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Breach of Crust

This time it’s war! No more Mister Nice Guy! I have been pushed too far! I have crossed my Rubicon; or, ‘Raticon’! (Get on with it! EdZilla) [You Big Girl’s Blouse! Ermintrude] Eh? No, dear reader, not an exclamation of fury at the slings and arrows of outrageous women drivers, but the truth. RAT WARS! I was certain that we had come to an understanding. Ratty would bugger about the kitchen, doing whatever rats do – hanging out with their mates, shagging a few rat-chicks, shooting the breeze, maybe even writing some crime fiction – you know, the usual stuff. But he would not touch any of the gear in said kitchen. On this basis I left out the odd slice of bread, the occasional piece of brie or emmental, the periodic saucer of Cotes du Rhone; nothing fancy. And it was working. Until.

Sticky Situation

I decided to wash some clothes, to be exact, to wash the herd of y-fronts currently grazing on the slopes of the bedroom carpet in the far away corner. The pile was getting warmer – like wet shavings when they start to dry out – internal combustion I think. [‘Instantaneous combustion’ you useless mega-slob! Ermintrude] Also the pile seemed to be eating into the carpet. At the same time, I appeared to have acquired a collection of handkerchiefs that gave a whole new meaning to ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, and green. Soon cured. I trapped the wee bastards in the corner and shovelled them into a bin liner, then dragged them downstairs, kicking and screaming, till I wrestled them into the washing-machine, and slammed the door. The y-fronts were still fighting with the hankies when I put the gunk in the hole, pressed the tit and set the whole thing off. Then toddled off for some much deserved rest.

The Crime of the Ancient Mariner

Okay; so I forgot about them for a day or so. But once, on heading for the loo, I became aware of loud hissing noise coming from the kitchen; like a python with an ingrown toenail. (They don’t have feet, dipstick! EdZ) [Why worry? He doesn’t have a brain. Ermintrude] Bah! So I gingerly opened the door… Flood! Water, water everywhere! No, not ‘The Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner’, by Pam Ayres or whoever. This was real! I mean, the washing was done; so I could hang it up – not too smelly after its two days in the machine. But the kitchen floor was covered in twenty feet of water. To be absolutely fair I hadn’t washed it for a couple of years, so I supposed it wouldn’t do any harm. And the hissing and water had come to a stop as the machine ended its cycle. So I figured it was just playing silly buggers because I hadn’t used it for a few months. Obviously it couldn’t have been Ratty, since we had a gentleman’s agreement. (I take it ‘Ratty’ is the gentleman. EdZ) Anyways; life went on. When.

Benedict Arsehole

[‘Benedict Arnold’, you loser! Ermintrude] Huh! I came downstairs two mornings later to hear a familiar hissing from the kitchen; and I’d not used the washing-machine. Sure enough the feeder hose was sporting a couple of holes, pinpricks more like, but more than sufficient to recover the kitchen floor with a pile of water that would have done Noah proud. And he’d eaten all the cibiatta on the dresser! The brie that he’d not eaten was okay; if you didn’t mind the paw prints on the side. Furry wee bastard! This was WAR! Feeling a deep sense of betrayal, I phoned the Cooncil instanter, and after coughing up a king’s ransom, or at least enough to fund a decent bottle of malt whisky, they sent round a rat-catcher. Who set up a trap baited with sky blue food which apparently would make him very thirsty; so he might clean up the flooded kitchen all by himself. And which, also, as an afterthought, would kill him with poison. Probably within a few days.

Cast Iron Stomach

That was twenty years ago. [Ten days, actually, twathead! Ermintrude] So far, zippo. In the absence of my little plats du jour he started eating the old dog biscuits I forgot to throw out when Fern died; then when I threw them out, he started in on the old dog weetabix; then when I threw them out, the bloody virgin olive oil! The Rat Man cometh again tomorrow; presumably to plant a tactical nuclear device, since clearly the wee ratstard doesn’t care for the present Cuisine Cyanide. And meanwhile, if he gets bored, he can always chew another bloody hole in the pipes; and have a bath as well. I just can’t wait for him to be poisoned and die behind the skirting boards, where he can smell all summer long. ‘Eau de Rat’.  I hate everybody again. [Relax, Dum-Dum; it’s mutual. Ermintrude]

John J McCabe. Copyright.