Monday, April 5, 2010

Rat Patrol

What do you feed your rat? We give ours peanut butter on Bimbo bread, on a china plate, as much as he wants. Reminds me a little of courtship: get the prospective spouse (see how carefully gender neutral I am?) used to the good life, and then, one night, spring the trap. Well, that's what's going to happen here in a couple hours.

A rat moved aboard in the midst of a rainstorm two nights ago. I saw it out off the corner of my eye, between me and the meat cleaver, and then it ran back towards the engine compartment. We were warned to button up tight at night, but of course, believing ourselves invulnerable, we didn't.

Rats on a boat are a sorry joke - they're said to eat wires as well as groceries, and if poisoned, may die and fester in unknown and inaccessible places. It only took the memory of my grandmother's Mercedes Benz, which lived near a cornfield in winter and was so badly colonized throughout by mice that it probably was junked despite its little-old-lady-low miles, to launch me into immediate action.

The weapon of choice was a poisonous instant killer,('they'll immediately die within 2 feet of the bait') but we couldn't find it anywhere in town. So we came home with a giant glue trap, 'peanut-butter scented', instead.

If I were marketing a rat trap like this, I would show a fiendish beast ripping open my chocolate bar, peeing on my potatoes, vandalizing my computer cable. Instead, the package shows a perky, winsome little fellow that I am expected to torture before killing. The Rats Rights League at work?

Right now, this not-quite-bushy-tailed raton is probably lying dreamily in his hammock, looking forward to his day, just like I do!

Meanwhile, the humanoids are strategizing their campaign, arguing about the placement of the Final Sandwich, contemplating the worst case scenario, selecting a coup de grace modestly less cruel and unusual than the tangled-foot torment envisioned by the trap manufacturer. Overhearing our debate, I think it's about time for us to get away from the dock.

UPDATE: The deed is done. The rat was the one who left the dock, not the humanoids. Raton was last seen in his well-caulked plastic barge, floating downstream; vessel not under command. We didn't need the 4x4 or the hammer, can re-use the second trap if necessary.


Larry Shick said...

My wife feeds her rat anything he wants. But then, she's been married to "that rat" for 40 years, so why not?

Glad to hear that you survived another battle. Onward!

Larry on "Moira"

gerry said...

Blimey! rats leaving the ship...will it be women and children next??