Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rat Tales

For the 15 years of our marriage (as of Thursday!), Scott and I have ignored the stereotypically assigned gender roles when it comes to household tasks.

He's a far better cook than I. Taking the trash out is one of my favorite rituals. Not only does Scott like to vacuum, he enjoys scouting out the latest, most-efficient tools of the trade (Yes, we have the Dyson ball). Acquiring and sending greeting cards, thank you notes, paying the bills, balancing the checkbook and household accounts fall under my responsibility umbrella. Scott maintains our home's mechanical functioning, does the bulk of the laundry and spurs the kids to 'purge' the glut of toys and books that accumulates ever-so-rapidly in a home blessed with twins. The bi-monthly toting of the recycling bin to the curb was my regular practice...until Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday evening, Larry the dog paid inordinate attention to our green plastic bin the cool autumn night---hovering over our glass, paper and plastic refuse. Naively, I assumed empty Krispy Kreme dozen box had been the focus of his desire. Silly, silly me.

This summer past, when we pulled up our dilapidated deck to pour an aggregate stone porch, the process revealed a lovely brick window well, protecting a basement pane of glass. Conveniently, the recycling bin fit snugly in the brick box...stabilizing the receptacle target of our milk cartons, beverage bottles and the occasional newspaper.

Early Wednesday morning, with jammies and Danskos on, and Larry at my side, I ventured onto the newly poured patio to extract the weighty container from its brick nest, in order to walk it to the front yard for pick-up. A first lift attempt proved insufficient; so a few bottles and other pieces were tossed into a supplemental cardboard box. With the second heave-ho, the bin was loosed from the bricks---exposing to the sunlight a startled---and then sprinting---gray rat.

With uncharacteristic speed, I sprinted the two strides required to the glass door, began squealing like a school girl, clasping my hands anxiously. Don't know what explanatory words escaped my lips, but imagine they were conveyed in an octave surpassing my normal vocal range. Scott and Darren (the latter, against my exhortations) sprinted to the back window to behold Larry, Defender of the Domicile, taking on Templeton the Rat. From my upright, yet undeniably fetal, position on the sofa, I chanted repeatedly, "Don't let him eat him! Don't let him eat him!" According to the witnesses at the scene, Larry carried the rodent by the scruff, batted him about a bit with his paws, and left him prone in the backyard. Second only to my distaste for vermin, my revulsion at the sight of dead animals.

Thoughtful, ever-caring Scott---who knew a kettle grill cover could serve such a helpful, hide-the-rat purpose?

Suffice it to say, the idea of a barbecue may need to wait 'til next summer, when the mousey-memory wears off....

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11 comments:

Goddess in Progress said...

TOO funny. M will still tease me, to this day, about my reaction when I saw a mouse in my apartment in Boston, in the earliest months we were dating. I lept up onto my bed and shrieked like a little girl. And he swears I exaggerated the size, but I don't think he saw it... :-)

Terra said...

OH man, I don't know...if I would ever be able to BBQ again! I had dead voles, dead birds and a LIVE snake - wait 2 live snakes this summer/fall.....I just keep praying I never see any IN my house...I might have to move.

Dana said...

Oh my! I will have to share with you sometime my 'mouse in my college apartment' story.

Rebecca said...

Ugh...good luck next time you go to perform your trash ritual. I have a feeling you'll be a little more jumpy next time! The part about not wanting the dog to eat him? I totally get that...GROSS!!!

Double the Giggles said...

eek!

Safire said...

Ack! Mice stories are no fun. At least you had the dog there to "take care of it" for you and you didn't have to chase it down to kill it. We've just had our run in with vermin at our house too...with our dog "taking care of it" in the house. YUCK!

Honey Mommy said...

Ugh! That totally makes me shudder!

Happy Anniversary, by the way!

girlytwins said...

Uggg, we have had rats in our side yard and they freak my out beyond!!! The hubby set up traps and that freaks me out too. They rats drive my dogs crazyyyyyy!!! They are smart little suckers and climb along our patio right at the roof line of our house so the dogs can't get them. Ugggg I hate rats!!!

Threeundertwo said...

Good thing my twinboy wasn't there - I'm sure he would have wanted to make a pet out of it. Hope you've recovered. What a way to start the day!

Kim said...

Ew! We currently have mice, and there was a recent morning where I huddled with the twins in their room while my husband barricaded a path outside and then chased a mouse out with a broom! I can't imagine having to face anything bigger!

cat said...

Yeah to Larry for "earning his keep".