You dirty rat, you stunk up my house!

May 5, 2010 in On Writing, Uncategorized by pacejmiller

Master Splinter

Or not.

I just had a visit from the exterminator.  Over the last month or so, we’ve been smelling this strange odour emanating from my sister’s room (she doesn’t live here anymore).  Initially, it was just a whiff of something that would be gone by the time you went back to smell it again, but eventually it was obvious the source of the smell was the room.

It was unlike anything I had ever smelt before.  I wouldn’t necessarily say foul, but it was certainly unpleasant.  Coupled with the occasional scurrying noise in the roof and some black stuff that look like droppings out on the veranda, I decided we must have a rodent problem.  More precisely, a dead rat somewhere in the roof or between the walls that was decomposing and stinking up the joint.

Being the coward that I am, there was no way I was going to go up there and take a look around myself.  Having watched so many horror movies as a kid, there was always something hiding in the roof or attic.  It just wasn’t going to happen.

So I called around and got an exterminator/pest control guy to have a look around.  Usually, we try and air out the stinking room, but from yesterday I kept all the windows and the door shut to really give the guy a good whiff of the devil.

The dude, Sam, arrived a little late but he was friendly enough.  Asked me about what I was doing and said he was glad I’m doing something I’m passionate about.  It’s something he keeps trying to teach his kids.  I didn’t ask him why he was passionate about pest control.

Anyway, the first thing he said when he entered the room was that it wasn’t a rat smell.  According to him, a dead rat would smell “much, much worse”.

Nevertheless, he went through the tiny manhole in the ceiling and went up into the roof to scope things out with a bucket of rat bait.  After much rattling (no pun intended) and thumping around, Sam came back down and said there was absolutely nothing.  No dead rats.  No live rats.  Definitely no smell.  Tiny evidence that something has been up there, as there has been a bit of chewing of the air conditioning stuff, but he said it’s likely they were just visiting and nothing is living up there.

So the mystery of the smell continues.  I just went in like a sniffer dog for another look, but I still couldn’t pin point the source of the odour.  It’s just…everywhere….

Oh well, at least this whole debacle has given me a great idea for a short story.

[PS: When Sam left, I asked him about some of the worst stuff he has seen. He said that he’d never go eat at an Indian restaurant, and the cleanest place to eat is home.  His words not mine.]