Saturday, November 13, 2010

"I'll be back"

This past Tuesday, I thought The Rat Diaries had come to a close. Apparently, however, there was an addendum.

The evidence: a fat, brown rat in a steel trap on my balcony.

As you may know, just a couple of days ago, I believed my two months of vermin torment ended with the capture of a rat in the cabinet under my kitchen sink. However, hidden under the waves of relief I felt that marvelous afternoon were a few inklings of doubt.
Primary inkling: The initial time I met The Rat -- or, more accurately, The Rat's rear end -- he was quite large with a thick, brown tail. The rat caught Tuesday was smallish and gray. (Yes, that's a big freaking inkling but hope can cause delusions, OK?!?)
If you recall from "The Rat Diaries," I surmised that The Rat had recognized the trap under my sink for what it was and wisely refused to go in.  ("That's right: The Rat KNEW BETTER than to enter the trap, choosing to attempt to get the food from the outside, failing, and retreating.") Subsequently, however, a rat was caught in the trap.
My conclusion: The rat caught Tuesday was a scout, sent into the trap by The Rat to do recognizance.
Rat Cyberdine Model 101 remained at large.
The latest incident in the saga began early Thursday morning when I heard the dreaded rustling behind the wall in the kitchen. There was no visible evidence of The Rat's presence but, with utter dejection, I reinstalled the rat barricade and requested that the trap be returned under my sink. This time, it wasn't long at all before there were results. Less than a day, actually.
Upon my return home from an overtime shift, I heard the rustling -- but it wasn't the furtive sounds of a creature at work or at play. It was the disgruntled sound of a creature attempting to escape from a steel cage.
Success again, but was it really The Rat?
The varmint caged under my sink was large. It was fat. It was brown, with an exceedingly long, thick, brown tail. (UGH)
Yes, I believe it was, in fact, The Rat. No delusions.

Following the now-ritual high-pitched screaming elicited by the sight of the creature's scurries came another realization, however: Yes, The Rat was in custody, but the maintenance men wouldn't be available to take him away for another seven hours.

No. This would NOT work. Every noise from The Rat, even caged, caused my nervous system to overload -- as well as involuntary and unfortunate squeaking noises from me.

Either The Rat had to go or I did.

Enter Frank, a dear friend from work. Upon my call, Frank charged in on his magnificent steed (or, more accurately, a 20-plus-year-old Chevy truck). He removed Rat-In-Cage from my kitchen and placed it on my balcony, out of my earshot and my breathing space until maintenance arrived on scene.

One final serendipitous note before I (God willing) close the book on The Rat Diaries: The heroic Frank's birthday? August 29th.

Judgment Day.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


When I voted last week, there were no tanks or Molotov cocktail-flinging protesters blocking my way.

When I walked across the street yesterday, no man beat me for not wearing what someone else’s religion thinks I should wear.

When I got up today, I was not forced to go perform a job I hate because that’s what my government told me I had to do for the good of the state.

When I go to sleep tonight, I will have no fear of being rousted from my bed by a secret agency and held against my will.

I can make my life what I want it to be because of the sacrifices of countless others.

From a very grateful American, Happy Veterans Day.


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Final Chapter

This, hopefully, is the final entry in The Rat Diaries.

Early this afternoon, The Rat -– Rat Cyberdine Model 101 – met his hydraulic press, his molten steel.

Nearly two months of unease and rat barricade negotiating at last is at an end.

The unknown future rolls toward us. I face it for the first time with a sense of hope.

The Rat Diaries

OK, so “The Rat Diaries” is carrying it a bit far, but the vermin saga with which I’m dealing seems to have taken on a life of its own.

We first met The Rat nearly two months ago (“Screaming Echoes of a Girly-Girl”) and re-encountered him three weeks later (“Targeted for Termination”). The Rat returned yet again in the wee hours of Tuesday morning –- and yet again eluded capture.

There has been a baited rat trap -– one of the spring-loaded, catch-’em-alive metal cages -- underneath my kitchen sink since Oct. 15th. However, as has been touched on before, this is no ordinary rat.

The latest episode began as the last: the rustling sounds under the sink (that’s The Rat) followed by the heart-racing adrenaline rush on the couch (that’s me). I heard the thumping, the scratching, the furtively disgusting movement for just a few minutes – then nothing.

Screwing up my courage, I moved the rat barricade (yes, it’s been in place this whole time; makes washing dishes akin to negotiating an obstacle course) and threw open the doors. Underneath the sink, the trap remained set, but the food inside had been moved from one side to the other and flipped over.

That’s right: The Rat KNEW BETTER than to enter the trap, choosing to attempt to get the food from the outside, failing, and retreating.

Do you read my point here?


It’s now nearing 5 a.m., and the adrenaline hasn’t quite dissipated. Sleep coming soon? Doubtful.

A cognizant rat. And all this time I’ve been worrying about the machines becoming sentient. 

Friday, November 5, 2010


Fun Follow Friday is a blog hop hosted by Simply Stacie and My Wee View. The goal of this hop is to get new Google Friend Connect Followers for your blog and be introduced to new blogs to follow! 

When visiting a blog you like, make sure you leave a comment to let them know who you are and that you are now following.

If you would like to have the blog hop added to your page, simply grab the code from the linky tool, and be sure and mention that Simply Stacie and My Wee View are the host blogs.

(Special thanks to @SoapBoxinMyMind)