Friday, March 16, 2007

That Dirty Rat

Wednesday morning, as I was combing down #2 son's
hair before sending him off to school, he announced, "Dad
went out to the camper to get more cardboard to burn, and
when he picked up a box, he saw a rat as tall as a shampoo
bottle."

Okaayyy. That's how I like to start my day. With a bit of
mystery, a bit of danger. Why was this not mentioned to
me before? Is this an everyday occurrance around the
Mansion? Methinks not. Mehopes not.

It all started because the floor was sticky, with a granular
substance. According to #2, "Well, Dad held the cereal
bag upside down, so it must be cereal sugar. He was
getting out the cardboard." Then he dropped the R bomb.

We burn our cardboard. Hey! We live in the country. It's
no worse for the environment than the big garbage truck
exhaust that would haul it off from our dumpster. I was
sickened that HH had been storing cardboard in the 5th-
wheel camper in the front yard until he decided he had
enough for a burn pile. We don't keep any food in that
camper. I didn't want a rat bigger than the cats getting
into the house. Or even a rat smaller than a cat. We had
a field mouse get in about 5 years ago, and that was bad
enough. HH got a bunch of those sonic sound thingies
and plugged them into the wall. We haven't seen any
such critters since.

When I next saw HH, I quizzed him on the rat matter.
"It wasn't the 5th-wheel," HH said sarcastically. "It was
the cut-off pickup bed with the camper shell that my
oldest #1 son had borrowed and finally brought back."
OK. So maybe it wasn't even OUR rat, maybe it hitched
a ride here. But at least it was in that piece of junk over
by the barn, not in my front yard. And HH doesn't put
cardboard in the 5th-wheel to wait for proper burn
conditions.

Whew. Dodging bullets makes me tired.

5 comments:

Cazzie!!! said...

Ewww....rats!!!! My kids have this book I read to them every other night titled, "Pesky Rat", it is a good book really, bit of rat humour along the way :)

DeadpanAnn said...

Taller than a shampoo bottle, huh? That's pretty big. The only time I ever saw one bigger than that was when I worked at that ranch in Carriere, MS. I had to sit up all night in the barn, and as if that wasn't creepy enough a rat bigger than the biggest cat I've ever seen crawled into my sight out of nowhere and then disappeared into the rafters via the top of a refrigerator. His tail was almost as long as my leg. I'm short, but still.

What are these rat scaring sonic sound thingies of which you speak? We have a little mouse in our house, and we can not get the little bastard in a trap. He gets the peanut butter and doesn't set off the trap. I've been trying to get him for months now, and it's starting to feel like he's mocking me.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Cazzie,
You're a much more loving mother than I am, what with reading to your children about RATS just before bedtime!

Now why didn't I think of that: writing a children's book about rats. That's one scathingly brilliant idea that has escaped me. Much like a mouse from Ann's trap.


Miss Ann,
HH bought those thingies at The Devil's Playground, but he can't remember in what department. He thinks they were about $3-4 apiece. The are like plastic boxy thingies that plug directly into electrical outlets. I think they are supposed to emit some high-frequency sound that the critters don't like. Or else the weather-stripping on the bottom of the basement door did the trick.

I think we caught our fieldish friend in a regular trap with some cheese. A long time ago, in the pre-HH days, I once caught a mouse in a trap with a Cheeto. Fried to a crispy crunch. The Cheeto, not the mouse.

Stewed Hamm said...

The sonic thingies aren't too bad at running off unwanted rodents, but keep in mind that other household residents might not be so compatible with them either. Dogs and especially birds don't do so hot. Cats (at least from what I'm told) are mostly alright.
The biggest annoyance I have with them is that more often than not, I can hear the things making a slight noise too. It's just a soft clicking sound, but once you pick up on it, it's as annoying as Gilbert Gottfried screaming in your face.

I suppose all this hassle is why HM keeps her vermin out in the camper.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Stewverminexpert,
They don't affect the two-legged vermin in my house. The noise level is too high to hear such a contraption. I do try to keep my vermin in the camper, and my pets outside.