Friday, December 19, 2008

Betcha Bottom Dollar: Week Sixteen

'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.

THUMP. Scurryscurryscurry.

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.

The picks:

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
Overall: 49-54-3


DAve said...

It's obvious the rat is just standing at the trap licking the peanut butter, which isn't enough to set the trap off. Wrap up the peanut butter in some saran wrap and put that on the trap - the guy will have to really work to rip into and that will do the trick.

You're welcome.

Megs said...

I have to tell you, in the last two years I have caught at least 20 mice/rats, and that's conservative. I have caught a few with peanut butter, but there is nothing a rat likes more than chocolate. Here is my step-by-step instruction to catching a big mo-fo rat:

- Get a glue trap. Nobody uses these in America, but basically it's a big tube of sticky, silicon-like glue.
- Put the glue in a continuous circle on a big piece of cardboard. You want the circle to be big enough not to allow the rat to just reach over and eat the bait. Make the glue strip about two inches wide, but not more. The rat has to think he can walk over this. He can't. Trust me, some part of him will stick, and then in trying to escape, the rest of him will get stuck.
- Use something soft and chocolatey. Chocolate is addictive, so they kind of get a fever for it. Put most of it inside the circle, but some outside so the rat can try it and like it. I have successfully used a chocolate-frosted donut, a partially eaten Mars bar, and Reese's peanut-butter cups.
- When the rat gets caught, it may scream and make noise. You should definitely leave it there, making that noise and struggling, for a while, unless you think there is a possiblity the rat will get off the glue. If not, the screaming will attract any other adult or baby rats nearby, and you may catch several of them at once. I know this sounds inhumane, but get over it. You do not want the other ones running around, causing a bigger problem. And if the babies die in the wall, it will stink a long time. Trust me.
- When it is time to remove the rat, have your housekeeper or guard come in and take care of it. Oh, you don't have a housekeeper or guard? I guess there are some advantages to living in Sierra Leone, after all.