Friday, January 21, 2011

Dangers and annoyances: Cervixi, rodenti, mammali, etceteri

So, I was going to write about my cervix, but then I started wondering if the plural of cervix was cervixes or cervixi?

Not that I have more than one. I was just, you know, wondering. As you do.

This then led me to thinking about hippopotamuses, which apparently can also be puralized (plurified?) as hippopotami. Same with rhinoceri. I like plurals ending in i.

Which further led me to recall that I haven't told you the rat head story.

Before you get all, "Christ, cervix-hippo-rat-heads? No wonder you're having trouble getting pregnant!" let me tell you. There's a very logical connection.

The investigator's wife.

Actually, she has no connection to my cervix. But she's the one who told me about the density of raccoons in Rock Creek, and how they have can pick locks and rape your pets.

Which added them immediately to my fear list. Actually, they were on there already because of the rabies, but it bumped them way up high - right up there with hippopotami.

Because, as I like to remind people, they're fast and mean and can turn on a dime, those hippopotami.

I feel lucky we don't have a density of them in our neck of the world. Can you imagine being on your way to work, walking along listening to your iPod, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, a hippo runs you over? Blam! Dead. Or you're on the metro, and your train has just come up from underground, and all of a sudden it's knocked off its rails by an angry hippo?

They attack without apparent provocation, you know.

Incidentally, dolphins are also rapists. But you don't have to worry about them on your way to work. Unless you're a marine biologist, I suppose.


We had dinner with the investigator and his wife, who, as soon as we sat down said, "Should I start with the rats?"

What kind of a question is that? When you know the answer is going to be, "Absolutely!"

Basically, they've been finding rat parts in their Petworth neighborhood.

They found a rat body - cleanly severed - and initially thought it was the neighbors, but then later opened their car hood and realized that the rat might've been in there when the car got turned on and somehow one of the belts functioned like a guillotine and that was that.

(Because apparently rats like to crawl inside cars when it's cold. And, if you leave your car long enough, they can chew their way inside your car. Truth.)

So then later that week the investigator came across a rat head down the block.

"Same rat?"


"How do you know?"

"The head was severed in a different place."

I believe the man knows what he's talking about. He's an investigator, after all.


  1. You moved so quickly through this post, I feel a little tired after reading it. Which means I need more sleep, so I can enjoy LG posts! I'm also left wondering about your cervix, oddly. I hope the rat situation gets better.

    And I just re-read the post you linked with the Investigator, tears are streaming down my face.

  2. Oh, lovey, I'm sorry. I know, it was a tough thing. And this post might be tiring. Sorry about that, too.

    As for my cervix - I've decided that it's uncooperative and the problem. There's nothing new going on.

  3. I refuse to believe that the plural of octopus is octopuses. It should be octopi. I will always believe octopi.

  4. Lock-picking raccoons definitely belong on the Fear list. As do dime-turning hippopotami.

    The french word for rodent is "rongeur", and I think it sounds appropriately sneery and scary.

    Also, I hope your cervix is okay, or gets with the program ASAP.

  5. This is the investigator's wife. You neglected to mention that the rats had indeed started their quest to chew their way into the car. They managed to get through some of the wires, doing all kinds of damage. The guys at the shop also found THREE dead rats under the hood! EW.

  6. Bwhaha. I love that you know investigator people who talk about rats. The SD Health Bulletin says rabies is up this time of year. Weird. You'd think all the rabid animals would be frozen in a snowbank by now.

  7. Heh heh! Weirdly this post has triggered lots of random thoughts for me!

    Hippos - I had a friend who wrote off their car driving into a hippo coming back from the bar one night! I have managed to avoid this myself but it have had many close calls! They really are very very fast!

    Rats - I can confirm first hand that rats and mice can indeed eat their way through the wires in your car! And make nests in there too! Oh and another thing to add to your fear list - big snakes, cobras and the like - if you run over them by mistake (or on purpose for that matter!) can wrap themselves around your engine and give you a nice surprise later! Oh and back to the rats. My mother once had a mouse eat through a tube of her blue paint and he left little blue mouse droppings all over her studio.

    And surely the plural for Mongoose should be mongeese right? Or maybe mongi? Mongooses sounds so... pedestrian.

    Sheesh, this is a post on its own!

  8. I'm going to go with "cervices" for the plural, like appendix changes to appendices.

    Hope all is well with your singular one. :)

  9. Apropos of nothing but that this is one of your mixed bag posts, I thought I'd write and let you know how much I love this new background colour. I don't like many shades of pink, but this is most lovely, like the inside of a conch. I think I'll take my laptop into the paint store next week to match up a chip with it.
    Love ya, Lemons!

  10. oh I have a rat living in the airbox under the hood of my Jeep. (It only gets used to tow the boat in the summer) I couldnt understand why Mac and Mia my terriers were going berko jumping around the front of the Jeep and trying to get up under the motor. I popped the hood and there was all these nuts cached in around the motor and the boyfriend said uh oh you have a rat living in here somewhere I hope he isnt living in the airbox. He banged the airbox a couple of times and Mr Ratatooie dropped out under the car and took off into the shrubbery. Boyfriend is an auto electrician so promptly started telling me horror stories about chewed wiring etc. I need to get some rat poison and drop some in the airbox.

  11. ewww. severed rat heads. nothing like that for a nice sunday evening read.

    It's obviously cervi. I am fairly sure.


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