A Story, Simply Put

Plans often get complicated in my mind. With time, I build up the expectation, stacking one plan on top of another until it becomes too much for me to handle and I just want to throw the whole idea out the window. I’ve learned, over the years, to realize that the only one I’m disappointing is myself for not having x/y/z as a part of the plan because everyone else was only expecting w. This is what has happened with my blog as of late (apart from the hate messages on one certain post about a certain toe). I had a flash of genius and then I had high hopes followed by dashed dreams. It took a lot for me to gather myself back up and realize that you all are still way back on point “A” wondering what the heck is going on while I’m struggling to stand under the weight of unmet expectation – self imposed.

About 4 months ago (which was November – can you believe it??), I was sitting on a certain porcelain throne in the downstairs powder room when I heard a distinct squeak that had nothing to do with solids, liquids or gases (Sorry. Blame Grade 2 Science curriculum), but more to do with little rodents. Close by on the floor is located a  drain that I was certain was from where I had heard the sound emit. Shortly thereafter, I found droppings that were not from anyone in my family. None of us are named Ralph, nor do we ride miniature motorcycles. The Mister jumped into action, constructing a trap of sorts with cardboard and a sticky substance that is supposed to humanely trap the pests, but those little suckers are smart. Do you think they reared their heads again? Nope. They could smell a trap.

I can’t remember the timeline, exactly, but there was a time in the midst of this all where I went into my upstairs bathroom to get ready for a routine dentist check-up before the year ran out. Oh that’s a clue! This was in December because we wanted to take advantage of our dental coverage for 2012 before it expired. We like to plan ahead, clearly. As I pulled the shower curtain across the tub, I saw something extra fling along as well, and land with a solid thump of mass at the bottom of the tub. Worse of all, it righted itself and began to move; quickly! I was terrified. In classic Tom-and-Jerry-R-rated-cartoon  style, I was the fashionably naked lady screaming her head off and nearly passing out. I was able to control myself enough to take the garbage bag out of the garbage can and set it upright on the ground so it wouldn’t spill all over the ground (because you KNOW who is going to have to clean it up later.) and tipped the garbage can over top of the mouse to keep it trapped. This was AFTER it tried several times to run up the sides of the tub without success and then JUMPED to try to get to the top edge. Have you ever seen a mouse jump? I have never, and I nearly lost consciousness at the sight of it. Thankfully, it slid back to the bottom of the tub where it was then trapped and remained until The very brave Mister returned home to rescue me from torment. I wouldn’t let him kill it. Instead, the pest was stunned slightly over the head, packed into a plastic bag (untied) and tossed into the dumpster at the end of our row-house compound.

I had known that we had a mouse issue somewhere in the house because we had a break-in of sorts into our Christmas decorations back in October. The extent of their mess wasn’t truly appreciated until the rank smell of urine permeated our home when we unpacked the decorations to set up for the joyous season. The Mister first suggested Febreeze – which – ha! No. All purpose cleaner and a bathtub filled with hot water did the job to save all my garland from having to be replaced. The mouse in the tub was just another confirmation that something (or thingS) was amok in the undercarriage of our home.

I’m not new to the home-cleaning party. My routine is fairly set; at least one of laundry every day to ward off the overwhelming task of “Laundry Day”; 3 rounds of dishwashing (by hand!) every day; weekly thorough cleaning of the bathrooms (5 in all!  And NO maid!) with mid-week touch-ups if needed. The final mention on that list was what caused me the greatest confusion. I could have the downstairs water closet cleaned to a shine with all the latest gadgets and disinfectants only to have it smelling like an abused locker room within a day. What has gone wrong with my cleaning powers? The mystery was about to be revealed.

The bathroom jumper and the port-a-potty that shouldn’t be a port-a-potty were enough motivation to get outside help to intervene. Our landlord at this house is, in a word, amazing. Our experience in the less-shiny desert with our landlord was that he liked to hike the price of the rent and deemed things like plumbing fixtures and the like our responsibility to replace and pay for because, “You use them, so you must pay for them.” You can imagine our minds frantically swimming to keep pace with such astounding logic. On the flip side, our landlord in the shiny desert has been completely different. He has been generous, uncomplicated and prompt in ordering work crews for any problems that arise, with no bill for us to take care of at the end. The very day that The Mister wrote to him about the possible underground metropolis, a duo of plumbers (complete with crack!) showed up to take up the task. What the found was shocking. Of the the 5 toilets, 3 of them had a nest of mice underneath. While no mice were in the nests, probably scared off by the earth-shattering battering it took to get the toilet off the seal or whatever it is that the plumber-crack dudes have to do to unhook a toilet or whatever  it’s called when you get the toilet up from the ground. I always think that toilets are just there. Like they sprout or something. Anyway, the plumbers found nests and through charades and hand motions and finally an image found on Google via The Mister’s phone, it was confirmed that the inhabitants were most certainly mice. Special fittings were placed to prevent a future habitation of undercarriage space, and the rooms were returned to spic-and-span order. The rancid smell has never returned nor am I kept company in the loo with the sing song squeak of a fellow low-rider occupant.

I am disappointed, and this is where my avoidance comes in when reacting to unmet expectations, that I don’t have any means to tell the story in a pictorial medium. I had hoped to have a little guy stuck to a cardboard surface, perhaps with a toy motorbike and a name tag that says Ralph. In hindsight, though, I can see that sufficient images were relayed through the craft of words. Who needs a camera when there are characters, setting, plot, problem and conclusion?

Give props where it is due – Creative Writing class: Grade Two.