So Derek left at 6 a.m. for an early meeting, so I got to sleep in and drive alone to work. I roll out of bed around 8:00 after hitting the snooze button about 16 times, let the dogs out to go pee with my eyes half closed, get showered and dressed and looking all cute in my new Old Navy pink shirt and my cute pink heels with the butterfly design on them and my hair all freshly did and everything and proceed out to the garage to feed the hounds when I am stopped short by the sight of a GIANT DEAD RAT WITH A GIANT RUBBERY TAIL LYING THERE WITH ITS HEAD STILL IN A RAT TRAP. Which was thankfully face-down. And folks, I did the super lame cliché girl thing to do.
It was just so shocking, I mean, I almost stepped on the thing. Here, in my cute little shangri-la paradiso springtime beautiful yard on this beautiful sunny day, this poor dead nasty-ass creature stood out in bold and gross juxtaposition. And the dogs are all looking at me like, “Bitch, GET MY CHICKEN, ARE YOU NEW? Daddy always feeds us by 7:15! What do we have to do, suck in our cheeks and show some ribs? We are not Nicole Richie!!! This delay is un-freaking-acceptable! Step over the thing and get your ass into the garage and snap to it!”
But, I digress. See, up until recently we had been kind of in pleasant denial about any rodent problem. Sure, I had seen them last summer in our peach tree, greedily devouring every last morsel of fruit before it had even ripened enough to be picked. We had nary a bite of peach from that tree because of those little bastards. I even took the super high-pressure nozzle hose to those mo-fo’s while they sat in said peach tree, all fat and loaded up on sugar and giving me the rat-finger since they were too high up to reach them and kick their rat-asses. Yeah, I took that sprayer hose and was all Bruce Willis from Die Hard on their asses: “YIPPEE-KAI-AY, MOTHER F---ERS!!!!” whilst spraying my water uzi with glee. That was kind of fun, actually. But I always assumed they went off and lived in some other place like Ratville or Rattamonica or maybe Rat Hills and then commuted to our apricot tree during the day. Sadly, this is not the case.
Around wintertime, we started hearing strange noises coming from up in the attic and from the roof space over our bedroom. Very busy, scraping, organizing, plotting-type sounds. Derek and I would look at each other.
“Do you hear that?” (wide-eyed)
“Yeah. I do.” (eyes darting around)
“You know, I bet somebody died here years ago and they didn’t tell us when we bought the house.”
“Yeah. Somebody totally died here and now they live in our attic. And they’re angry that we’ve taken over the house because they don’t like our decorating scheme, they preferred the L.L. Bean country look, and here we are being all nouveau French / Asian Chic on their ass and they’re pissed. I’m going to check public records or something and find out who died here so we know who is quite obviously haunting us.”
“Okay. Good idea.”
End of story. And Denial is a river in Egypt.
Then one day recently, right after the time change, when it was still light enough to go outside after work and water the plants, I saw them in the faint glimmer of twilight. An entire FREAKING METROPOLIS of rats crawling around in the giant tree in our backyard. It looked like the tree itself was wriggling, there were so many rats crawling around in it. And they were busy doing stuff and things like crazy. I called Derek outside and made him look, and we watched as, one by one, they schlepped from the tree, to our roof, to the Ratville they have been erecting somewhere in our house. Holy crap, Houston, we have a problem.
I told my dad about it, and that I was thinking of calling an exterminator. “Oh good grief, just go get some rat traps and put them on the roof and call it a day, for crying out loud,” he muttered, and dads know about this kind of thing. So Derek got the traps and set them up on the roof the other day. And here, this morning, in front of my face, in all its carcassy glory, was the first fruit of his labors. I guess the trap snapped so hard, it went flying right off the roof and onto the patio and in front of my adorable pink shoes. And with no mens around (come on, I am a feminist and all but that shit is some men's work), I had to go get some plastic bags and pick up the wretched thing so that the dogs don’t get bored today and start thinking it’s some cool new and stinky chew toy for them to toss about the yard. Yeah. It was pretty awful.
I can only imagine the rat graveyard that must be on the roof by now. But my question is, after they’re dead, will they come back to the attic to haunt us and disapprove of our decorating scheme? God, that would just really suck.