Wednesday, May 12, 2010
A Day In Which A Shop Vac Is Involved
When you live in a house that is one-hundred and fifty years old you may have critter problems. Especially when the house sits under giant oaks and is in a rather rural area.
And most especially when you are not, um, well, the world's best housekeeper.
We have an amazing staircase that reaches up to the second story with such grace and swirl that it is what makes this house fancy. Everything else about the house is rather plain but someone spent lot of time and effort and money to build that staircase. It is adorned, it is carved, it is beautiful. And underneath it there is a tiny room in the hallway with a most unassuming doorway. Here. It looks like this:
For a long time, I have kept our wrapping paper in that little room. The wrapping paper and the plastic skeleton which I drag out for Halloween (I love having a skeleton in the closet) and a big bin with wool in it for the day which will surely come when I complete that damn afghan I've been working on for oh, approximately a decade or so. Time flies, you know.
Anyway, back to the critters.
I've always known I had mice in that tiny room of a closet. No doubting that with the nibbles on the paper, the droppings. But a few weeks ago I opened the door up and looked inside and was met with a sight that was so overwhelmingly horrifying that I just quickly shoved the door closed and had to sit down and hyperventilate for awhile.
It looked something like this:
Okay. That doesn't do it justice. No. It does not. But you know what? I am ashamed to show you the picture which does. Because it looks like something you'd see on a reality show. Maybe the kind of reality show where they go into the houses of crackheads and take photos illustrating the depths to which crack can allow you to fall into. Really. It's bad.
No. I think I have the full-grown rats now. With gray beards and red eyes and opposable thumbs.
They have chewed up cardboard boxes. They have taken the skeleton and dragged him along the floor. It looks like a horrible manic confetti-filled pit of hell in there.
Although of course, a rather festive one, since so much cheerful wrapping paper was used in the making of this hell pit.
So. Today is the day. I am going to gird my loins and clean that closet out. I am going to throw away all the wrapping paper and boxes I have stashed and saved which have been nibbled and torn and ravished and ruined. I am going to pull everything out and then, I am going to use Mr. Moon's Shop Vac to suck all the detritus and rat-nest building materials up. Yes! I am!
Me- who once wrote a poem which included the lines:
Vacuum cleaners really suck;
They make me say bad words like "Fuck!"
I don't even own a vacuum cleaner. But Mr. Moon does and he has lent it to me.
It is a heavy-duty Shop Vac. It is bona fide. I think it would even suck up a rat or two if the situation called for it.
I am praying it does not.
Wish me luck, y'all. And please- do not judge me for allowing things to get to this point. Or, hell, go ahead and judge me. I deserve it. Really. Old house, new house- doesn't matter. I have let the rats and mice and squirrels take over and that's just all there is to it.
I suppose when you get right down to it, my chore for today is to clean the rats' room.
Hope they appreciate that.