I used to be a nice person. Raised in a pious Catholic home, I never used four-letter words, let alone s**t, and had euphemisms for other bodily functions. I didn't barf, I threw up, or I vomited, or I regurgitated.
Passing through the portal of mommyhood, I learned that there were no better words than the coarse words for expression everyday functions. I never used the s**t word in front of the kids, but you can bet that when my husband and I had pillow talk at the end of the day, the word figured in my laments.
Once we finally achieved retirement, I thought that the worst was behind us. But then we bought a sailboat, and the s**t word was reintroduced into my vocabulary. I'm not talking about the latrines, the heads, or human bodily functions, however, I'm talking about sea otters.
Put aside those cute little whiskered faces. Those big brown eyes. That silky pelt, those cute little chubby bodies. Let me introduce you to the nemesis of Kidney Island, the sea otter, known in science circles as Enhydra lutris and in our household as those g**************g sea otters.
We noticed the infestation of sea otters last year as we moored our boat at a marina on Fidalgo Island. 'Dem cute little critters were sunbathing on the pier and I thought "Awwwwwwww, wildlife."
But winter hit, and 'dem cute little critters began using our boat as a latrine. We'd locked up the entrance to the boat's interior, so fortunately we never got otters inside the boat. But that's where our luck ended.
Those chubby little cuties were pooping all over our decks. They were pooping everywhere; fore and aft, port and starboard. And sea otters don't poop easily scooped nuggets, They spew feces all over the place, much like a neonate.
So in the winter, we put on our HazMat suites and regularly clean the boat. We hose it, we scrub it and we disinfect it. We've put up nets, ultrasonic alarms (inaudible to the human ear, yet painful for the poor otter) and other forces of otter repellant.
But the pooping goes on.
Of course, when we bought a sailboat, we bargained for wildlife. NOTHING is more inspiring than watching an orca spyglass in Puget Sound. Nothing beats bald eagles, great blue herons, fresh salmon and mussels.
But if I never see a cute little sea otter again, well . . . . .