Rat-tastic Halloween

 Halloween is usually my favorite holiday, bar none. You can keep the gory flicks, mean tricks, lame-ass allusions to Satan and pernicious badmouthing of pagans. (Seems to me those folks are the ones who really knew how to party...)

Nope, for me Halloween is dressing up and good times, chocolatey goodness, killer parties and a healthy dose of psychological peeping Tommery. (He's dressing up as what?! That explains a lot...)

What could be better? This year, however, the trick was on me. I mean after all, I was expecting not just a quiet Halloween, but a dull, completely uneventful one. I'm a mom, now... doesn't that mean your life is over? At least for a little while? Nobly sacrificed for the betterment of your progeny?

Well, leave it to the vermin (notably not The Varmint) to show me the new and exciting life that awaits a work-at-home mom. Last year, it was a fantastic costume party. This year, I've got vermin using me as a skateboard ramp. Niiice.

So there I am squeezed into our cramped outdoor laundry room, just off of our back porch, loading the washer and minding my own business. Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I notice movement. Furry, tail-flicking, sketchy movement. A split second later, a rat shoots out of nowhere, caroms off the north wall, ricochets off the Oxi-Clean tub, scampers up my arm and makes a squeaking head first dive off of my chest for behind the washer.

I scream, wipe my arm and chest and hop around like a cartoon housewife who has just been accosted by a rodent. I'm yelling "Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew!" and trying to shake off the willies (that's what the screaming and hopping around like an idiot is for).

Finally, I manage to get a hold of myself and dart indoors where the rat can't get me. I then strip and shower with the fervency of a HAZMAT employee whose suit's just been punctured. (And for the record? The rat was FAR less Disney than the cutesy widdle illustration, above. Add some red eyes, devil horns and fangs and you're getting closer.)

Having shared this dirty little ditty with you, I feel compelled to explain that we are not dirty, rat attracting type people. We wash, regular-like, and keep the corn cobs off the front porch whenever possible. Problem is, we live near a canyon and have fruit trees in our very tropical backyard. It's a favorite pit stop for rats travelling along the Rodent Overhead Highway - our city power lines. You can see them running along the wires all over any major city at dusk. That includes the lines that run from the power pole in our back alley to our rooftop. Which happens to be where the water heater vent is located. Which leads straight to the laundry room. Which is nice and warm on these cool autumn nights. Which explains why a fat, freeloading rat might want to move himself into the equivalent of a rodent luxury condo.

And which also explains why my husband drove miles away to pick up our RAT ZAPPER from a friend who'd borrowed it weeks before with fantastic results. As a matter of fact, the ZAPPER's never let us down.

So sayonara, you twitchy little sucka. You're next. And I don't feel one modicum of guilt after you Tony Hawk'ed my person.



UPDATE: Mission accomplished. To all of the sweet but delusional animal-lovers out there who that think that killing filthy, disease-carrying vermin who carom off of your chest is a sin - sorry dudes. That rat's deader'n a doornail. To the rest of us pragmatists: Long live The Zapper! 


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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >