Sunday, February 6, 2011

Lonesome Dove and Rodents in the Toilet

I am a pretty big reader. I pretty much always have a book or two going at any given time. I get stressed out if I am in between books or am having a hard time getting into a new read. I also can't sleep if I haven't read at least a few pages, which is fine when I am at home but means that I am compelled to pack a headlamp for camping trips so that I can get my nightly fix.

But even I was daunted by the weighty tome that is Lonesome Dove and I let the novel sit idly on my bookshelf for months after my birthday. It was a gift from Amberlee, whose book recommendations have never disappointed me, and yet I was intimidated by the girth of this novel. Also, a western? Not necessarily my genre of choice- hell, I'd never even read a Louis L'Amour. But then one night I picked it up and started to read page one. Page one of 944 pages, that is. After that one page, however, I was hooked. I loved this book. All 944 pages of it.

You MUST read this book. Do not fear the number of pages. You will wish for more, I promise you. (And yes, I know that there is a sequel (and a prequel!) but I am kind of a purist and need to cleanse my palate before I can even think about reading them.)

And it turns out that the whole shoot 'em up cowboy business is all very riveting- the whiskey drinking, the saloons, the card cheats, the horse thieves, the Mexican bandits, even the whores. Man, I could not get enough of this book. I kind of fell in love with those dirty old cowboys- they were so brave and yet so tender. Vicious and yet seductive. I could go on, but Brent might get jealous. Those cowboys were hot, let's leave it at that. Also, I found their use of the word "dern" to be endearing.

I polished off the book in about a week and a half. Then we watched the epic four hour Hollywoodized version, which was lackluster following my sultry love affair with the book, but still worth a watch. But I will warn you that the movie cowboys are not nearly as sexy as the imaginary cowboys, so if sexy cowboys are what you are looking for, I suggest you read the book instead.

While Gus and Call were fighting off the vaqueros and chasing Blue Duck, Brent was waging some warfare of his own around these parts. The Great Rodent Infestation of 2011 arrived at our doorstep last week. It is painful for me to recount this tale as it transpires in a location that should remain unmentioned. But for the sake of our narrative, I will mention the unmentionables. Okay, here goes. Brent found a mouse IN MY UNDERWEAR DRAWER! Living among my unmentionables! A rodent with my panties! The horror! The horror!

You should know that Brent takes any sort of pest invasion very personally. We have some sordid history with rodents that I'll get to in a minute, but in order to fully relate the following events, you need to picture Brent as angry as a cowboy who just lost half his cattle herd in a sandstorm. He laid the traps and then we waited. And waited. And waited. And it soon became clear that we were not dealing with your average mouse here. And then there was the night when I came home late after a little wine soiree with some pals to find an irate Brent barricading off parts of the house wielding a weapon of sorts (broom and dustpan?) and swearing a blue streak. He did not use the word "dern".

Eventually three mice were captured and executed and I believe we may have quelled the rodent uprising. For now, at least. Battles may be won, but we all know that the war is never over. In fact, we've been embroiled in the conflict between man and rodent for many, many years now.

It all began on a rainy February night. It was not just any rainy night, it had been a week or so of torrential downpour resulting in flooding and general sogginess. It seemed like it might never stop, I remember that clearly. Brent and I were hunkered down for the evening in our little house on Jefferson Street- I was probably reading, he was probably... well, who knows what Brent was doing. The possibilities are endless here, he's a pretty random guy. An odd splashing sound disrupted our quiet work and Brent moved toward the back of the house to investigate. Once it was determined that the noise was being emitted from the bathroom vicinity, I went into full panic mode and followed my bizarre human instinct to climb up onto my desk and quake with fear. Brent, my gallant cowboy, strode fearlessly into the bathroom and discovered a RAT IN THE TOILET! A RAT IN THE TOILET! (I am fighting the urge to climb up onto my desk even now as I type these dreadful words!) As he colorfully announced his finding (again, he did not use the word "dern") I let out a scream that was blood curdling enough to send the rodent scurrying back into the depths of hell from which it came. And then my brave cowboy flushed. And flushed. And flushed some more.

To say that I was traumatized by this event would be a gross understatement. I never used that toilet again without a ceremonial preflush.

And then I did the dumbest thing possible. I googled "rat in the toilet" and found out that it's actually really common to find rodents, snakes, baby alligators, you name it in your home sewage system. Especially when it's been raining a lot and the ground become saturated which brings the sewer levels up closer to the pipes and STOP! ENOUGH!

LALALALALA HAPPY PLACE LALALALALA. Look! Jack knows how to use an iPhone better than I do!

And just what is it about Thomas and his Friends that makes them irresistible to toddlers? And why do they cost so much?


See, the rat in the toilet story makes the mouse in the underwear drawer story seem like no big deal.

Kind of.

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