Nutterbutter June

Yesterday after work, I ate the world and then lay on my couch to watch Sex and the City like it’s 1999.

I’ve been thinking in order to shame self into eating better, I should photograph everything I eat—like my coworker Griff is inexplicably starting to do—and make you all look at it. My food, not Griff’s. “Some people have a $20-a-day crack habit; I have a $20-a-day crab habit,” he told me, sliding through his phone’s shellfishy photos.

I feel like Griff says things and Mr. Ropers himself on the inside a lot.

You do not need to point out to me that I am now the Ropers’ age. Yesterday I was Alice and today I’m Mrs. Roper.

Anyway.

My whole plan for last night was to lie prone till it was time to go to bed, which, when I have the trainer in the morning means 9 p.m. Look, I’d already thrown Blu till my arm fell off. I’d pilled foam-at-the-mouth-asshole Iris and worked for 8 hours. I felt I deserved prone.

{knock knock knock}

“WOO WOOO WOOO WOO WOO!” said Edsel, whose least-favorite song is Someone’s Knocking at the Door by Paul McCartney and Wings.

I just looked it up, and technically that song is called Let ’em In. Whatever. That song reminds me of a little girl from my childhood neighborhood who used to knock on the door all the time and wonder if I wanted to come out and play. Did I LOOK like someone who wanted to come out and play? I was always in the middle of a book when she knocked. Had I known about Sex and the City I’d have been in the middle of that.

Anyway, one time she came to the door and she had a portable radio hooked to her bike and that song was on, and I found it fitting. Still rejected her invitation to “come out and play.”

Come out and play. What nonsense. I’ve no idea what Mrs. Zuckerman is going to wash the pig in next. Will she stick with buttermilk? Stop bothering me.

I realize I’m also Mrs. Zuckerman’s age. Stop bothering me. Ride off on your bike.

Back to our story.

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.

WOOO WOOO WOO WOOOO!

It was my next-door neighbor. My NDN has lived in the house, you know, next door, since he was 17 months old. He’s 56 now.

“Ha bub bub buub bub, pears, hubba bub bub,” he said. It takes me a minute sometimes to catch his cadence, which is decidedly Southern. Once I do, I understand him. But first I have to slow my syllable-listening way down.

I have this pear tree, see, and the pears never ever ever ripen, see, but he’s been asking if he can have some and I’ve said fine, go back there any time. They just draw hornets once they land. But last night he had us a get-rich-quick scheme where he thought he could take them all to the nearby convenience store, and by “convenience” I mean everyone conveniently gets their 40s of beer there. I have never once entered that store. I don’t think I’ve ever had a 40 of beer, either.

Anyway, he told me he wants to take a bunch to that store and sell them, and that he’d give me some of the profits, and I said sure, and apparently I’m now a pear businesswoman of some sort. I might name us American A-pear-al. Does that have a ring to it?

Once we’d drawn up the contracts and brought in our attorneys for our new business venture that I’m certain I won’t be swindled on or anything, he brought me into the back yard to look up in the tree at

THE BIGGEST HORNET’S NEST YOU HAVE EVER SEEN OH MY GOD. That thing is New York City for hornets. Carrie Bradsting is living up there wearing a yellow jacket.

You’re welcome.

Then somehow another neighbor came over, who also wanted to discuss the

WORLD’S BIGGEST HORNET NEST

and then everyone started scrambling for a shotgun, because everyone decided shooting it down would be a good idea. This was about the time I started backing my way up toward my house, but as I did, Milhous came running out of the neighbor’s.

“Oh, there’s your cat. She’s a mess,” said my neighbor, who I was back to understanding. I knew Mil went over the fence and into their yard to play with their cat, Sissy,

but I did NOT know he WENT INSIDE.

“Oh, yeah, some mornings she wakes me up jumping on me.”

The people next door refuse to refer to Mil as anything but “she.” He doesn’t seem to mind. Did I mention they feed him? On my old dishes, as I gave the neighbors my last set?

I called Milhous the Overly Familiar over to me, and we were all set to go back in and avoid the shotguns when

“Miss June! I thought you’d want to meet Nutterbutter Bob!” It was the across-the-street neighbor.

I mean. I don’t care if that’s what they named their shotgun. Of course I want to meet anyone named Nutterbutter Bob.

Turns out the woman across the street found a squirrel in her tree, with its head stuck in a hole, and when she tried to rescue it, it bit her. (“Oh, I’m fine,” she said. Rabies schmabies.)

I’d heard she’d been bitten by a squirrel, because that’s the shit you hear around here, but I didn’t know the particulars.

Once she got the squirrel’s head out the hole, and it bit her, she realized it was paralyzed from the waist down. She called rescue places and they all said she should euthanize it.

