Archive for March 21st, 2011

Oh, Rats

March 21, 2011 @ 1:02 pm | Filed under:

Scott and I slipped away for a little while yesterday, just the two of us. First a visit to Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego’s famous science fiction/fantasy bookstore, beloved of many an author and reader. I found about seventeen books I was dying to buy. (I didn’t buy seventeen books.)

Then we hit one of my favorite spots in the city: Mitsuwa Marketplace, the Japanese grocery that carries a certain chewy yogurt-based candy I adore. And just a Staples away is a cavernous used book-and-CD store that always rewards one’s search with a treasure or two.

We wound up with two Diane Duane novels for Jane, a Robin Hobbs I’ve been wanting to read, a Suzanne Vega CD, my yogurty candy with the regrettable name, and a box of Pocky. A good haul indeed.

Our plan was to wrap up our date with a late lunch at In-N-Out Burger—oh how those savory grilled onions were calling to me. But as we were finishing up at Book-Off, the kids called from home. There was a rat in the bird feeder. As in, STUCK in the tube feeder, face squished against the glass. He had pried the lid off and fallen in. In broad daylight? Or had he been there all night? In either case, ewww.

So we bailed on the burgers (somehow we weren’t quite as ravenous anymore anyway) and hurried home to face the rat. I mean, besides the enormous ew factor there was the quandary of what to DO with the varmint. Set him free? Certainly his suffering, squished in that narrow cylinder for house, was unpleasant to contemplate. But liberating a rat has ramifications. Clearly the bird feeders have got to be retired for a while, and this is a blow: I love my wee sparrows and finches. But if the birdseed has become an attraction for rats, that’s a problem. And setting a rat free in your backyard seems an altogether imprudent form of encouragement. Then again, what’s the alternative? Kill it in cold blood? My blood runs cold just thinking about it.

Fortunately we were spared the decision: while we were hiding in the house deliberating, the rat managed to unsquish itself and squirm out of its prison. It has disappeared and is probably off somewhere writing a post about its terrifying adventure on the rodent equivalent of Facebook. Dudes, you will not believe what happened to me at the In-N-Out Bird Feeder today!