by Jim Chase
So moms, how was your Mother’s Day? Whether you spent it being pampered by loved ones, or pampering those you love, or a combination of both – I truly hope your day was less exciting and memorable than it was for my dear wife and for both of our mothers who celebrated the big day at our house.
Why? Because we had a rat for Mother’s Day.
I should explain. The rat in question wasn’t one of the above-mentioned relatives, and it most definitely was not on the menu for our Mother’s Day brunch. Nope. The rat was a rat. As in, of the rodent variety – big, furry, long-tailed and very fast.
Now, before you think I live in squalor-like conditions inspired by Slum Dog Millionaire, let me assure you that my wife is known for being a fastidious housekeeper. Crumbs barely hit the floor before she sweeps them up. We burn out vacuum cleaners on a ridiculously regular basis. We don’t leave food out. We don’t leave children with messy faces out. We even have a cranky cat (yes, I realize that’s redundant) that lives in the house 24/7, for all the good she was this past Sunday.
Our fun and games with the renegade rodent began Sunday morning while I was downstairs in our kitchen, dutifully preparing one of the dishes for our upcoming brunch. I had the TV on, the dishwasher was humming away and my wife was upstairs in our bedroom drying her hair. As I was cracking eggs into a bowl, a scream the pitch and volume of which I have never heard (and hope to never hear again) came from upstairs. Ear-piercing waves of sound were still ricocheting off the walls, rattling picture frames and vibrating windows downstairs when they were followed closely by my wife – a look of utter panic on her ashen face.
Long story short, she had been just a few feet away from a large (and likely ravenous) rat as it scurried across the carpet in our master bedroom. The poor thing surely had its eardrums imploded by her scream. Between gulps of air, my wife was barely able to articulate enough details for me to get it through my big, fat man-head that our home, our sanctuary, the pristine, nearly sterile environment where our four precious children had been nurtured from infancy – had been violated for all time by a foul and loathsome monster that had crawled up from darkest depths of every woman’s nightmare. In other words, we had a rat.
Without the slightest regard for my own safety, I armed myself with the most lethal weapons within reach – a brand new kitchen broom and a tiny LED flashlight – and leapt upstairs to do battle with the ferocious intruder. (You’re buying this, right?) Over the course of the next 45 minutes or so, I boldly searched under our bed, behind furniture, in closets, behind curtains, in cupboards and virtually everywhere and anywhere I could think of that a rat could be hiding. I was beginning to think the only place left to search was my wife’s imagination. Having recently celebrated 25 years of marriage, however, I knew better than to even suggest that possibility.
Now almost an hour behind schedule, and with Mother’s Day VIPs soon to arrive – we closed the door to our bedroom, leaving the sliding glass door to our balcony open so that the by-now-hearing-impaired rat could – hopefully – please dear God let it be so – make his own escape.
Company was coming. Food still needed to be prepared and table settings had to be placed. Reluctantly, my wife and I went back downstairs to finish our preparations. The rat would have to wait or get out of Dodge of his own volition while he could. Little did either of us know that – earlier, while my wife had been breathlessly telling me about her horrifying near-rat experience – the rascally uninvited vermin had already skittered downstairs and was hiding out, plotting his next ratty move.
What happened then? I’ll tell you next week. In the meantime, I’ll see you ‘round town.
© 2011 WordChaser, Inc.
Jim Chase is an award-
winning advertising copywriter and native of Southern California. Readers are invited to “friend” his My Thoughts Exactly page on Facebook.
Also visit Jim’s new blog with past columns and additional thoughts at: http://jchasemythoughtsexactly.blogspot.com/