“Get in there, Linda,” My husband, Sherwood (Trigger Finger) Zern, gestured for me to precede him into the chicken coop.
He was holding a gun.
“I don’t want to go in there; there’s rats in there.” The miscellaneous sounds of thumping mixed with strange weepy gasps bounced around inside the chicken coop like ball bearings. (Oh man, I realized the strange weepy noises were coming from me.)
“Linda, you’re the one with the flashlight.” He sounded exasperated as he waved the gun around.
“But you’re the one with bullets.”
“I can’t see to shoot anything if you don’t shine the flashlight at the rats.”
I felt the hairs on the back of my neck try to crawl off my neck at his use of the word “anything.” The sounds of a massive rat exodus pounded from the dark corners of the chicken coop as the rats heard our voices, and I was having a hard time holding the flashlight level, due to excessive neck hair crawling.
“Too late. They’ve all run away.” I peeked into the coop at my beloved rooster and his eight lovely ladies. They continued to sleep like dead chickens on their perch, oblivious to the rats, the gun, the flashlight, or the launch of our five-prong selective rat reduction program called Operation Rat Fink.
A rat ran along the front of the coop.
“Quick Babe, shoot it!” I yelled.
He closed one eye. He aimed. He squeezed. He fired. He missed. Rats high fived each other.
“There’s another one,” I shouted, shining the unforgiving beam of light on the bloated rat body with its scaly rat-tail dragging behind.
(Trigger Finger) Zern closed one eye, aimed, squeezed, fired, and missed again. Rats applauded.
I mentioned our rat situation to our exterminator, as I signed the You-Have-Termites-Pay-Up-Or-Live-In-A-Tent contract. He suggested getting “bait boxes” like the ones that McDonald uses.
“You know like the ones you see all around the McDonalds and the Wendy’s.”
There was a sudden ringing in my ears, but I made a note to include bait boxes in our five-prong plan.
Prong One: Locate a flashlight. Put batteries on the shopping list.
Prong Two: Saturday morning trip to Tractor Supply Company to acquire $6,000.00 dollars worth of weapons of mass rat destruction, including rectangle strips of sticky stuff, so sticky that rats are trapped in it like dinosaurs in the Le Brea Tar Pits.
Prong Three: Secure the Boarders – “They can’t get their heads through this.” Sherwood held up some chicken wire.
“It’s not their heads. It’s their teeth. They chew through that.” I pointed to galvanized chain link designed to restrain Orcs and forged in the fires of Mount Doom. “That should do it.”
Prong Four: Borrow money from a loan shark to finance prongs one through three.
Prong Five: Wander around in the dark, trying to determine effectiveness of rat traps, baits, and tar pits—also to take pot shots at fleeing rats.
“So here’s what I think we should do this weekend about the rats,” Sherwood said, calling from a business trip to San Francisco. “I think we should go with the hose in the rat hole flooding scenario, and then when they run out, we shoot them, and if that fails, we stomp them.”
“Good idea, ‘Dead Eye’ I’ll mark it on the calendar; it’s a date.”
“Wear something slinky.”
So, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go figure out a slinky rat stomping outfit for my Saturday night date. Rat Finks beware.
Linda (Saturday Night Fever) Zern