Heaven knows there are shotguns all over the block that would do the trick.

But she refused to do so, and got info on how to care for him, and her grandsons couldn’t agree on a name and that is how he became Nutterbutter Bob.

Nutterbutter Bob looked at me suspiciously. “Hi, honey,” I said, not daring to pet him but dearly wanting to.

“He chirps at me at dinnertime,” said my neighbor. “He doesn’t growl anymore.”

I don’t know if they ever shot down the

WORLD’S

BIGGEST

HORNET’S

NEST

but I never heard shots so I’m figuring someone sensible, aka a woman, possibly Nutterbutter Bob’s mom, talked the men out of bothering the hornets. I’m glad they didn’t, because I’d hate for the hornets to fly out of that hornet city and bother Nutterbutter Bob.

And that sums up my evening.

XO,
June

P.S. heeeee

118 thoughts on “Nutterbutter June

  1. Oh, my word! This was so entertaining! Nutterbutter Bob–poor thing. Can he climb with his itty bitty front legs? Hornets’ nests give me the heebie-jeebies. Exterminator! Take it away!

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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    • Yellow-heebie-jeebie-jacket nests too, oh boy. One in the ground behind our building, just bubbling with evil. And Google was SO helpful: don’t use gasoline, don’t try drowning them, this won’t work, that only enrages them, maybe if you creep up at night and pop a jar over each entrance, yeah that’ll happen.

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      • You can buy a spray insecticide made for ground hornet nests. It comes with a narrow tube and shoots foam into the tunnels. You do it at night and just shove the tube into the entrance and empty that can in there. No more hornets.

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  2. I love this post and your neighbors. Nutterbutter Bob is a perfect name for a squirrel.

    Tell Griff I have a $20-a-day carb habit. Same letters, different meaning, equally delicious.

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  3. Just looked up a website on how to get rid of hornets’ nests (hornet’s nests? Get rid of hornets. Say “hornets” again.). I still have the heebie-jeebies. Oddly enough, shotguns were not mentioned.

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  4. I so needed this today ! Laughed and laughed…. Adorable word pictures.
    Is the shotgun maybe one of those sprays that goes like 22 ft and kills all those things????
    I used one in my shed when I had two hornet houses! Works great but not sure what would happen to the pears!

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  5. Miss June, I regret to inform you that I will be unable to visit your house, or your neighborhood, until you can show me three documents proving that the hornets have been removed from your area.

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  6. I am in love with Nutterbutter Bob! It would have been so hard to not pet him! I hope he makes a full recovery!
    Several years ago, I found a long loose fitting dress that I loved! It was brightly colored with pinks and oranges. I tried it on and it looked great! It was a little different from what I usually wear, so I sent a picture to my husband and he agreed it looked good. Then, it hit me. I suddenly realized I looked like I was wearing one of Mrs. Roper’s dresses!

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      • Oh my gosh it was so comfy and I was hugely pregnant, so vanity should’ve long gone out the window, but I just couldn’t stop picturing Mrs. Roper! “Oh, Stanley!”

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  7. This is so fun. I love the tie in with the NY size hornet nest and Carrie. Genius. I feel like I have seen this similar plot go down in a children’s book – minus the shotgun. Pear-picking, squirrel-loving, tough-to-understand-talking peeps gathering in someone’s yard to try to solve the big hornet nest issue. Love it. What do you call your neighborhood? Marginal? I think you should upgrade that to never-dull neighborhood.

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  8. This post is hilarious! From the beginning to the end. Butternutter Bob is not funny, poor thing. I had such a visual of all the goings on right there in the neighborhood. It all made me snort laugh. I bet there’s someone (idiot) out there that would like to take that hornets nest out of that tree. This is certainly one for your book. Matter of fact, most of your post are book worthy.
    Tee

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  9. Omg I love this post! I love that you step outside & a whole neighborhood of stories joins you. Also love your instinct to skeedadle when they started to commence to begin to take care of that hornet’s nest.

    Hornets scare the ever lovin shit out of me. One day at a friend’s house, her husband runs in from outside and says a bit guiltily, “Uh, can you stay inside for a while?” My friend to her husband: “what did you do?” He’d tried to “take care of” a giant hornet nest… unsuccessfully. The nest located in a tree near my car. We peeked outside. Livid hornets everywhere. Hornets who wanted revenge. And on the other side of the maddened swarm… my car.

    That was a long visit.

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    • P.S. I know this is late (also cliche & prob means nothing coming from internet stranger) but I was sorry to read Iris is having health problems. Sending her good thoughts, prayers and healing vibes.

