Outside Looking In

Elmer, Wiley and Bill

The tap, tap, tapping noise I heard faintly outside recently sounded like a young child knocking on the door. So I got up and went to the front door, only to find out there was nobody there.
A couple of minutes later, the same tapping noise was produced. Again, I went to the door and again there was no one there.
I looked around to see if a branch might be blowing against the house. Nope. I stayed outside to see if I could solve the mystery, but after a few minutes I went back in the house.
As soon as I seated myself in the chair and continued working on a story, the incessant sound returned.
The tap, tap, tapping sound was starting to annoy me as much as someone snapping gum in their mouth.
This time, I sneaked out the back door and figured I would catch the smart-aleck in the act. It wasn't a young child, nor was it a friend playing a prank on me.
"Get out of here," I yelled as a small downy woodpecker squawked back while flying away.
I don't have permanent siding on my house as some of my neighbors do, so this little (expletive) decided to have lunch on me.
On the upper corner of my split-level house were six small drillings on the west corner and five on the north corner. I filled the holes with wood filler, and painted over them.
Since shooting woodpeckers is against the law, I searched online for a way to rid myself of the pest. Many sites said the most common and easiest way to rid woodpeckers is to spray a diluted mix of tabasco sauce and water. I drove to store and purchased a small bottle, mixed it up and began to spray the entire area top to bottom.
Instead of being repelled by the smell, the woodpecker returned and went about his business. Like some humans, this bird seemed to like hot sauce on his food. I think he would have bathed in it if I had filled a bird bath with hot sauce.
Strike one. Back to Google.
Another good idea for a homeowner to rid themselves of a woodpecker damaging a home is to affix something shiny to the area, such as a CD, my research revealed. I found an old CD in my desk drawer that had silver on each side.
So I got the step ladder out of the garage. I then took a long hook and screwed it to the outside of the west corner of the house and tied the CD to it with monofilament fishing line. The CD swirled in the wind just as it had shown online and was supposed to scare the woodpecker, much like a scarecrow does his work in a corn field.
Swing and a miss. Strike two.
Now I felt like Wiley E. Coyote trying various ways to kill the road runner.
My next step was to cut apart a pop can and fold the inside of the can in half to produce two shiny silver sides and affixed that the same way as the CD; only this time to the other corner. Because it was lighter than the CD, this aluminum object blew around better and made a little more noise as the wind slapped it against the house.
Strike three.
The woodpecker now brought a friend with him as though they were at an amusement park and the shiny objects were rides, and the tabasco sauce a corn dog. What a fun day they were having.
And I'm sure my neighbors were enjoying the show, too. I hope they didn't hurt themselves when the fell down laughing.
Illegal or not, I located my two BB guns that I have had in the garage for years but never use. I loaded them up, pumped them until they were primed and ready for my safari hunt.
Now I felt like Elmer Fudd as I tried to tiptoe in the leaves to sneak up on the woodpecker and his companion.
"Be vewy, vewy quiet. I'm hunting woodpeckews"
I spotted the woodpecker pecking away as though I had attached a welcome mat to the corner of the house instead of those enticing contraptions that were dangling less than a foot away from his drilling spot.
I aimed, pulled the trigger .... and the BB never came out. The bird turned his head toward me, probably shrugged his shoulders, and went back to his work. I would have been better off throwing the gun at him than trying to hit him with a BB.
Now I felt like Carl Spackler, the part Bill Murray played in Caddyshack where he tried to rid the Bushwood Country Club of a gopher.
I filled the spray bottle with a stronger solution of hot sauce, took the sprayer off and poured it all over the corner of the house.
After a couple of hours, he returned.
It's not so bad being in the company of failures. Heck, even the Mighty Casey struck out.

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