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Discussion Starter #1
I live in a suburb near Houston, Texas and we've experienced a massive amount of growth since I was a young kid. A place that used to be dotted by serene fields of gently waving grass, but is now parking lots, strip centers, and apartment blocks as far as the eye can see. I'm not complaining (too much).

One of the unfortunate side-effects of the urban sprawl expanding is that the fields and trees that a lot of the rodent and bird population used to live in are gone. This became a problem one winter several years ago when my area was experience the worst of it's building trend. Everyone around us (including us) started have issues with rats and mice.

Pest Control commercials were prevalent, and no matter how much your neighbors insist they don't have pests, their A/C's on the fritz it's a dead give away when you see the pest control dude with live capture traps. Yeah, A/C repair my foot.

Anyways, we had rats in our attic. In the middle of the night your could hear the little patter of their feet as they scampered along pipes. I've had pet rats, so I have no problem with them animal wise. However, wild rats + food preparation = serious gross out. Since my mom's a pastry chef, and often makes cake and desserts in the house the rats were a big issue. Rule one of food preparation is cleanliness, and wild animals of any kind are a no-no.

We took some precautions, called a guy to come out, and several weeks later there was a smell. It was... well it was awful. Not at all conductive to cooking. I was tasked with cleaning out the area under the oven. See, there's a gap and a lot of food rolls under there, and my mom thought something had dropped back there and spoiled.

So, I'm home alone trying to clean all the crap out from under that little gap. Cat toys rolled out, a few super mummified veggies and fruits, and then there was a dusty old dish towel in the back corner that would just not come out. I wriggled my broom handle around trying to get some leverage to sweep it out. Nothing. I laid on my stomach and got close to the gap to give myself more leverage with the broom handle. Slowly the dish towel started to move a bit. This was the last thing under the oven, and then I'd be able to go play video games or watch a movie, I was almost home free.

With a mighty heave the dish towel came loose and slid out from under the oven stopping an inch in front of my face. It was at this point that I realized this small brown mass was not at all a dish towel but half of a dead rat. I leapt up backed into another room, hyperventilating. It took another hour for me to go back into the kitchen now fully clothed with a bandana over my mouth and nose to finish cleaning out the oven.

I never mentioned this story to anyone, and to this day I'm not very comfortable with the gap under the oven. I try to stand as far as I can from it, and I alway wear a pair of over-the-ankle style shoes.
 

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Not laughing at you mparker....more at the situation! Isn't it interesting how bad a decomposed small rodent can smell? This brought a smile to my face reading your hilarious story!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah, it definitely scared me for life hence the always wearing above-ankle shoes when I cook, but with time I've started to find the whole thing humorous. Thanks for the comment!
 
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