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  10. Ok, first, is your neighbor wearing socks but not shoes in your yard?
    Second, I’m gonna have to pet a squirrel now. My bucket list is just a list of animals I want to pet.
    And possibly most important, HOW THE HELL IS MILHOUSE GETTING INTO THE NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE? Do they let him in? Does he break in? Do they have a cat door and if so, does anything besides a cat ever come through it?

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    • I was outside with NO shoes and NO socks, so. I became acutely aware of this once I saw Hornettown, up there.

      I believe the girlfriend of my neighbor gets up first, and opens the back door leading to the deck, where, as I’ve mentioned, she sits for hours at a time. My theory is Mil gets in that way. I have also seen them prop open the front door, as I believe they might be devoid of any air conditioning whatsoever.

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  11. The image of you backing up to the house, asking Millhouse to come with you as the firearm crowd assembled is PRICELESS.

    When we lived in NM, there was a squirrel that was run over by a vehicle on our busy street. Between our neighbor’s house and the corner, right in the middle of the street. That squirrel had a friend or mate that would not leave him except when cars came. For two days we’d see the buddy squirrel run out to his dead friend and press both little squirrel hands on the dead one’s chest like “please wake up – we gotta go! We can’t stay here!” Two. Days. The buddy squirrel would wait on the sidewalk when cars came, then run back out.
    The third day the live one was no where to be found.

    We told that story for years before someone finally asked us, “Why didn’t you just get a shovel and take the dead one out of the road?”
    My husband and I looked at each other and said, “Well, shit.”
    We had not once thought of that.

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    • “Firearm crowd.” This makes me picture them assembling a posse to go out and wreak some vigilante justice on those hornets!

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  12. I can just picture a huge nest in your tree with pears dangling gently around it. Boy those hornets were super smart to build a nest in the drive-thru of the pear tree, immediate gratification when you’re hungry.
    Love the pictures you paint with your words!

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  13. That poor squirrel! I used to work with someone who rescued three newborn squirrels and brought them to work with him. I don’t mean that the squirrels actually WORKED, but, you know. They were so tiny and adorable, but, boy, did they stink. I mean, it was bad. And my grandmother used to hand-feed a squirrel that lived in a tree in her backyard — until the squirrel bit her.

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  14. I think I love your neighborhood! Nutter Butter Bob! Pear selling! Calling Milhouse a ‘she’. These people are priceless. You could probably get your second book from these interactions alone. Thank you for the morning laughs, June.

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  15. This is a great story! I loved everything about it. You made me laugh this morning, and for that, I thank you!
    Have a lovely day, June!

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  16. One time I watched in complete horror as a squirrel ran out in front of a car. He nearly made it…but his rear end was hit. I got out when I could and searched for him. He pulled himself by his front legs under a tree and then I couldn’t find him. I searched and searched. Went back the next day and searched. I still think about that poor thing often.

    Anyway. Point is, I wonder if that’s what happened to Nutterbutter Bob. There was no external blood, just observed paralysis.
    I am still glad this neighbour is looking after him though!

    And I had wondered if he got his name because he loves Nutterbutters.

    I hate hornets. Ugh.

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  17. Lovely post, Coot. May I just say you are the BEST! Carrie Bradsting is living up there wearing a yellow jacket. It is like you read my mind, but please don’t. It would be a quagmire of 12-year-old boy fart jokes and old television show and song references.

    We once rescued a baby squirrel. We had it for years. His name was Thumper and he would ride on my mother’s shoulder while she gardened. She was the Dr. Doolittle of Castle Street. She had a Cheryl the Crow who followed her and perched on her shovel in the garden, Thumper the squirrel who rode on her shoulder and a whole yard full of monarch butterflies who would land on her and sit while she walked watering flowers and pulling weeds. Oh and I almost forgot the menagerie of other animals who came to be fed and doctored. There might be a cat sleeping in the greenhouse who had wondered up after being in a fight or an opossum who just had babies under the shed. She would doctor them and send them on their way.

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      • Definitely not a Disney Princess maybe an evil queen… She was a healer. Not like the dog kind of healer. From the time she was a child she would rescue and heal animals, people, plants, etc. She was an R.N. my whole life and while she was horribly strict and had little to no empathy for her children’s illnesses her patients, doctors, and co-workers raved about what a kind generous healer she was.

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  18. You have a gift, Miss June. Your Southern tale had me smiling from Griff’s $20-a-day crab habit to Miss Yellow Jacket. Maybe your neighbors will go in together on the pear-selling scheme by displaying a hand-written sign, “Buy 6 pears, meet Nutterbutter Bob”.

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  19. This whole post – hilarious – I of course would like to subscribe to the tales from Junes porch – it would go so good with a tall glass of lemonade.

