In other news…

It’s a long story. You should refer to last year’s start of The Troubles, starting with the Great Tomato Atrocity. This year it began with the lovely tomato on the right…tomato_gift (click for a larger view).

At first I thought it was an early attack by Fluffy (in the 3.x series, presumably – I did battle with series 1 and 2 last Summer – especially since I’d deployed the first level of countermeasures already this season, the shields around the main tomato area of the garden.) Had Fluffy found a way past those? Would I have to fortify them? I was very annoyed since I wanted to make a gift of that tomato and had been admiring it every day since it began to ripen, waiting for the moment to pick it. Evidently mine were not the only admiring eyes. And my paws were not the first to get to it. So I decided to launch more level one of the offensive countermeasures, to test the possibility that something other than Fluffy was a work here. Perhaps one of Fluffy’s allies. The Fluffy series with less good PR: Slinky. I might need to be fighting a war on two fronts.

Seems I was right. Slinky is involved, and I caught one of its agents a day later. Peanut butter is a great bait… A picture of the result is after the fold. Don’t go there if squeamish!!


Well, I know it is not victory… there are so many more of Slinky, and of course, the attacks from Fluffy on the fig tree will no doubt begin soon (this could well be a clever tactic from Fluffy to distract me with ground troops – Slinky – while coordinating a devastating attack from the trees) …. I will savour this little victory though, since the War is endless. Small victories at least give me some sense that this was not all futile.

I’ve been away from the scene for several days now, lecturing at a school in Mexico. I bet Fluffy knows. The figs are set to begin ripening around now too. Fluffy knows this too. I had to leave without having deployed countermeasures for that part of the garden. Fluffy knows this also. So I dread to think what atrocities have been committed in my absence. And what reprisals have Slinky possibly carried out?

The War continues…


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10 Responses to Victory!(?)

  1. Nige Cook says:

    Congratulations on the victory against slinky!

    I forgot to plant tomato plants this year, so am envious.

    Cheese and tomato sandwiches aren’t at all tasty with supermarket tomatoes, which seem to lack the flavour of the home-grown item.

  2. Carol&Co says:

    Having just about recovered from the drubbbing England received from Germany, I was a little bit wary of the victory title!! Hope your counter measures wins the war. My tomato plants a very small still having not planted till later than I should have so I have yet to experience war fare – which if it does happen I do hope Matrix (the cat) will be an able deterent. I can lend her to you for the summer if you like! cmj+

  3. Clifford says:

    Thanks! I don’t think Matrix could take on the Fluffy drones. They are pretty big compared to the Slinky drone you see here…


  4. Mary Cole says:

    Enlgand did reclaim a bit of sporting self-esteem by beating the Australians in the one day cricket series yesterday though! I’m not sure what attacks our fruit and veg in the garden. A range of things I suspect. My three year quite likes to sit in the middle of the vegetable patch when he thinks I am not watching. Perhaps I should start dressing him up as a scarecrow!

  5. robert says:

    I’m afraid you have been away from England for far too long Clifford. A post like this could have the meat is murder brigade at your front door, and Brian May calling for the act of attainder to be brought into play. (I know that the lad is a guitar god and astrophysicist manque. Nonetheless he does take the old ‘four legs good, two legs bad’ thing a little far, especially w.r.t. the recent vulpine attack on a child; my granddaughter lives in Hackney and has started campaigning for nights under canvas in the back garden – as anyone might when they are seven). On the other hand my Granddad started work, at the age of twelve, as a rat-catcher’s assistant. So – way to go; splat a rat. And it is a lot less cruel than warfarin.

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  7. Anonymous Snowboarder says:

    You need better battlefield intelligence and clearly lack a G2. At the least, get some birds in the sky watching the area, preferably in the IR.

  8. Clifford says:

    Mary :–

    Let me know if it works!

    robert :–

    Ha! I did not know that about Brian. I’m a fan of his work, but we’d have to disagree on that aspect. Vermin and pests need to be monitored and controlled as part of the ecosystem we share. Plain and simple. The food (animal or vegetable) he eats every day is a result of farmers doing the same sort of control of pests on their land. If someone wishes to pretend otherwise, that’s fine, as long as they do not try to impose such a self-delusion on me. Cheers!

    Anon. Snow. :–

    Don’t know what a G2 is. Please enlighten.

    Actually I did have some birds on my side for a while. A pair of nesting mockingbirds would attack Fluffy agents when they were trying to cross on wires near their nests… so although very load, they were my allies for a while. But that time has passed. Fluffy has direct access to the fig trees and young figs are already being destroyed.



  9. Anonymous Snowboarder says:

    c: a G2 is a military intelligence officer at the division level or higher. One of their responsibilities is to keep the commanding officer appraised of current intel as it develops. As to your need for a bird in the sky, I had more in mind a low light camera of some kind as I doubt any of the 3 letter agencies will let you buy time on one of their ‘birds’. As you have found out, birds of the feathered variety are notoriously unreliable, allied or not.

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