Last week when we left our tale of the uninvited Mother’s Day visitor (a big rat, in case you missed it), my wife and I continued on with brunch preparations for our human guests – thinking that we had trapped the crafty critter upstairs in our bedroom behind closed doors.
But no-o-o-o. As I would soon find out, the wily, long-tailed terrorist had sneaked out of our bedroom while I was tearing the room apart trying to find it. Somehow, Osama bin Rat had already made it downstairs and was hiding in our family room.
As our guests arrived and my wife and I worked in our kitchen, I happened to look out across our dining room and down into our split-level den. Just as I did, a dark, stealthy shape skittered across the floor. It took every ounce of restraint not to fling the carving knife in my hand at the intruder. (The fact that my mother-in-law was sitting directly between me and the rat undoubtedly helped.)
I don’t remember the exact words I blurted out upon seeing the toothy trespasser, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t appropriate for either the mothers present nor for Sunday morning conversation. But holy cheese-eating, pellet-pooping intruder, ratman! – the dang thing had escaped our bedroom and was now even closer to our food and family.
Not wanting to throw too much of a hissy fit in front of guests, and seeing that brunch was ready to be served, I convinced myself that the rat would be too frightened to come up into the dining room/living room while we ate. I was wrong.
No sooner had our salad been tossed did the wretched rodent run from the den, right past our dining room, across the hearth in the living room and under the sofa.
Alas, while brunch slowly cooled on my plate, I proceeded to search under and behind the couch, the easy chair, the piano – you get the idea. Of course, no sign of the rat could be seen until I sat back down to eat my meal. Then it would come out and taunt me with its ratty ways. This behavior continued until the beast made the fatal mistake of climbing up behind our sheer curtain panels where I could see its shadowy progress even though it most likely thought it was hidden from view.
I don’t think I said anything as lame as “I’ve got you now!” At least I hope I didn’t. But I quickly grabbed a metal-handled broom we had bought the day before, got a two-handed grip on the thing, cocked it back like Hank Aaron at the plate and … home run! The shape behind the curtain dropped to the ground. Unfortunately, it was only stunned, and briefly at that.
Have you seen that kid on the recent VW commercial whacking away at the SUV-shaped piñata? That was me with the broom. It wasn’t a proud moment. It reminded me of the classic movie scene where the adrenaline-fueled gunslinger has emptied his revolver into his nemesis but can’t stop pulling the trigger. “Click! Click! Click!” I half expected my wife to put her hand on my arm and say something comforting like, “It’s over honey, you can stop now. Please. Stop.”
When I called my son (the hunter/fisherman/University of Montana student) later to brag of my heroism, he was so impressed with his old man he suggested I etch a “sniper’s notch” in the broom handle. I’m leaning more towards painting a rat silhouette on it. My wife wants to burn it.
Taking the rat remains outside, I dug a hole in our flower bed, tossed in the vanquished brute and covered it with dirt. I couldn’t help but pause a moment to think about what had just happened. Something that had terrorized a houseful of people only minutes earlier would now be fertilizing a rose bush. There’s a life lesson in there somewhere. Circle of life. Hakuna matata. Kumbaya. Whatever.
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://