Tuesday, December 13, 2011

When the chips are down ...share 'em!

Dear Landlord
It is with mixed feelings that I write to you to inform you of the death of one of your tenants, Roland. We found him dead on the driveway. He just stopped dead in his tracks – literally. I nearly drove over him! We hoped that would be the end of their nightly parties that keep us awake into the small hours but they, his family and friends, gave Roland quite a send off….almost disrespectful.
When we took on the tenancy of this house we did not realise we would be sharing it with another family – a huge family. While they do not share our living quarters I recall nothing in the leasing agreement about subletting the wall cavity space and attic to others. We took it upon ourselves to get Roland and his rats evicted.  Before you object, whilst calling someone a "rat" is no compliment, a new study shows that rats do have some saving graces. They are empathetic and will altruistically lend a helping paw to a cage mate who is stuck in a trap.
It said:
Not only will rats frantically work to free their trapped cage mate; they will do so even when there's a tempting little pile of chocolate chips nearby, the study reveals. Instead of leaving their pal in the trap and selfishly gobbling the candy all by themselves, rats will free their cage mate and share the chocolate.

This made me wonder if Roland’s mates had tried to help him when he dropped dead on the drive. I imagined the closing scenes of ‘The Champ’ with Roland playing the part of John Voight and a little baby rat urging him to get up. Made me feel bad …until the partying began at 2am again. Sleep deprivation can drive you to murder. ..  I would never kill but I confess I hired a professional. A contract killer. Really – I had to sign a contract!
The first assassins to quote for the job were more used to ‘gators, hogs and ’coons’ and seemed disappointed that it was only some rats. The assassin did get quite excited when he examined the attic. ‘You got yourself a BIG rat problem’. I knew that. I hear them scurrying past my head every night in the wall cavity. What he meant was the rats themselves were BIG based on his examination of their poo! I don’t know if this is scientific: big poo= big rat, because I could challenge that with my son as an example: small boy=monstrous poo. There isn’t always a correlation between the two - in my experience of small boys at least. Anyway – they offered to gas Roland and his crew, seal all holes and remove all copses. Sounded too Nazi and guaranteed extermination doesn’t come cheap. The cost was extortionate (and even though I am deducting the bill from the rent we pay it seemed too much and I was concerned by the extreme tactics. I have cats and small children potentially smaller than the rats in question if the exterminator's assessment of the rat size was anything to go on!)
The Bug Catchers, our next wanabee assassins focused on smaller pests and pointed out several places with termite infestations which I would have preferred not to be conscious of but it is only fair to let you know they are eating your house! As they were cheap we hired them to kill Roland.  Their method was good old rat baiting traps.  It worked! Once! If Roland is typical of his kin, he was quite small, disproving the correlation between poo and rat size. He had a glossy coat and appeared to be very healthy - other than the fact that he was dead. The good news is – as rats appear to be sociable animals they will share their chocolate chips – Hopefully Roland shared his stash of rat poison. Apparently they really like it ...but not that much. The traps were laid over a month ago and only this week has it yielded results. Roland has paid the ultimate price for his decadent party lifestyle. He died for his crimes. When I reported this to the Bug Catcher man who called to refill the traps (using those very words) for some reason he couldn’t speak. He was virtually crying laughing. Roland deserves more respect!
 Had I been in the UK I would have considered something more humane but we couldn’t find anyone offering humane rat catching. This is Texas. If it weighs less than 5 pound you can kill it with chemicals from Wal-mart. The Bug Catchers led me to believe that the rat eats the poison, dies instantly and they clear the rat from the trap. What actually happens is the rats might eat the poison if they can stop partying in my cavity long enough. Cruelly, they then may last up to 5 days before stopping dead in their tracks – if we are lucky- on the drive. If we are unlucky they may make it back to the attic and die there! I am not going up there amongst the piles of huge rat poo to find out – nor am I going to plug the holes in my cavities. As my Husband also refuses to do it, you will have to send a man in to do that. Failing that – we will have the secondary problem of a bad stench to deal with.

Yours sincerely

Your Tenant


  1. Perhaps the are claiming squatters rights as they were there before you !!!Lets hope the poisen has finally worked Will they come back to clear the bodies and the large poos away. I dom mean the men and not Rolands family.

  2. Sorry spelt poison wrong.

  3. someone needs to take the plunge and clean out my cavity!