This is a story I’ve thought of telling many times but it’s always been so hard to get my arms around it. You know. Stories about rodents are just so very hard to craft well.
My story started when I saw this creature in my backyard laying under a tree. As still as can be.
It’s not a rat. It’s just a large mouse. We live in the city. There are mice.
Mice aren’t that big. It’s a rat. There’s a dead rat in our yard. If there’s a dead rat in our yard, there’s probably a live rat IN OUR HOUSE.
My husband uses denial of reality as a primary labor-saving device. So if I tell him that one blade of the ceiling fan is hanging inches lower than the other blades and is about to fly off and decapitate us, he will say, first, What fan? I never noticed a fan.
And then, after being forced to recognize the existence of the fan, will say, Oh, that fan. No, I don’t notice anything different about the blade hanging 12 inches lower than the others.
So because he is basically gallant, especially when pressed, he picked up the dead creature in the backyard with a shovel and put it in the garbage cart.
Then he said, Fine, if YOU think it’s a rat, I’ll call the exterminator tomorrow and have him come out here. But, you know, I’ll be gone so you’ll have to deal with it.
The next morning I dropped him off at the airport for his annual weekend with his best friend – this year, they were going to Catalina Island. I was going home to the very large dead mouse in my garbage cart and the exterminator who was coming the next day.
That night, I took out the trash. Heaved open the lid of the garbage cart and right away saw it.
Holy crap. Not only is this not a mouse, this is a live rat. A live, motherfucking rat that is running around out here with me in the damn dark or already in my house waiting for me with his big awful teeth and that horrible tail. IN MY HOUSE!
I hate my husband.
Tomorrow is Part 2 of this lovely story.
See how rodents show the way to family bonding.