Thursday, April 16, 2020

I Smell a Rat...

Image by SARA REESE from Pixabay
Rats have a very keen sense of smell. Rats in Africa have been trained to sniff out landmines and tuberculosis. Queen Rat has had a remarkable sense of smell, even as a child. Often, this ability to smell food from afar, resulted in her being referred to as Yogi Bear.  Remember his most famous line, “I smell a pic-a-nic basket!?”

This sense of smell has not diminished over the years. It is a blessing when in a garden or bakery, and a curse when behind a car with smokers or in a crowd of the great unwashed. Remember the 1990s and all the perfume? Toxic to a rat with allergies.

A few weeks ago, Queen Rat’s nose detected a foul smell in the laundry room. It smelled a bit like backed up sewage or something decaying. King Rat was called in to assess the situation. “It is natural gas,” he replied with confidence.

“I know the smell of natural gas. This is the smell of something dead,” Queen Rat countered.

“Nope. Natural gas.”

Later in the week while working on the patio near the exterior dryer vent, Queen Rat’s sniffy sense was alerted once again. “I smell something dead near the dryer vent.”

“Natural gas,” replied King Rat dismissively.

About ten days later, Queen Rat spotted a huge fly in the house. “How did we get a fly? The house is closed up tight, and this is not fly season?”

King Rat dispensed with the fly using his favorite toy, the battery operated fly swatter from Harbor Freight. It electrocutes the insect upon contact. Nothing is more joyous than sparking a yellow jacket to death.

Yesterday, Queen Rat was doing laundry. Wet laundry in hand, she opened the dryer and was set upon by a swarm of flies. It was like a bad horror movie. Mere words cannot describe the experience.

Queen Rat has watched enough detective show to know that maggots eat dead bodies and then develop into flies about ten days later. “THERE IS SOMETHING DEAD IN THE DRYER VENT!!!” Queen Rat retreated to the safety of the main house.

King Rat reluctantly reopened the dryer door and released the remaining flies. He vacuumed the lint from the outside vent, then disassembled the dryer connection. Nothing in the vent. He removed the vertical metal pipe that went straight up from the bottom of the dryer to the opening higher up the wall only to discover the remains of a chipmunk. He surreptitiously carried the cadaver to the final resting spot in the trash can, knowing that Queen Rat would not want to bear witness.

“Well? What did you find?”

“You were right. There was a dead chipmunk. I didn’t want to tell you” he offered sheepishly.

“Because I was right or because it was a cute little chipmunk?”

Being the wise rat he is, King Rat just smiled and said, “Yes.”

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