Today's sordid chapter of ineptitude is entitled "I Only Sprayed A Little Bit!"
When we first arrived up here, my mother hatched a grand scheme to plant all kinds of vegetables to offset their grocery bill. The fact that they eat ABSOLUTELY NO FRESH VEGETABLES didn't seem to enter in to her calculations. Before the first snow, I put in two compost bins, made from discarded wooden pallets. One was for kitchen waste, one for yard waste (the latter breaks down slower), both of which we have filled up. Now, we do produce a lot of scraps for the bins, particularly in the form of coffee grounds since my autistic, bat-shit insane brother drinks several pots per day and banana peels since my autistic, bat-shit insane father eats several of them a day. Our solution when we lived in Detroit to the kitchen compost container dilemma was to get a ceramic covered canister. This prevented flies from getting in it and kept the rotting juices from leaking all over the counter. My mother's solution is an enormous ice cream container, the lid long since lost. One can imagine that flies quickly found the kitchen compost as soon as the weather turned warm.
One day at dinner, a month or two ago, my mom mentioned something about the flies and offhandedly said that she sprays the compost with RAID in order to kill them. Remy and I nearly choked on our food and I quickly launched in to a lecture about how that is POISON and that any vegetables grown in that compost will absorb the chemicals. I should note that my mother doesn't quite understand the concepts of sustainability or organic or even the basic concept of composting. Remy caught her one day emptying the vacuum cleaner dust into the compost bin, as just one illustration. In my arm-flailing, mouth-foaming lecture, I explained to her that she had to get a bin that had a lid in order to keep the flies out and that the compost was absolutely ruined. She laughed it off, said that we eat food with insecticides on it all the time and we're all just fine. Let's just forget how horribly mutated my family's genes are and go for the THAT'S WHY WE WASH OUR VEGETABLES BEFORE EATING THEM argument. Or, at least, normal people do because I don't expect my family wastes its precious time and water with the washing of veggies. Her final defense of the spraying of the RAID was that she "Only sprayed a little bit" and that it was hardly enough to poison the scraps.
Anyway, I thought that I had made my point, despite her protests. Fast forward to the other night when I was peeling potatoes and realized that the fruit flies I'd seen in the bin the day before were no longer there. I have to space out my dissatisfaction with my mother or she'll pout and sulk for weeks and act childish and vengeful, and yesterday's terse words were reserved for yelling about how she constantly locks my cat with CANCER out on the front porch overnight, so I waited until this morning to ask her about the RAID. When I asked, she artfully dodged the question. See, my mother insists that she "never lies, ever." And she gets truly offended if you suggest that she does, or if you catch her in a lie. What she does, instead, is simply omits things, chooses NOT to tell you something that would help you understand the truth of a situation, or outright avoids answering something she cannot otherwise disguise. So, I asked her again and her answer was, "But I only sprayed a little bit!"
Absolutely infuriating. Her "only spraying a little bit" over the course of a summer has no doubt had a disastrous cumulative effect on the health of our compost bin. At the very least, it's killed all of the earth worms and other bugs that break the compost down. At the very worst, everything that that compost is put on will be poisoned for human consumption. I feel pretty heart-sick over the fact that we can't use the compost in our vegetable garden, something desperately needed because of our sandy, poor soil. Our corn and onions and tomatoes are just sickly looking and I have to super feed them with plant food (something I LOATHE HAVING TO DO) every week or two just to keep them growing at all.
I want to lecture her about it but obviously reasoning doesn't work with her. This is the same woman who believes that cats steal people's breath and that moths poop in your ears while you sleep so I can't imagine that I'll ever be able to appeal to her logic. How she ever managed to survive this long is a mystery that keeps me up at night. Of course, the universe has a way of protecting the soft-minded from themselves. More troubling still is that the apple can't have fallen far from the tree. I must be a touch above imbecile in the archaic classification of mental defects.