I know that someday you'll find better things.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Rat Attack

Life, liberty, and the pursuit of rat-free happiness. Yes, the patriots of Plano know how to live the American dream.

This seemed like such a lovely neighborhood when we bought the house two years ago, but lately it's starting to feel like God is cursing us--just us--with a contemporary twist on those old-testament plagues. New, improved, and completely updated for the twenty-first century.

Swarms of mosquitoes.
Julio and his canine compadres.

I received an email last week that there's an entire community of coyotes that have taken up residence in the ravine, and I'm still not sure where we stand on the bobcat problem.

See where this bobcat is standing? 
Definitely a problem.


They're saying the locust will probably return at the end of the summer.

And to top it off, there's another writer in the neighborhood, and he is much, much tougher than me. He's slain vermin, lived to tell about it, written an attack manual, and already published it.

Do I resent him? No.
Envy him? No. Well, I definitely did not envy the vermin battles. The publishing, maybe a little.

The author is Joe, Cindy's husband. He is lovely. They are both lovely.

Russ will tell you that the reason we chose this house is the built-in wine rack thingy in the kitchen, but I've always felt that the real reason is Cindy and Joe. They are the people you hope you can become when you grow up. Kind, committed, compassionate, and so very real. You feel good around them, as though all is right with the world. Wouldn't you want to be neighbors with them so that you could feel that way every day?

There were several problems with my logic, though. First, living near genuinely wonderful people makes us the crazy neighbors by default, which isn't so bad. Chances are that we would have snagged that title no matter where we landed. I should have remembered, however, the lesser-known extension to this general truth: good people are often punished in pied-piper ways. This time, quite literally, it appears.

How could their awesomeness have resulted in anything BUT a rat infestation?

Nevertheless, I was surprised and impressed when Cindy told me about Joe's e-book (Rat Hunter, available on Amazon!) and I downloaded it immediately.

Before settling in to what I hoped would be mostly fictional--or at the very least, hyperbole--I decided to gauge the severity of the situation.

"Do you know anything about a rat problem around here?" I asked Russ.
"Uh, hmm. Well," he began. Oh, no.
"What? Just tell me. No. Don't tell me. Have there been... rats?"
"Well, yes. In the yard. While you were in Florida,"
"What? WHAT?! Alive or dead?"
"It was kind of hard to tell."
"DON'T TELL ME! Why didn't you TELL ME?"
"I didn't want you to freak out."

Oh, God. Oh, God. All this time I thought those gray things hopping around the yard were rabbits. It's no wonder Julio goes nuts every night. All this time I've been plotting his demise, and the little fella was probably just trying to save our lives.

Joe's entertaining book describes their ordeal and how they eventually conquered rodent-kind. In between anecdotes and helpful instructions, there are some fascinating and horrifying fun facts.

I'm thrilled that they've reclaimed their independence from those horrid house-guests, but to be honest, I'm a little creeped out about the implications of their victory-- if the rats know their home is off limits, will they seek shelter in mine? 

I'm glad to have access to Joe's methods, just in case. Whether you have a rat problem, or don't know you have a rat problem, or are just looking for a new phobia so that you can sustain your insomnia, Joe's book is worth a read.

According to the author info at the end of the book, Joe plans to continue writing. I sure hope there's a sequel in the works that will address the mosquitoes or any of the other pestilent things plaguing our neighborhood!

NOTE: For a limited time, you can download Joe's book from Amazon for free! http://www.amazon.com/Rat-Hunter-ebook/dp/B00DPYEBT4/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1372953346&sr=8-2&keywords=Rat+hunter

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