Tuesday, March 1, 2005

WIldlife in the Walls

So, as many of you know, I have been battling the woodland creatures that have decided to make their home in my home.  I initially thought they were in the chimney but after hysterical investigation (not at all helped by the mongrel hounds) I realized the chimney was vermin free.  The vermin, you see, were actually in the walls.
Which gave me horrible images of that stupid yet disturbing movie The People Under The Stairs with the bizarre incestuous brother and sister and all the kids trapped in the walls.
In any case, I thought I had finally gotten rid of the evil beasts a week or so ago when I had all the siding ripped off one side of the house and completely replaced.
I had, you see, misunderstood the tenacity and inherent malevolence of the woodland fiends.
See, yesterday morning I heard them scrabbling about on the other side of the fireplace…chittering and chattering to each other, scratching on the wall and otherwise freaking me and the mongrels out.
Though in a noble effort to keep the house from becoming a paradise for parasites and other pernicious pests, Peek ran across the room and began clawing at the wall, barking and otherwise threatening the creatures.
The creatures were not, unfortunately, impressed.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I could hear them in the wall, laughing and taunting us without mercy.
And then, when I took a quick look outside to see if I could figure out what was going on, I noticed a huge hole in the side of my house.
Like almost 10 inches high and 4 inches across with insulation and other housing materials hanging out.
Like some horrible wild animal had clawed its way inside.
So, I grabbed my flashlight, went outside, peered inside then reached in the hole and---
Yah, right.  I stuck my hand in the hole.  I reached inside a wild animal’s lair and started fishing around.  That’s what I did.  Then I drove down to East St. Louis, stripped naked and began walking around screaming racial slurs. 
You know me, I just like to live on the edge.
However, it is interesting to note that last night when the vermin removal specialist arrived and looked at the hole, that’s exactly what he asked.  “Did you try reaching inside?”  He asked.
“No,” I replied.  “I was going to but I didn’t want to put down my crack pipe.”
At which point he made a lot of observations that I would like to categorize as HIGHLY DISTURBING.  For example:
1.      I’m not sure what it is but it’s definitely big.
2.      Look at those claw marks!
3.      Wow, that’s really gotta be big.
4.      I’ve just never seen anything like it.
5.      It could be a raccoon or a possum but it has to be a big one.
6.      Seems like there’s gotta be more than one in there…maybe a mama and some babies.
7.      Boy, I hope it’s not a mama raccoon; they sure are mean when they’re protecting their babies.
8.      I mean, we are talking about a BIG animal here.
Which is when I pretty much begged him to stop talking.
The most disturbing thing he said was that although he’s sure he can trap the beast, due to state laws about dealing with dangerous animals, he can’t come back with traps until Monday.
Yes, he actually said the words DANGEROUS ANIMALS.
A phrase I’m pretty sure he regretted almost immediately since I started saying things like “Are you trying to make me cry here?  Because I have no trouble crying, if that’s what you’re after.”
Judging by the fervency of his apology, that’s not what he was after.
He did come in and investigate the fireplace and the rest of the house to make sure there was no access for the animals but if I were you people, I would plan on hysterical phone calls and long winded complaints from me for the rest of the weekend.
Be afraid.

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