And it’s taken over my life!
Friends, there’s an intruder in my midst, determined to make my life a walking catastrophe—or should I say, a crawling one?
Would you believe, rats in the belfry? Heck no!
Rats in my garage is more like it! Well, perhaps only one rat. Nevertheless, this opportunist has honed in on my living quarters and decided he wants a piece of the action. Or maybe just a piece of pie.
In any case, I am beside myself. I cannot sleep, nor can I watch my favorite TV shows, for I am haunted by the evil within. The menacing figure that has absconded with my garage and turned my life upside down, giving me no choice but to have to park my car on the street.
This creature, whose nefarious presence makes my skin crawl, has left me with a bruise on my arm the size of Rhode Island. Not because it pounced on me and had me in its clutches while it wreaked havoc in my hair. No. It’s because I fell hard in my wild attempt to jump into my car and make a hasty exit from the garage. I missed the front seat by mere inches, plunging onto the cement floor and I swear I could hear my hairy arch nemesis cackling with maniacal laughter, as my body was wracked in pain and the bruise turned into a humongous lump, the size of New Jersey.
Because of this creature, I am now forced to reconfigure my life, one that no longer includes use of my garage, as it now belongs to he, who shall not be named. Though, to be honest, I am now calling him Blackout, since I’m pretty sure he surfaced in my garage during the San Diego 11-hour Blackout of September 8, 2011. That was the day I had to keep the garage door open indefinitely on account that the garage door opener was not functioning. (For those of you who do not recall, you can read my post, “I Survived the Blackout of 2011—and 1965!”) Obviously, Blackout lost his way in the darkness. The following morning, I entered the garage and discovered him, scurrying from under my car and making a beeline to the game closet. Perhaps he was in the mood for a round of Scrabble? Maybe so, but the site of him was enough to give me an apoplectic fit.
Thanks to Blackout—or Blackie, as I have just nicknamed him—I have slowly moved my possessions out of the garage and found new places to store them within my home and at Goodwill. (Yes, it turns out, that if you store your stuff at Goodwill, it’s free! Though they did forget to give me a claim check. Still, I imagine I can get it back, when I’m ready, by showing them the receipt I received.)
And just in case I forget that I can no longer use my garage, I have been plastering signs all over the garage doors. These signs read,
“Warning: Keep Out!”
“This property is condemned.”
“The Outer Limits.”
“Enter, or don’t, at your own risk!”
“This Means You!”
Of course, don’t be fooled by those naysayers who claim “Blackie” has left the premises. Like the exterminator, who stopped by and couldn’t find any sign of him. We have two traps set and so far Blackie has managed to escape captivity. The exterminator is convinced that any rat worth his weight, would have fallen for one of the traps by now, assuming he was still around. But I say to the exterminator man,
“Hah! Not Blackie! He can outsmart any trap!”
My gardener says Blackie is more afraid of me, than I of him. But I don’t believe that for a minute, seeing how I haven’t heard him scream when I’ve entered the garage.
So for now, the garage is off limits to me. And, to Henry, too. When all is said and done, what’s the one thing I’ve learned? That Henry, my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is no help, whatsoever.
Henry, who descends from royalty, does not consider it his job to rid our home of pests. For him, it has been business as usual. So while Henry’s napping and enjoying his snacks, he is completely cavalier about my stress attacks and occasional screeches. For him, it’s just another day in the ‘hood. While, for me, it’s more like Nightmare on Elm Street.
So tell me, have you ever had to confront a rat? There’s nothing worse. Except maybe a rat in your garage on your birthday. Yeah. Some birthday this is.