Sunday, August 17, 2008

Same Ol'.....Ha! It's Never The Same Ol' Anything!

Hey, I might not have much to say but that doesn't mean that things have not be crackling around here and such. First off, Boots the blind wonderdog got out of prison yesterday, having served 10 days (in a boarding kennel while they looked for rabies, which he does not have) for biting a trespassing teen one night about two weeks ago. A nip really, described by the cop who came to the house shortly after the dog-teen altercation as a scratch that broke the skin. Good to have you home, Boots.
Then there's the question of the rats. I don't like rats. I jump when I see them. Can't help myself, I just go into panic overdrive. Not if I see them in the street, then I just don't like them. But in a house, my house, I don't like them. In your house they're fine by me if you guys are the kinds of pigs who like rats in your homes, but I don't. Doesn't mean I'm not a pig, I just don't want to be found out by rats.
So I went to bring a pile of new newspapers and magazines that have stories of mine in them to the little office I have near the little runoff creek across the yard and when I went in, there were two rats running along the rafters. I sort of freaked and then gently looked around and wondered at how much rat poop was all over the place. Now I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a suspicion that I had a rat for some time. Some paper had been chewed up and stuffed in a corner beside a file cabinet and I had no intention of investigating that. But I was hoping it was a squirrel. Squirrels I like. I would even like them in my house.
But two of them climbing to get out of the open space between the roof and the walls of the office was an indication that there might be 4 or 6 or 154 rats living there. So I enlisted Marco and bought some glue traps. We came back the next morning and all traps had copious amounts of hair in them but the rats were clever: They'd run or gotten through my bicycle's wheels and using the spokes to stop the clue traps, had managed to peel themselves off them and get away.
We moved on to spring-load traps. It's been two days: All traps sprung, all the peanut butter on them gone, but no rats. No rat hands or feet, no bits of tail. Nothing to show that would indicate we're winning yet. I am not happy about that. We'll do more spring loads, this time with cheese, today, baby.
The only positive is that several of the little loaves of blue rat poison are no longer where they were. I'm hoping they were taken to the rat hideout and that all I'll be dealing with in a week or so is the stink of dead animals--and I can always buy cheap cologne to cover that till it goes away. Or clothespin my nose.
But I really don't want those rats in there any more.
Then there's Italo. Italo leaves for school tomorrow, and even though he's in driving distance of the house, I'm gonna miss having him around on a daily basis. He's pretty grown up at 22 and doesn't have a lot of rules around here--as evidenced by his girl, Sarah, having lived here a couple of years now--but he's still part of the family on a day to day basis and takes most dinners with us and such. And now I'll be making dinner for one, er, make that two because I don't think Sarah will be here as often with Italo not here, less. So I'm gonna miss him like crazy.
On the other hand, Marco, who was told he was going to have to pick up the slack with Italo gone, has already started. The other day, for instance, he cleaned the living room, which wasn't dirty, just messy. And his idea of cleaning the living room was tossing anything that was on the floor--and there was lots because Chepa's babies are here so much--into a black garbage bag and throwing it out. When things came up missing he explained they were all in the trash, and it was just lucky for me that I'm a lazy guy who hadn't taken out the trash in a couple of weeks, so we retrieved the dolls, shoes, baby clothes, new pack of pampers, movie CDs that he'd tossed and put em all back where they belonged, on the living room floor.
The next day he trumped himself. I was coming home thinking I'd mow the front lawn and when I got there it looked like it just had been mowed. So I came in and he said he'd done it and I thanked him. Then he asked me how I liked the kitchen: It was fairly spotless except that that the floor hadn't been mopped. So I thanked him again, then went to start cooking. I opened the fridge to get the de rigeur garlic and onions and what a sight: The thing was shining. I mean shining. You could see the glass shelves and they were gleaming. But the bag of meat (skirt steak for a sort of fajita dish I was going to make) had been moved. Maybe the freezer? No luck. It was the darndest thing. And the peppers I'd bought to mix with them were gone too. Come to think of it so was the butter and the new gallon of milk and the cheese and a bottle of raspberry juice and the V-8....all of it, gone. No wonder you could see the shelves shining: There was almost nothing on them.
"Marco! You know what happened to the food that was in this fridge?"
He came out of his room. "Must have thrown it out when I was straightening out the fridge."
I just bought that meat this morning. I bought the milk yesterday. I don't even see the pickles...."
"I thought it was all old. You know, open and wrapped..."
"Well, that's what you do in a fridge. You use part of something, you wrap it up and put it back in the fridge till you need it again."
"That's not what we do at the store"--he works a local fancy grocery store--"It's open, it's gone. That's safety rules."
"In a supermarket, yes. Not in a house."
"I was just helping."
"That's cool. I'm just gonna go get the stuff."
And so I went out to the garbage area, found the bag: there were priceless things in there besides the items I've mentioned. There were capers and stuffed olives, some condiments from Peru, salt fish from the Amazon, jams....I looked at it all, let most of it stay, retrieved the bag of meat and the bags of veggies I needed for dinner and went to work cooking. Marco didn't want to eat it because it had been in the garbage. I tried to explain that it was in the bag it came in recently placed in a bag that contained other bags and containers containing other food that was not bad but he still didn't want to eat it. "You don't eat garbage, dad. And that's what you're serving us. Garbage."
"It's only garbage because half an hour ago you threw almost everything in the fridge into a trash bag. It's not real garbage."
"If you would do this now, dad, I wonder how many times you've gone into the garbage to get food for dinner that I didn't know about? I'm surprised I'm still alive."
I didn't say it but was tempted to toss in a "So am I, buddy."


Arbol said...

Talk about synchronicity, This week I've caught 3 big mice in my attic. I started with the sticky traps, and the first one got off the sticky, but left a bunch of fur, so the next day I bought snap traps and caught him and his girl that evening, SNAP!!! I heard the first trap, then the next morning i go up and the other was caught. Last night while sitting and reading I hear this flopping around and go up into the attic and find a huge grey field mouse flopping around on one of the sticky traps I have up there, talk about primal fear, I don't understand why the brain reacts that way. I hate rodents with a passion, and when I had to pick the trap up with a live mouse in it my adrenaline pumped up big time. I took it out and tossed it into the creek behind the house and let it float away to drown. Now tonight I just caught another in a snap trap. Bad Mouses in the Tree's house.

Jorge Villacorta Santamato said...

Well, food? garbage? If that does not kill you it is OK.