Monday, March 19, 2007

Smell and the World Smells With You

... I met with Sims Promotional Group, an event marketing firm, today. I wanted to dress for success, however after I left the house, I realized my shirt smelled like animal. The longer I wore it and the warmer I got, the more I smelled like litter box. So now I know: Don’t hang dry cleaning anywhere near the boys or their box. I wanted to put on the dog and ended up putting on the cat.

I got called back to a second interview, though.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Remembering the Great Rat Hunt

Rumor has it that a Starbucks is going into the space formerly occupied by Grady’s American Grill, my old hangout. Oh, what times we had there! The Great Rat Hunt comes to mind. I documented it in a series of e-mails, and guess what? I saved the entire chronicle on disk!

So as old Grady’s is gutted to make room for a new tenant, let’s take a moment to remember the greatest Drunken Bar Adventure of 2000.

(My friend, “Lucky,” says I posted this a couple of years ago, but I don’t remember it. With the new Starbucks going in, it’s timely again, anyway.)

... The rats in the Labyrinthine warren in the bushes behind Grady’s are propagating at a rate that flies in the face of reason. Possibly because the guys from Planet Smoothie and I have been feeding them (I in the interest of science and they because they like to see rats jump.)

For our next scientific endeavor, Pete will be bringing smoke bombs from Alabama and we will drop them in the holes whereupon, if my hypothesis holds, the rats should all come out at once (en mouse, as it were). I invite you all over tonight to see the spectacle. ...

... Pete’s not coming with the smoke bombs now until Wednesday night. I might now want to start thinking about what to do with the rats after they come out, though. My current strategy is to run and scream in a shocking soprano. ...

... The rat thing was pretty lame. I showed up at Grady’s on the appointed day at 5:00 with two disposable cameras to document the event, a Super-Soaker for both fire safety and personal protection lest we be overrun by frenzied rodents, an arsenal of smoke bombs and firecrackers, and an instinct for the hunt which was honed by a million years’ evolution.

We had to wait until after 10:00 to go out to the rat holes so we could operate under the cover of darkness. We didn’t want to alert the other Grady’s patrons to the seamy underbelly of the food and beverage industry nor raise the suspicions of the fire marshal or health inspector. We went behind the bushes where the rats live and started dropping the smoke bombs in to flush them out the hole in front. Now, I am not about cruelty to animals. I brought a box of Cheese Nips so that if any of the little rat guys made it out they could have refreshments.

We waited for the spectacle. No rats. More smoke. We then opted for a more aggressive strategy and started chucking whirly, fiery fireworks in the holes. Most disappointing. (Though this was where the Super-Soaker came in to extinguish a small fire we had inadvertently started.) A few minutes of this and we thought, “screw the rats!” and dropped in some explosives with a bit more kick. Still no rats, but we did draw a small crowd from the liquor store around the corner.

The next day I was telling Ned, the Grady’s GM, about the adventure (an enterprise which he couldn’t countenance but wanted to hear about, nonetheless). While showing him the residue of our munitions, the reek of dead rat led us back in the bushes where we did find the bloated carcass of a rat who had clearly been trying to claw his way out of the hole when he met his demise. He had a dazed and confused look etched on his face as if he had fought his way through disorienting smoke and flame to reach safety. After an appropriate time of mourning (the length of time it took Ned to get a shovel), I pried him out of the hole with a stick whereupon he was summarily consigned to the compactor and, presumably, squished.

So, Rat Hunt 2000 was somewhat anticlimactic after all of my “ratomontade.” I had hung all my hopes and dreams on seeing dozens of gasping rats swarming out of their smoke-filled warrens and queuing up for Cheese Nips. As it was, the Super-Soaker was the most exciting part of the whole event. Oh, well. A couple of owls have taken up residence in a tree right outside Ben’s office window. I suppose I can turn my attention to them, now.