It was the middle of the night on the first day that Jillian and I had moved into our new house. We were peacefully sleeping when all of a sudden, “THWACK!”, it sounded like someone had swung a baseball bat as hard as they could at our corrugated-steel roof, and hit a grand slam.
We looked at each other terrified. “What was that?!” we whispered to each other as we pulled the covers up to our faces. I crept downstairs to see the damage, and to ask whoever was responsible why they felt the need to conduct batting practice at two in the morning. But downstairs there was nothing but our still-packed bags and a gigantic spider walking in the middle of the living room floor. The spider met its maker with the help of a falling Chaco sandal, and we went back to sleep with one eye open, fearing that our new house was nothing but a haunted mistake.
But the next morning it happened again, this time to the roof that protects the windows on the first floor. We ran outside but saw no one, no baseball bat, nothing. Then after looking at the ground, we realized that what had been terrorizing us this entire time was not the ghost of Ti Kay past, it was simply a Falling Nugget of Death! (or FND)
I can’t actually take credit for the name “Falling Nuggets of Death”. When we had our friends Devon and Megan over last week, we experienced one of these seed pods plummeting from the trees to the ground first hand while sitting on the porch. It smashed into the concrete, left a crater the size of a basketball, and then evaporated into the muggy Haitian air. Megan looked at us and said, “Wow, that’s a falling nugget of death if I’ve ever seen one.” The name stuck.
I think it goes without saying that being hit by one of these puppies would likely cause major memory loss, or at least an ugly bruise. When they are ready to kill, they detach themselves from the branches just as you are peacefully admiring the nature surrounding you. It then plunges to both its own, and its innocent victim’s, death, in a kamikaze mission from the heavens.
We approached the landlady about our concerns and she said that at least 5,000 Haitians are critically injured every year from FNDs. When we asked her why she never told us we were at risk by living in this house she responded, “You never asked, but if you do anything, just remember to never….” and then she was hit!!! Just seconds before giving us the critical advice we needed to stay safe from these monsters, she became the latest victim of FNDs right before our eyes.
Obviously this entire post has been grossly exaggerated, but there is a tad bit of worry that an FND could leave a dent in one of us. Most likely it would be Jillian, as Haiti has tried repeatedly to do her in (ex: earthquake, moto-taxi accident, eating my cooking). We would also really prefer it if they would stop smashing into our roof in the middle of the night.
Two nights ago there was an all-out assault, and as we were sleeping, we were awoken to the sound of about 5 of these things smashing into our roof at the same time. It never ends! But of course, it will. The trees will eventually run out of ammunition and we will be able to eat our cup-of-noodles on our porch in peace. But if you think about it, it’s probably best it wasn’t Haitians swinging baseball bats…they’re way better at soccer.