Another man came round from The Cooncil, given Ratty’s reluctance to lay down and die. And asked me if I thought it might be a squirrel… Hello? I fully realise that on some evenings my intake of the Blushful Hippocrene may exceed the recommended dose; never mind the odd Altzheimer’s and Soda, but I think even I am capable of discerning a rat from a bloody squirrel. (Don’t kid yourself. EdZilla) Anyway. Having assured the nice man that what we had here was a member of ‘Rattus Norvegicus’, and not some long-tailed dwarf mammoth, he agreed to renew the feeding tray, which the wee bugger had polished off, with some new and deliciouser stuff; sort of Nouvelle Ratsine for discerning rodents. Oh, and was I sure there was only one of them? WHAAAT? So, since then, I’ve been looking out for signs of plural rats – old discarded copies of ‘GQ’ and ‘Heat’, empty Durex packets, Viagra instructions in Hindi; you know, the usual stuff. To no avail. Hence I believe there’s only one of them.
Every Crowd has a Silver Whining
One tragic side-effect has been the complete absence of any visits from ‘The Coven’. When I suggested dinner last week, with a side course of ‘Ratatouille’, it was met with a frozen silence; followed by a couple of death threats. So I ixneyed the jokes about ‘Rat Surprise’, and ‘Ratty Pate’. I had been going to make a brilliantly witty comparison between rats and ‘beavers’, if you get my drift, only Ermintrude reminded me how much I liked my balls where they were. I kind of miss the Pre-Manstrual Tantras about middle-aged male chauvinists, and the illegality of lining their y-fronts with razor-wire. I kindly point out that after such crimes it is good practice to leave the scene of the crime in a getaway car; but with four feminists and a feminist computer on board, they’d be going off in five different directions simultaneously. And if they ever had to reverse the car… [You’re dead. Ermintrude] Not as long as I’m protected by Ratty. Ha ha. (But once he’s dead? EdZ) Hmmm. I hadn’t thought of that. [God, he’s pathetic! Ermintrude]
Beat it, Ermintrude! I did not amend that heading! [No. I did. Ermintrude] The computer starts to play, Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’. Cow! The computer; not her. Humbug! If I can drag you all back to Rat Wars? Thankyou. In my peregrinations through the jungle (The back garden. EdZ) I have come across a really rather large hole by the ventilation brick outside the kitchen; which just might be the means of entry and egress for our small, furry friend. As and when I get a gardener he can lay waste the place with napalm, but meantime I’ll get a plasterer to block up the hole when he’s repairing the hole in the ceiling which the unwanted guest chewed. I reckon by the time I’ve thrown in the cost of the chewed washing-machine pipes it will be on the large side of three hundred quid – about twelve bottles of Johnny Walker Black Label from Asda in real terms. Witty one from Valkerie; not. If I persist in having Ratty killed, won’t that be fratricide; ‘rat’ geddit? Cheeky cow! (Moo! EdZ) The plasterer, on seeing the problem, assures me the next rat will need Semtex to get inside, by the time he’s finished.
And I’m coming down with Flu’. Or Beri-Beri. Or consumption. (Or the Black Death, hopefully. EdZ) Bah! I’m ill! [No, merely sickening; it’s not quite the same thing. Ermintrude] I’ve got a weak chest. (Don’t you mean ‘head’? EdZ) And I can’t find any Lemsips! I’ll just have to try and make a hot toddy with only lemon juice, honey, whisky and hot water. Valkerie suggests some paracetamol. Isn’t that some kind of parrot? I tell her I hate feathers; and she threatens to give me a leather suppository. Eeeek! Bronco then phones to tell MOI to stop being such an utter baby, and recommends ‘Friar’s Balsam’? [That’s not actually what she said. Ermintrude] I then contrive to burn the eggs I was boiling. So I decide to have a steak butty, only to find Ratty has eaten over half of them. Boo Hoo! I stagger through to the sitting-room and turn on the television; only the controls won’t work! [Until he finds out he was pointing the mobile telephone at the box instead of the controls. Ermintrude] (Then he points the handset the wrong way. EdZ) [Homo not too Sapiens. Ermintrude] (Homo Fatheadicus. EdZ) I hate everybody.
John J McCabe. Copyright.