'Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the house/
Not a creature was stirring, except a big goddamn mouse...
Last week, I told a sappy, puke-inducingly sweet story about a little pug I saw in a pet store. A cutesy, wootsy puppy that would melt the heart of any Grinchy Winchy. If PETA read it, I'd probably headline their next made-of-recycled-hemp newsletter due to my unending dedication to our animal friendsee wendzees.
Animal love has its limits, though, and I'm not just talking legally.
To get this story, by the way, you have to understand my house is retarded. My brother's bedroom is in the basement, my room is a floor up, the den and kitchen are another floor up, and my brother's other bedroom is another floor up. So when I say "my brother was upstairs watching TV," he's actually in our den. Anyway.
So my brother was upstairs watching TV - probably one of his many TIVOed episodes of "Two and a Half Men" or a Pay-Per-View showing of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 - when there was a scratching sound from behind the flat-screen. We talk about the things that "go bump in the night," but what fell from behind the screen was more of a big-ass thump.
A rat had found its way into our walls, and only found one way to escape - the hole we had drilled in our wall to hang our TV.
Well, from downstairs, I hear the THUMP and then the scream of a 4-year-old girl. Which was my 31-year-old brother. The pitter-patter of plumber feet scurryscurryscurried up the stairs, never managing to say an audible word or grab his dog out of harm's way.
My phone rings 10 seconds later. It's the guy two floors up.
"Hhh-hhh-hhh," he says (that's my way of spelling 'out-of-breath'). "Hhh-hhh-hhh. It's big. Big. Hhh-hhh-hhh. Definitely a rat. Fell down from hhh-hhh-hhh behind the TV. Hhh-hhh. What am I going - oh shit. I left the remote control downstairs. Oh God, and that Martin Lawrence movie Black Knight is on up here. I can't change the channel. Shit."
So now my brother has seen Black Knight.
The story only begins here, though. My brother has yet to sleep in our house since Monday. But I have gone to battle, waging a war that's increasingly costly and frustrating. I've tried bait. Small traps. Big traps. Huge they-should-have-used-these-in-Cloverfield traps. And nothing works. Worse, the fucker is taunting me.
I lace these things with peanut butter as instructed, but each morning I wake up to find the traps just as I left them - sans peanut butter. He's still in my house somewhere - a fat and happy son of a bitch - confined to the den and adjoining wall. But this is getting personal. At first, I wanted to kill him in a humane way, a quick trap that would take care of everything in a relatively painless way. Now, though, after the nights of silent listening and study, I'm researching torture devices that would catch the rat today and kill it sometime around March, Saw VI-style.
Any direction is appreciated.
Baltimore @ Dallas (-4). The biggest non-Falcon game of the week. If the Ravens can pull the upset here (a manageable proposition) and the Falcons can win in Minnesota (a very manageable proposition), Atlanta is very likely headed to the playoffs. Come on, propositions! Be managed! PICK: Dallas (trying to double reverse whammy jinx the game)
Pittsburgh (-2) @ Tennessee. The AFC - who cares? PICK: Pittsburgh
Miami (-4) @ Kansas City. The AFC - who cares? PICK: Kansas City
Arizona @ New England (-7 1/2). The AFC and an already playoff-bound NFC team - who cares? PICK: New England
Cincinnati @ Cleveland (-3). I've been involved in this company contest for a couple of months - far too boring to go into detail about - but yesterday I left work early for a related luncheon. The luncheon, as luck would have it, was at a bowling alley. Now I'm not one to brag, but let's just say the lessons I learned in my University of Georgia bowling class have survived over the years. 134, bitch - suck on that. That's like almost perfect. My issue, though, is that today I am absurdly sore. From bowling. I really need to get into shape. PICK: Cincinnati
Philadelphia (-5) @ Washington. The worst playoff scenario involves Tampa Bay getting in ahead of Atlanta because of Philadelphia's tie against Cincinnati. Believe me - this stuff gets tricky once you hit the seventh or eighth tiebreakers. PICK: Philadelphia
San Francisco (-5) @ St. Louis. I get too enraged when I discuss this topic, so just read this article about possibly allowing Sunday alcohol sales in Georgia. Please note the guy who compares selling beer on Sunday to legalizing prostitution. I had no idea prostitution was already legal six days a week. (By the way, is the fact that this is my #1 political issue a surefire sign of alcoholism?) PICK: San Francisco
Atlanta @ Minnesota (-3). For those who didn't spend the last week poring over playoff scenarios for like 20 hours - like what the hell is wrong with you? - let me bring you up to speed. Most likely, Atlanta has to win its final two games to make the playoffs, coupled with one loss from either the Cowboys or Buccaneers, or two losses from Carolina. That's the easiest scenario to explain. Or, I guess, even easier: "Yay Atlanta! Boo Dallas! Boo Tampa Bay! Boo Carolina!" PICK: Atlanta
New Orleans (-7) @ Detroit. Something about this game screams "upset," but not enough to actually call it. (As you may have noticed, my upset calls have been spot on lately). PICK: Detroit
Carolina @ NY Giants (-3). Alright, New York failed me last week against the Cowboys, so let's see if they can repair our relationship on Sunday. They don't want to be on my bad side. Nobody wants to be on my bad side. PICK: NY Giants
NY Jets (-5) @ Seattle. Being on my bad side, incidentally, involves being tied to a chair while I drink whole milk facing away from you. If my lactose intolerance had been used in the War on Terror, we would have sewn that shit up years ago. PICK: Seattle
Houston (-7) @ Oakland. PICK: Houston
Buffalo @ Denver (-7). PICK: Buffalo
The original Styles. Recognize.
San Diego @ Tampa Bay (-3). Let me be the latest to congratulate Bucs DE Greg White for changing his name to "Stylez" because of his love for Teen Wolf (and attention whoring). I thought Georgia's Bacarri Rambo was a runaway to be my favorite player of 2009, but I'm reconsidering. PICK: Tampa Bay
Green Bay @ Chicago (-4). The fantasy playoffs have started, and my undefeated regular season means zilch if I can't pull off the two-week postseason. My semi-final matchup against Mr. Gillett will likely hinge on this game, when Aaron Rodgers faces freezing Monday night weather. If you'd like to come over and watch the game while cheering on my team - not Green Bay, but my fantasy team - just let me know. Either the rat will be dead by then, or we'll have a new overlord in residence. PICK: Chicago
Last week: 7-9