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  20. Oh, Miss June. So sweet. Reminds me of those three little girls from your old ‘hood. My grandmother would write me often, always using the long envelopes, addressed to “Miss Carol Ann _____”. I felt so important.

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  21. That was an eventful evening, especially for someone intending to do nothing for the night!
    Do you think you’ll go hang out with NBB again? I didn’t know squirrels growled. Please let us know if he growls at you.

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    • See. I was already like, Can I help feed him? Do you need help with him? And I could tell she was all oh my god, cat lady, let me raise my squirrel. As you do.

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      • Yes! I love that you wanted to help her with him! I hope she lets you squirrel sit sometime! I was reading up on skunk rescues – yes, that’s a thing – and the teeth thing freaked me out. You have to file down their teeth or something?? I wonder if it’s the same for squirrels. Anyway, what a nice neighbor you have! ❤️❤️ cant wait to hear about how you invest all those pear profits. 😂

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  22. I love that you’ve already settled for the evening and then, with a simple knock on the door, the neighbors explode around you. We have a small wasp nest on the front porch that I am loath to take down. I like to see everyone freak out about it.

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  23. I needed this today. Honest to goodness, if you made this story up there wouldn’t be a soul who believed you. Nutterbutter Bob. Good lord.

    Also – Griff and his $20 a day cracb-crackin’ habit had me in stitches from the get-go.

    You have a gift. Thanks for sharing.

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    • Also too I meant to say I am so happy that here in America we still have people who can get bit by a squirrel and not make a federal case out of it. Yesterday in my ‘hood some dude posted pictures on FB of the “vulture” that had “killed a large raccoon” to warn us all to keep our kids and small dogs indoors. A. it was a crow. And B. they don’t kill anything. That raccoon was long dead. But WARNING WARNING WARNING. I can’t even handle it anymore. “The sun is out! Keep your ‘kiddos’ and ‘furbabies’ indoors and warn all the oldsters! Stay hydrated! WARNING WARNING WARNING!” Danger used to be fun. Not anymore.

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      • Oh my gosh I almost fell over at “it was a crow.”
        Is this a city person who thought that was a vulture? Because country people would know vultures don’t anything—crows either!

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        • No. They’re all just idiots and alarmists. Constant warnings. The best ones are the “coyote” sightings. (We actually do have coyotes near by, but none of these goofballs will ever see one. Too afraid to go outside.) Anyway, a woman posted a picture of the 125 lb “coyote” her husband saw walking down the middle of the street. WARNING! WARNING! Another neighbor quickly commented “hey. That’s my Lab Charlie and he’d like you to know he’s not a pound over 90!” Hilarious.

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  24. I laughed my way through this entire post. Well, except for Nutterbutter Bob being paralyzed. Poor NBB. You have some wonderful neighbors.

    I have a tree full of asian pears. Can I get in on your pear business?

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  25. Man, you have THE most interesting life! You gotta call a guy to come kill that hornet’s nest for you, IME. I don’t fuck with hornets.

    I came home and got scammed by the vacuum machine at the world’s most expensive gas station, and it put me in the most foulest of moods before a restaurant dinner I had to but did not WANT to go to. And today I leave for three days in Columbus OH.

    I’d rather watch Milhous gambol with the neighbor’s cat.

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  26. I think I love your marginal neighborhood. I’m picturing everyone on their stoops with their shotguns and 40s, taking care of each other. If I’ve romanticized it, let me have my dream a little longer.

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  27. OMG! Best post ever, Miss June. I love the Southern respect. My neighbor’s three year old called me by my first name thirty plus years ago and I was horrifed. So disrespectful, that did not fly in my youth, sixty years ago come October. Anyhwho, hornet’s nest, shotguns, a paralyzed squirrel, your post has it all. I LOVE your new neighborhood! What an evening! I am major jelly!

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    • You should have been called MISS Koala, that’s respectful in the south. Always add Miss or Mr. to the person’s name. We have lots of friends’ kids that call us Miss Tee and Mr. Tee, it is just a southern thing. Our neighbors’ children and grandchildren call them by their first names. It makes my blood boil.

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      • Glad it’s not just me. When our summer house down the shore neighbor told us to call her by her first name my mother told her, “Absolutely not. My children are not allowed to call adults by their first names.” Go, mom. The neighbor didn’t want to feel old. Grow the hell up. She was a wife mother AND a school teacher!

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        • In one of my Southern grade school classes, our lesson that day was to always respond to adults with sir or ma’am to show respect. After returning home that day, a younger friend of my parents came to visit and when she asked me a question, I very proudly answered, “Yes, ma’am.” and was surprised and disappointed when her response was, “Please don’t call me ma’am as it makes me feel old.” Looking back on it, I realize she was probably in her 20s at the time.

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