November 15th, 2007

Ew! Gross!

Rat? Ptooey!

On November 5, 2006, I attempted to watch all of the British Office in one day.

That didn't work out because I went into my kitchen and turned on the light and OMG A MOUSE SCURRIED ACROSS THE FLOOR. Or a small rat. All I saw was a flash of grey from the refrigerator to a place underneath the trash bag.

I screamed like a girl. Seriously. It was quite emasculating.

I went back to my computer and freaked out to Buffistas, who both offered helpful suggestions and playfully freaked me out more. I wanted to cry at the very thought of killing the thing, but I certainly didn't want it in my kitchen either. I was going to make a terrible husband.

After a long while, I got the courage to get something to trap it and peek underneath the garbage bag, which was the last place I'd seen it. And it wasn't there anymore. Which meant it could be anywhere. In its lair. Over there. IN MY HAIR.

Melanie (toughcookie42) named it Fievel.

I was too stressed to continue watching The Office. Instead, I took some pictures of the linoleum in the kitchen that the critters had clearly been gnawing on ALL THIS TIME WITHOUT MY EVEN KNOWING THEY WERE THERE.

My landlord came by the next evening to give me some rat poison. I had considered getting a more humane method of murder, but this was more...convenient. I sprinkled some around the edges of the gnawed linoleum. I never saw a rodent scurrying across my kitchen again.


Last night, Emily (tigeremme) came over to watch Avatar. Less than a minute after walking into my apartment, she said, "Is that a rat?"

Please just assume that for the next twenty minutes, I am saying, "What the fuck?" every five seconds.

Because right there next to my couch, on the floor, was the body of a rat with a tail longer than its body. While it seemed to be pretty clearly dead, I still had the irrational fear that it was just sleeping and would, at any second, get up and run around and cause havoc.

I had no idea how long it had been there. You'd think I would have noticed it before, but I hadn't really noticed it until Emily pointed it out, so for all I knew, that was a blind spot in my apartment I didn't pay much attention to. For sanity's sake, let's pretend it was new and HAD NOT BEEN THERE LYING NEXT TO ME WHILE I WAS WATCHING TELEVISION.

Emily suggested I dispose of it in a garbage bag, which seemed like a sound idea, since I had no blinkin' idea what to do. Neither did she, really. In situations like this, she would generally call Shari.

So she called Shari.

Who asked if I had some sort of brush and stiff dustpan. WHICH I DID. WHICH MEANT I WOULD NOT HAVE TO TOUCH THE DAMN THING. I didn't want a rat corpse in my hand, even if there was a thin veneer of plastic between us. Shari cautioned that I should not eat off the brush afterward.

Emily moved the table next to the couch away, giving me a clear path. I began to wonder whether I was physically capable of performing this maneuver, since my left arm didn't have a full range of motion. But Emily didn't really want to do it either. She was holding the garbage bag.

I stared at the grey lump on my floor. I was still afraid it would get up. "What if I'm like that guy in Pushing Daisies?" I asked, not that I had any plans to touch it with my finger.

I put the dustpan on the floor next to it and stabilized it with my foot. I knew I couldn't bend down and hold it, and I didn't want to get too close to the body. I stared at it. I didn't even want to touch the rat with the brush!

Emily suggested we put on some music. Some rat music. I thought that was a grand idea. I put on "Time to Pretend" by MGMT, which I was currently addicted to. (I later realized I had the perfect rat music in the White Stripes' "I Think I Smell a Rat.") The music put me at ease, and I was able to sweep the rat corpse into the dustpan, pick up the dustpan, and deposit the body into the garbage bag, which Emily tied up for me to dispose of in a garbage can outside.

Then I vacuumed the site of the body to remove any residual rat germs. Emily helped me put the table back into its right place. I put the rat poison back out in the kitchen.

It was a good thing I hadn't been bringing someone back to my place to make out, as that would have been a real mood-killer.

Thank you, Emily and Shari. It just goes to show that the old saying is true: friends help you move. Real friends help you move bodies.