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Cowards Run in Packs

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Cowards Run in Packs

Disclaimer:  This post is not gang related. I had already written the title when I realized I’m completely trite and it is already well known for completely different reasons.  But I’m stubborn so I’m not changing it.  So here’s the intended content:

I pride myself on being a fairly logical, rational person.  I have my fears, but when it comes to the big, serious things that matter I’m pretty stoic.  I find myself being the one who “holds it together”  because somebody has to.

So I was really disappointed when I realized what a huge weenie I am…

One night my roommate R and I were sitting in the living room watching TV and vegging.  Our significant others were working so we were a little concerned when we heard rustling.  Keep in mind the fact that we rent a 98 year old house so it’s big and drafty and has old house noises and probably ghosts-ghosts that eat my expensive deli cheese and never wash the dishes.  I may be confusing ghosts with roommates…

Anywho, the rustling continued and finally  became particularly loud and unignorable.  Well, I was ignoring it pretty well but R had to go and say something about it.  The noise sounded like it could be coming from the basement so R got up to check on it and I followed him.  Just to be clear, we do not have a finished basement.  We have a gross, unfinished, 98-year-old-house basement complete with foundation cracks, dampness issues, and (most-likely) asbestos.  Needless to stay, I only go down there to do laundry, and I put that off as long as possible.  There is a door in the basement that goes outside so our first thought (or at least mine) was that someone broke into the basement.

So of course I waited at the top of the stairs while R checked.

In my defense, I’m little and not a fighter, and extremely uncoordinated.  I’m not trusted with a glass of water let alone a weapon.  I’m not even allowed to say the word brawl.  It’s been banned from my vocabulary because (apparently)  I’m too cute.  I can say scuffle, and fisticuffs, and sometimes scrap (if I say it when other people are talking and not paying attention to me) I might be able to say duel if I’m in period garb, but I haven’t tested it yet.

Basically if an intruder had intruded and saw that I was the one who decided to resolve the situation he would laugh.  Then dice me into several pieces.  It’s all very Kill Bill in my head except the intruder is very graceful and coordinated and I have assumed the duck-and-cover nuclear war position  (you know with the turtle who sings “duck and cover” and instructs children to hide under their desks in the event of nuclear fall out because that’s really going to improve their chances of survival) and I’m singing I will survive at the top of my lungs.  (My theory is that if you confuse them they’ll go away, but again, I’ve never tested it.  Also, the intruder looks like the kick-ass school girl with the mace, which makes it scarier, because the intruder is a man.  So there’s a transvestite school girl/boy thing with a mace and I’m huddled up, channeling the amazing Ms. Gaynor.  It doesn’t end well for me.

So I’m at the top of the stairs and it’s very uneventful because…

ok I’m totally interrupting my own blog because I just broke my computer more than it already was and now it is completely unusable as a laptop, and I feel like stabbing something.  I’m going to write an ugly letter to the computer company later.  Actually it will be the second letter I’ve written them.  I may also include their original response in which they maintained that an LCD crack is not covered by the warranty because it is superficial damage.  Yeah really effing superficial-I have a 2″ x 3″ window of usable space in the top right hand corner of my screen now and, I don’t have good eyes so I can’t read anything that would fit into that space!  Also they claimed they returned my lappy in the condition they received it even though when I got it back after sending it to them broken and getting it back (broken because I wasn’t going to pay $800 for a computer I spent $1000 plus for less than year ago)  it was more broken because it wouldn’t turn on.  And I had to do computery stuff to it because it had a software issue-and the tech support guy pretty much said that the damage could be due to the trama to the screen!  omg I’m livid.  They are so getting a picture of wil wheaton collating paper 

http://thebloggess.com/heres-a-picture-of-wil-wheaton-collating-papers/

OK I apologize:  back to your regularly scheduled blog

…I totally forget where I was going with that sentence.  So I’m at the top of the stairs and R searches the basement and there is no one there and we don’t hear any more rustling.  So he comes back up stairs and leaves the room and I hear the rustling again, and then I see something scurry past me (I can use the word scurry because it’s cute and tiny-sounding) and then I realize it had a tale and it was brown and icky and was not poop with a tail.  It was a rat.  (I don’t know why but moving poop with a tail would have been less disgusting somehow and I could get famous for discovering a new evolutionary development or something.)

At this point I’m yelling my face off-and not girly shrieking yelling, manly “Ahhhhhh” kind of yelling.

