Rats & Trick or Treat?

So this morning I woke up and sniffed my way through my house. I remember that smell.

The exterminator said that after the rats eat the poison, they will get very thirsty and leave my house to look for water. But what if they get lost… fall down a wall or something?

Five or so years ago when my middle son, Alex, was in high school, we had rats on our screened porch.

I had my coffee on the screened porch every morning and I remember that I wondered why there was wadded up newspapers under the wicker etagere; But, I dismissed it. I thought the wind -you know, that prairie type wind that is known to sweep through screened porches? Well I figured that wind had just blown all the papers neatly up under the etagere. Only under the etagere.

Then Alex called me at work to inform me that we had rats in the bottom drawer of the wicker etagere on the screened porch.

My husband was on a business trip.

I decided to buy rat poison. I sprinkled the poison all around the etagere. The poison instructions said to wait a week. I waited nine days just to be sure…. And the ninth day was conveniently, the day before the curbside trash picked up.

Then I paid Alex -or rather Alex extorted a bundle from me, to haul the etagere to the curb.

Alex asked a friend to come over and help him move some furniture for his mom.

As the boys carried the etagere to the curb, they left a trail of mostly dead rats behind them. I put on my galoshes and followed behind the boys. I picked up the dead rats with salad tongs and I put the rat bodies in the green garbage barrel.

It never crossed my mind that the green garbage barrel men would not empty the green garbage barrel for three, hot, October-in-Florida days.

Halloween was two days later. I live in a popular Trick-or-Treating neighborhood. And I love Halloween.

I moved the green garbage barrel as far from my front door as possible. I poured a gallon of beach in the barrel and two bottles of Febreeze. Then I duct taped down the top of the green barrel. Okay, in retrospect, I am not exactly sure about why I duct-taped it shut …except that I’m from the South and we duct tape everything.

And the green garbage barrel still smelled.

To prepare for the Trick-or-Treaters, I lined my driveway with scented candles and I bought the good candy.

But I could still smell that smell. I will always remember that smell.

I hope they don’t get lost.

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