Saturday, May 8, 2010

Wild Kingdom

You find out who your friends are when you post this at 2 in the morning: "SOMEthing is walking around on my roof. It's either a giant raccoon. Or a hobo."

My text immediately lit up with volunteers to help, but I couldn't think of a thing they could do.

Something was walking around up there -- and it was way too heavy to be a squirrel. Possibly a raccoon, but they're typically more light-footed and go pitter-patter, pitter-patter, whereas this was more thunka-thunka-thunka. Also, it sounded like it might be dragging something with it.

After a few minutes of the ka-chunking, I realized the sound wasn't coming from the roof... it was coming from the ceiling...just over my head. Whatever it was: it was inside the house.

I had two immediate theories: first, having killed one spider on Monday, and then  its cousin last night, I thought this was possibly retribution -- and a giant, plutonium-enriched Twilight-Zone-ish spider lurked just on the other side of the ceiling.

Second, I thought it was possible that, with all the contractors here in the last month, possibly, one of them had built out the walls and was now living in between them, watching me. Which is, of course, what anyone would think ... anyone, that is, who saw the 1992 movie, Through the Eyes of a Killer (and who hasn't?).

In it, Marg Helgenberger plays (I think), an architect, who hires Richard Dean Anderson (MacGyver), to renovate her apartment. In the process, he builds himself a secret perimeter just inside the exterior walls where, of course, he secretly lives, because that's the most effective way for him to stalk her after she dumps him. (Oh, also: they have a mid-renovation-affair. Master Builder, indeed. All I can say is, having once had a mid-renovation-affair many years ago, she got off easy.)

Also, it could've been a third option: which was the aforementioned Hobo. (Possibly a wolverine.)

I banged on the ceiling several times (which didn't even slow the scrambling pattern at all), and then I turned on the tv and turned it up as loud as possible to the scariest-sounding thing I could think of (HBO's Real Sex). But neither of us went to sleep til daybreak.

Once the sun was up, the skittering died down and I got dressed and went to work. I came home for lunch to meet my gay husband when one of my girlfriends called to let me know a critter-control guy was on his way over.

He looked exactly like Bill Murray from Caddyshack... except with a lot of tattoos. We quickly made friends with him and it turns out he's a general contractor, moreso than a critter-control guy, but he was happy to help.

Partly because I think he initially believed I hallucinated the whole thing. He first asked, "are you sure it wasn't ...a bird?" I was a little insulted. Me? A Farm Girl? "Oh, I know how a bird goes," I said. "Caw. Caw. Thwock. Whappa Whappa Whappa. Thwock Thwock." It didn't sound anything like this: scritch, scritch, scritch. Then I explained the footfalls of raccoons versus possums vs squirrels, and so on.

When he sat down in front of the crawlspace door, he realized he'd broken his flashlight, and asked if I had one. I do, but I have no idea which box it was in, so I ran downstairs and got him my keychain, which has a little squeeze-light on it for finding keys and keyholes.... not so sure it was designed for R.O.U.S.s* (*rodents of unusual size, Princess Bride).

Ten seconds later, he said he could see the flat whites of its eyes. He invited us in to take a look, whereupon we took the opportunity to quietly close the door between the bedroom he was in, and the bedroom we were in. It's possible we might've held it shut, briefly. From there, Nick could narrate the whole Wild Kingdom episode from the other side of the door.We were Marlin Perkins, commenting safely from the top of the Land Rover, while Jim wrestled the rhinos.

He opened the door and motioned us in. When we joined him (with great trepidation), he asked if we wanted to kill it or relocate, and of course we selected relocate. Then he stood all the way up and was nearly decapitated by the ceiling fan -- at which point, his Bill Murray-esque hat took flight across the room. He snatched it mid-air, and without missing a beat, drawled, "That's nothing. It's gonna be worse than that if I have to fiiiiiight it,"  and he looked a little green around the gills at the prospect.

Trapper John left and returned a little later with this crate -- which I feel sure will be no match for whatever it was I heard inside the walls the night before. He gave me his cell number and told me I could call any hour of the day or night and he'd come retrieve the prisoner (though I do wonder if what I have is the number to Dominos.)

Nick and I then left for our night out on the town, where I took great delight in reminding everybody constantly, "I have to leave early, 'cause I gotta get home and check mah traps."

1 comment:

  1. That ceiling fan nearly took his head off! One of my all-time favorite memories.