lived down the street from me at the time) was home and could rush over to stay with the baby while I rushed my cat to the vet. It was AWFUL! I had to wait for my FIL. The baby was crying. The cat was dying. UGH.


    • Oh, no. Dying pet…I’m sorry. And with a baby? By yourself of course because everything is status quo when the hubby is home. Now that’s a bad night. Thank god for FIL’s being so close, although, I’m sure that also had its disadvantages.


      • I’m a fucking rock star today so I’m back over here on your blog because a) I’m finally caught up in the blogosphere. I think. But waaaaay more caught up than I’ve been in a while so that’s good, b) I miss you, c) I forgot was ‘c’ was supposed to be. Shut up.

        Yes, my In-Laws lived four houses from us while we lived in McKinney, and it was greatness, EXCEPT for the one bad habit my wonderfully-awesome-I-Love-her-so-much MIL has, which is….POP INS. She was awful about it. And after D was born and I would f-I-n-a-l-l-y get the baby to sleep, she would show up banging on my door, ringing the bell, and even, on one occasion, letting herself in the backyard to look in the windows and see why I wasn’t answering the door!!! Yes. It was bad. We had to tell her eventually to call before she comes over, which was a very awkward, awful conversation to have because she means no harm. She just doesn’t get it sometimes.
        But truthfully, there was more good things about it than bad. My In-Laws are wonderful.


  5. AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH I would have died! A dead animal? I would have freaked the f out if I had touched it and then I would have wanted to cry because it was dead. I’m freaking out just reading about you doing it!!


  6. I’ve had to dispose of a dead bird that stupidly flew into our window while my husband was out of town, but your bunny situation was worse. Yuck. I have a friend whose dog likes to bring in body parts of small animals she’s chased down – she plops them right on the kitchen floor. Fortunately my dog isn’t that fast.


    • Haha, Dana, my dog isn’t just slow, she’s also quite lazy, and it takes a lot for her to leave the comfort of her sanctuary under my son’s bed. so I guess we’re lucky that way. I really really love live animals. Dead animals…not so much!


  7. As a fellow pool owner, I sympathize. The only thing worse than cleaning the skimmer (and finding a surprise) is when you re-open the pool after it has been closed and covered for the winter. You THINK that the cover will keep anything out — but in reality, we always have some casualties every spring — alien looking monster bugs, lizards (SO many of those), and the occasional squirrel. Good times.


    • Jana, part of the reason we don’t cover our pool is to not find the things that you find. Why are animals so dumb and unable to swim? I think maybe we need to start wildlife swim instructions. To save the squirrels. Bugs are on their own though.


  8. Hi, please forgive this crazy comment which is completely random… You’ll notice that we’ve unfollowed you. Not out of being cross or uninterested, we have ulterior motives. For some reason, when we followed you, we didn’t get your posts delivered to our email which we most definitely wanted. So we’re trying to unfollow then start up again to see if we can get it right this time. We even went into our admin blogs we follow & manually selected posts to be sent instantly. Yet it wouldn’t accept the command. So, here we go with this try!! lmao. 😉 Just wanted to give you a heads up on what we we’re doing!! Clearly we are fans of your posts or completely insane!! 🙂


    • Oh – I’m going through the same thing with several blogs including yours. I KNOW I subscribed to your blog by email; yet, I still have no posts in my inbox. I thought maybe you were just taking a break. I will head over to yours and see what’s going on today or this weekend and resolve this annoying issue, too. Let me know if you’re successful and what you do to fix it. I fell in love with your blog the first time I visited!


  9. The wife being away at all while I’m alone with the kids IS the crisis! So exhausting. Nice work slacking though. You almost got away with it. Your husband sounds like my wife. Instead of recognizing that we needed some soothing or congrats for our fine work, they look to point out blame! Shame!


  10. While not funny for you at the time this was hysterically funny to read, Mandi! Two things. One, my best buddy asked me to drive down to California to babysit his son and daughter so he and the Mrs could have a weekend escape in Napa Valley. No problem and was looking forward to it. Until they locked me out of the house when I went to the Jeep to get my bags. I was able to bribe them with forthcoming ice cream if they let me in. They did.

    Two, Phoenix was playing out in the back yard one day with what I thought was a clump of grass and a little twig. He was groaning in delight making a huge noise on a Saturday morning. Tossing it up into the air. Then again. I told him to knock it off. Several times. Finally I hollered at him (I was sitting on the couch) to come in. He did so with his clump of grass and twig and set it gingerly in my lap.

    Only it was a mouse.

    And it was alive.

    I squealed (yep)!

    Pandemonium ensued as Phoenix tried to reacquire his little friend. Coffee table, cd case, kitchen table all a chaotic fall of items. If you ever seen “Christmas Vacation” and the Rottweiler that pretty much paints the picture 🙂

    Loved this post of your’s! Thank goodness the bunny didn’t move LOL 🙂


    • Wow – you’re either a really good friend, or your buddy was desperate. I think it’s pretty awesome that you did it, though! Icecream…you must speak kid. And, even though he put a live mouse in your lap, I’m still in love with Phoenix….but I can see the parallel between Christmas Vacation and this incident. I’m not laughing. I promise. Ok…maybe a little!


  11. My first husband was out of town overnight on a gig. I was awakened by the sound of glass breaking. I was too scared to go downstairs to see if someone was in the townhouse. I heard nothing else, but tossed and turned most of the night.
    The next morning, I went downstairs and smelled something bad. And then I saw it. Before leaving on his trip, my ex had bottled up some home brew. Apparently not all of the bottles had been properly sterilized, so several had exploded.
    I don’t even like beer.


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