Tuesday, March 12, 2013

She found an unidentified [poo] object in her basement.

Sometimes I am at a loss for words.  Not often... but sometimes.  Last week I called my hoarding mother to check in.  And so the fun began.

"The weirdest and craziest thing happened today.  It was UNREAL."

[Okay.  That statement instantly makes me tense up, since I know that it is going to be one of two things, both that I allow to make me angry:

  1. It will be something so mundane, something that is not an issue or a problem, that she will magnify to the 1,000,000,000,000,000th degree or more...
  2. It will be simply... batshit crazy...
So I brace myself mentally...]

"Aren't you going to ask me what?"

*crickets chirping*

"...[Long monologue of her trying morning and what she meant to do spoken as if she were Sisyphus pushing the rock, which is basically 1/10th of what most folks accomplish in the AM before coffee] and then I went downstairs for the first time in a week and I found it.  [Silence- waiting for me to ask or show interest.  She finally continues on...] It was there at the foot of the stairs! I went outside and checked all the windows, and there are no openings!  It was like a curled up leaf, and it had birdseed through it! [I will spare you the back and forth, but it was apparently poo of some sort.  And her cats never go down stairs.  And she simply would not say the word poo, turd, shit or any other word that describes feces.  When I asked her more than once directly - she would say, weakly... "I guess" but would not call it what it was.]"

"I picked it up with [long boring monologue of the extreme precautions she used to pick up the poo] and it did not have a smell."

Did you smell it?  


Okay, you have no sense of smell.  So it would have to be horrifically smelly for you to determine an odor, correct? 

"I guess."

No way it is a cocoon that hatched?  Is it hollow?  Is it poo?  Could there be birdseed you forgot about in the basement?  [Keep in mind, this is the 14 block basement that is hoarded completely to only 18 inches or so below the ceiling.]  

"No..." And the denial begins.  And the weird description of the poo without using the normal poo-like terms.  She asserts she knows every stick of what is in there.  Every item, every piece.  

I ask if her recollection of that is similar to the recollection that resulted in the harvest of chocolate chips dated 1983 in her freezer (yes- she writes the date on each item in a sharpie, and has as long as I can remember).  Or the steaks she found dated 1991 or 1992.  She got annoyed at that point.

Our conversation evolved to her continuing her escalating monologue of asking herself questions and answering... talking about mice, rats, and other vermin and what their poo looks like.  Well- her conversation.  I looked in my review mirror and realized I was speeding down the highway with a godawful grimace on my face.

She has been throwing all kinds of bread, cereal, and other crap down 'for the birds' and it has been drawing skunks, possums, raccoons and other types of vermin into the yard which she thinks is 'cute'.  She also feeds many feral cats and has found possums and skunks in the jacked up, hoardy set up she has for them.  Surprise, surprise, surprise.  NOT.  About 10 years ago she had a plastic can on the porch with birdseed in it, and field mice chewed through it, and there were about 40 mice on the sun porch at any time, and she refused to do anything about them since they were 'cute'.  Until she saw one go up the foundation and disappear under the siding.  Then she got poison and killed them, claiming none made it into the house.  I call BS on that one.  She also continued to speculate that rat poo looks like big mouse poo.  I replied that depends on what they have been eating:-)

I reminded her of the many warnings I have given her about encouraging the 'critters' to use her yard as a feeding location, and advised her that houses with a lot of stuff in them like hers often end up with some sort of infestation.  She was absolutely beside herself denying that was possible.  She stated the cats would want down there if anything was there, and upon hearing that the stairs would stink of human, the house, and the cats, and most rodents, et al are nocturnal, and she takes her hearing aid out, and confines the cats to the bathroom-gulag-hell at night... The denial went into overdrive.  

She started getting angry when I suggested that a possum or something could have found its way in like the mouse tried to.  [Evil I know, but sometimes passive aggressive turnabout is one of the few benefits I get to these conversations.]

Finally, I asked if there was a State University Agricultural Extension Office in her town.  She could take the 'item' there and possibly know what it was.  Or, stop by Fish and Game.  [They can throw money, I know they will want to thank me!]  She did not say it, but I could almost hear her mind churning ... doing that would acknowledge she had something in her house!  The HORROR!

That was the only solution I offered.  After the Debit Card Debacle... [see a few blogs ago] I am not giving her any solutions.  It is a waste of effort.  She started complaining that she did not want people in the house because they steal everything and no one will do anything right and no one wants to work... Yadda, yadda... BOO.

I advised her that it would be nearly impossible to exterminate the basement with the amount of stuff that was there.  Her response?

"Well.  The only reason I do that is to block the windows so {the hated neighbor in the turn} can't get in here.  It is my security system."

Um- it was that way before {hated neighbor} returned to the area.

"He is escalating!  He will get in here!  It is just a matter of time!"

I am concerned that if you have something in there, the house is a fire/deathtrap anyway with all the stuff and the wiring that has not been updated since the house was built in 1966 or 68 or whenever, and has not been maintained.

"I need to keep those windows blocked!  I have to..."

Okay.  Here.  Gotta go.


Subsequent conversations?  The mystery poo has not been mentioned.  And I am not asking.  


  1. oh god! I've had this conversation. You are getting really good at just giving her enough so she isn't ignored but not feeding the crazy.

  2. Thank you Lisa! I am getting a bit too much practice. I think she is a bit flustered by my response to her... or rather my non response:-)

    No updates or additional attempt to mention the 'poo'. We shall see if it comes up again. Who knows what is true and what is not...

    Have a great weekend!