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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000889.txt from 1999/06

Subj: [kl] Vermin (was Humidity)
Date: Tue, 29 Jun 1999 21:33:23 -0400

My pet human wrote that she doesn't put orange peels in her case to humidify
it because she thinks the peels might attract insects. She said she thought
a Dampit was better. My other pet human, the male, uses a Dampit in his
violin case, but Lelia doesn't really use one, BTW. She just leaves the damp
swab in the parts well. Actually, the best humdifier would be the Potomac
River. Go drop the clarinet in and leave it there. <Sigh.>

David B. Niethamer wrote that he prefers orange peels. He said,
> I've never had a bug problem - maybe Shadow Cat has fleas ;-) >

Of all the nerve! I have no fleas! I never have fleas! I live in a
*house*, not out in the *dirt*, and I keep my fur immaculate, unlike some
humans I could mention. You'd think with those huge sloppy tongues, humans
would learn how to wash themselves properly, but no, they stand under
*running water*. <Shudder!> Anyway, I certainly won't listen to comments
about hygiene from anybody who can't even lick his own back claws.

Clarinets don't need orange peels to attract vermin. Vermin are naturally
attracted to screech-sticks. I know because my pet human frequently drags
home old wild wind instruments. It's embarrassing that she doesn't know what
to do with her prey. You're supposed to interrogate it, torture it and kill
it slowly, preferably by dismemberment. She brings home these appalling wild
clarinets, saxes and so forth. She dissects them sometimes, but then she
washes them, puts them back together and tries to tame them. Even a dog
would know better.

I have inspected the stinky old cases. Where do you suppose the flea market
got its name, hmmm? I have observed the following vermin (in addition to
the instruments themselves) in clarinet and sax cases: Fleas, spiders (I
respect spiders. Efficient predators.), crickets, ants, mosquitoes, sowbugs,
stinkbugs, wasps, bees (both honeybees and carpenter bees), silverfish, daddy
long-legs, termites (apparently preying on the wooden cases, as I have also
found termites in sax cases, and have never observed termite tunnels in the
clarinets themselves), little white moths, medium yellow moths, big brown
mottled moths, earthworms (both dried and slimy), slugs, flies (houseflies,
horseflies, and itty-bitty flies), cockroaches, tiny brown beetles with black
speckles, eensy-weensy hard shiny black beetles, various other beetles,
assorted gnats, lice, no-see-'ems, etc., miscellaneous maggots and other
small larvae. Mostly they're already dead, but not always.

In addition to fauna, the cases frequently contain flora. One saxophone, the
one that had garden slugs in the half-rotted case, was inhabited by a large,
flabby, reddish-brown shelf fungus. We have discovered various molds,
mildews, lichen, dry rot and wet rot, along with bits and pieces of straw and
other plant matter probably imported by the vermin for nesting purposes. In
general I find evidence of too much moisture, not too little. All this is
quite interesting and I would like to make a more detailed study, but I am
prevented by the stupid human, who cleans the cases before I can thoroughly
inspect them.

We do agree on one thing: She doesn't eat the vermin she finds. I never eat
vermin, either. I only eat nice food that comes from cans with pictures of
Morris, the movie star. Morris is handsome, but he obviously doesn't hunt
much, or else he wouldn't wear that fancy, conspicuous orange coat. I only
hunt for sport and to catch and interrogate spies, of course, since I keep
human servants to fix my meals, but I dress for success anyway. My dark gray
coat me makes nearly invisible. When I do hunt things, I catch them. So I
know my vermin.

Shadow, the Stealth Cat

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