July 18, 2004

High Plains Drifter

Yes, Virginia, there are such things as tumbleweeds. And one tried to take my life this morning.

It may sound fantastical. Maybe even hard to believe. But in reality, tumbleweeds are an integral part of our landscape. Innocuous most of the time, they collect in the corners and under the furniture and on the stairs and around shoes left out on the floor. Their origins are obvious to those of us in the know. They are not particularly particular about where they choose to rest. Wendy gets busy once or twice a week and sweeps them into great big piles and disposes of them with the dust pan. But sometimes they escape the broom and gracefully float away until they settle in a different resting place. Such is the nature of tumbleweeds, after all.

So back to the attempt on my life. This morning as I descended the stairs, before any caffeine ingestion, still groggy and not quite awake, I was viciously attacked by a rogue tumbleweed! It came out of nowhere doing a realistic imitation of a mutant spider or some other large creepy insectlike creature from the depths of all that is evil. It was lifelike enough that my survival instincts immediately took over and I leapt into the air. As I soared over it, graceful as a gazelle, my eyes scanned frantically to ensure I did not land anywhere near the horrible freak of nature that had somehow found it's way into our abode.

At some point during my flight, I gained enough awareness to realize it wasn't alive at all. It was but a tumbleweed of pet hair daintily wafting on the air currents across the floor during it's journey to a new tumbleweed resting place.

But in that brief moment before my brain caught up with my perception, my life was in danger.  But I survived to tell the tale.  Hooray for me!

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