R yells in from the other room “what, what is it?” and I very intelligibly replied “Ahhhhhh” and then I realized we had thought there was an intruder and now I’m yelling so he’s probably thinking I’m being maced by a transvestite so I forced myself to say some words, which were “ew ew ew rat…just. saw. rat. ew ew ew” accompanied by the “I feel dirty” dance and some more manly yelling.

At this point I will just say R did not rush into the room after hearing me yell and probably thinking a transvestite is on the loose with obscure weaponry.  I’m keeping that in mind for a later date…

Apparently he is terrified of rats so he was really no help.  He threw some mouse poison in the basement from the top of the stairs, shut the door, and we both sat in the living room on couches with our feet up the rest of the night.  We are freaking basketcases.

Since our significant others were working we had to warn them of the rat situation so we texted them.  R texted his gf S and his phone immediately died, so he couldn’t even explain.  I was sure she wasn’t coming home because she works at  hotel so she could just stay there…

but she did so that’s good

E came home and hadn’t even read my text because he’s a devoted boyfriend so I had to retell everything I had texted and relive the disgusting moment.  Then he mocked R for not going downstairs to place the poison.  He put down six poisons in the basement and we put a bunch upstairs and I felt a little better, but still not great.

So now I defend our living conditions because I think rats are dirty and live in dirty places (even though it’s sort of unavoidable in the city), and we are not dirty except for the dishes thing, which I totally try to keep up on but they asexually reproduce when I’m at work.  Other then that we are fairly clean.

I blame our neighbor for the rats.  We live in a pretty urban area so the houses are close, and our neighbor has four pheasants he keeps in habitats right next to his house that he built out of wood and chicken wire (the habitats, not the house.  pretty sure he didn’t build the house.)  and rats are attracted to fowl.  And he has dogs.  He keeps them outside on the porch all the time and leaves dog food out there.  So he basically calligraphied an invitation for them and hand delivered it to the ratties who gladly obliged. Except one of them got bored and went exploring and found our house.

So we told our landlord who paid for all of the rat traps and poison we bought and told us to contact the health department (which I did and never heard back.)

I was really anxious to be rid of the rat because we had just invited a bunch of people over for an ugly sweater/house-warming/E’s parent’s 34th anniversary/my brother’s b-day party (we like to multitask), and I didn’t want a rat hanging around.  Plus they are disgusting.  I don’t mind the pet type of rat but real rats who come to your house and make you think a murderous transvestite is lurking nearby are icky.

Then it was a waiting game, and I was really surprised we hadn’t found the rat in one of the traps  because we put peanut butter on them and who can deny the lure of peanut butter? Though, I had noticed after the first night that two of the poisons from upstairs were gone .  I put 2 more in their place and 2 days later they were gone too.  We noticed after a few more days that all six poisons in the basement were gone So after about a week the basement started to smell worse and I noticed some really large houseflies and I thought maybe the rat was dead and rotting somewhere, but I tried really hard not to think about it.

Finally I was at work one night and got a text from E-the convo went like this:

E:  Found the rat.  It’s dead

Me: Ewewewew and yayayayay where did you find it?

E: In the basement.  Back corner.  Covered in maggots.  We got it all into a box and then bleached the area

Me:  Ewww that may be why we’ve had a lot of flies lately…

So it was done.  It took ten poisons because apparently it was some ridiculous mutant rat that loves poison but not peanut butter, but the rat is now dead.  And I didn’t have to clean it up.  Honestly, given my forensic science education I would have been less freaked out by the dead, rotting maggot infested rat.  E was quite intrigued by it and kept having to stare at it to make sure it really was a rat and not a new basement-dwelling species.  The tail gave it away.

Now we just need to do something about the flies…

Things this experience (and blog) taught me:

1) I don’t have a girly scream, which I am strangely proud of

2)  R may be in cahoots with Kill Bill transvestites who plan to murder me.  And for the record, I have nothing against transvestites who don’t want to kill me.  I just tend not to like anyone who wishes me dead.  It’s a self-preservation thing.

3) For someone who describes herself as stoic I can really work myself up into a nice rabid rant

4) I am a huge wimp when it comes to rodents being in my house

5) E is amazing and cleaned up gooey rat remnants when he could have left them for me to clean up, which he considered doing

Here is a copy of the invitation for the rats I found in my neighbors trash:

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