Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Toad in the Hell

Whilst getting ready for work this morning I opened the back door to get a bit of fresh air into the house. As well as chucking it down a lot it has also been very humid the last few days. Although humidity is relative. Our 'unbearably humid' is probably a cool breeze for some poor South Asian country.

I then went over to get a drink at the tap and turned back to the door with the aim of standing on the step to cool down. To my horror a toad was sat looking up at me from the doormat.

Earlier readers may remember my frog phobia, well it hasn't abated. And it's not likely to.

Before I realised what I was doing I was aware of a sound coming from my mouth, a sort of shivery grunt. The kind of sound you make when its a bit chilly, but the shocked remix.

Natural, immediate reactions are great - they're free of any involvement from life conditioning, although I was glad there was no one else there to witness my weakness, other than the toad, who knew of it already.

I did manage to suppress the noise towards the end of the outburst as my conscience caught up with my reactions but the toad still had the psychological upper hand as he hadnt yet shown a weakness.

What the hell was it doing on the mat, in my house? Actually save the inquests for later, getting Mr Toad out of the house was of more pressing importance. It was facing inwards, so any spooking of the frog would mean that it would jump the way it was facing - further into the house - which would have turned a trauma into a major disaster. The Watski warning level was already flashing Orange.

Luckily, my inadvertent grunting spooked the toad enough to make it turn 180 degrees to face the outside world. It kind of hopped and spun round at the same time, I guessed this guy might be pretty cool in the toad world. It seemed he wanted to be in my house about the same as I wanted him to be in it.

Another quick movement was enough to persuade the frog to take one final jump to freedom and hide behind a plant pot on the patio. It takes slightly more time for the mental scars to heal though.

There was no way he could have been in the house overnight...unless. No I dont want to think about it. I did have the back door open for a few hours last night. No I dont want to think about it. Come to think of it, I did hear a mysterious rustle coming from the kitchen. No, please no.

Some people have child guards, I'm going to have to get a toad guard if Iwant the door open for any length of time from now on. I can hear the howls of laughter coming from the Pet shops now. The public ridicule, the shame.

It's more likely (Im trying to persuade myself) that he was seeking shelter from the rain up against the door, and he fell in when I opened it. Maybe he was listening to my conversations. What's the point in a toad sheltering from the rain? You're meant to like rain, it's like a human avoiding oxygen. You're an amphibian, act like one- now pull yourself together. Maybe he's a reluctant toad. Ostracised from the main group for being a weed, different. Allergic to water or something.

Maybe I was his only hope, and I turned him away.

Frogs and Toads continue to plague my life, they torment me beyond any reasonable levels of acceptance. Most people go through life living side by side with these things, hardly ever coming into contact with them. I'm continually harried and hassled by them.

Its a minefield. I need help.