Weapon Escalation

on Thursday, June 25, 2009

It seemed like a peaceful day; slightly overcast and pleasant. I was just 11 years old and while my mother was doing gardening and sweeping out the drain at the back of our home, I was using my imagination to turn my entire backyard into a fantasy world where the grass became vast expanses of rainforest and the concrete porch abutting the drain became a large airstrip for my toy planes.

I was flying my model Douglas A4 Skyhawk over the hostile and mysterious jungles looking for ant hills and other insects to irritate when the quiet of the afternoon was suddenly interrupted by a yell from my mother. A foolish rat had decided to emerge from the drain and run along the concrete porch. My mom reacted quickly, grabbing a broom and using it to try to bean the animal on the head as it ran.

I was jumping with excitement as I witness the contest between my mom and the rat. Down came the broom here with a crash and there with a bang. The rat was clearly regretting his decision to come out and was squealing as he expertly dodged the blows raining down on him. One of my mom's blows with the broom had hit him but perhaps not with much force. He was able to carry on his crazy run even though he appeared at least a little stunned. It seemed like a long time but perhaps barely half a minute had passed when the rat managed to dive into safety into a little crack between the drain and the porch.

There were cracks and holes all along the juncture of the porch and the drainwhere the concrete there was crumbly with age. When the rat made it into that labyrinth under the concrete, I thought that the day's entertainment was over but my mother's blood was up. She used the broom handle and tried to poke it through the hole. What infuriated her was that she could not get at the rat but when she removed the broom, she could make out the rat's shiny beady eyes in the deep recesses of the hole looking at her.

She ran into the kitchen and came back out with some rags and an insecticide aerosol can. She used the rags to stuff some of the holes along the drain to prevent the rat from escaping and then she pumped the aerosol can contents into the first hole. Then we both waited, expecting the rat to emerge gassed.

Nothing happened. My mom then decided to smoke the rat out. She twisted some newspaper, lit it and inserted it into the hole. Now my highly intelligent readers will no doubt have anticipated the consequence of applying a flame to a dense cloud of inflammable aerosol.

There was an almighty explosion. BOOM! Sheets of flame shot out of all the holes and cracks and when the dust settled, parts of the concrete slabs was completely blown up into rubble exposing parts of the underground sanctuary. My mom's hair was slightly singed.

Both my mom and I was stunned by the explosion. I looked at her slightly soot-dusted face and we laughed away the tension of the moment. After she recovered her composure, she rooted through the rubble with the broom handle but found no evidence of the rat. No body or even gross body parts.

I'd like to think that the rat got out alive. Perhaps he was already on his way out one of the escape routes when he was catapulted out by the explosion. There he lay, slightly singed and dazed but alive! While my mom searched the debris, he would make his escape to his nest where he would tell his astonished and rapt rodent audience about his adventure and how he cheated death at the hands of this new weapon of terror.

34 comments:

the watercats said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAHHHAAAAA!!!!!! Love this story!! I could see it all! My brother and myself once aerosol flame throwered a ceiling full of midges after we went out and left the window open and light on.. that was pretty good fun!.. I'm so glad the rat seemingly escaped though, how smug would he be back in the nest.. all the ratties laughing over their dinner about the dumbness of hoomens... :-D (not that your mum is dumb!!)

Jelica said...

Wow, what a story! My mother once killed a rat by throwing a gigantic zucchini at it from the first floor of our apartment--I'm not making this up, honestly. You should have seen that precision.

Plus you have to admit that's a bit more environment friendly than all that aerosol :)

kat said...

blow the rat to kingdom come


come get mine

I don't know if I have one but today something scurried by outside in back

squirrels and chipmunks can eat my bird seeds but not #%@&

kat said...

my DVR list is up for you and it is on etcetcetc

very few surprises for you on it

cabcree said...

that's awesome! In our house, John is way more freaked out about this stuff than I am. And the dang cats just play with any mice they find. I feel sorry for the mice. They get trapped by two bored cats. Anywho...thanks for the laugh. --Rebecca

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Great story.

Nothing like a bazooka.
But the rat got away.

Owen said...

Excellent story LGS !

Makes me think right away of the wonderful Robert William Service poem called "The Three Bares" (which can be found on the web) in which a bucket of benzene is poured into an outhouse toilet hole to dispose of it, but then a certain Grandpa who likes to smoke his pipe while seated there daily, and to drop the match into the hole after lighting the pipe... well, I'll let you read it to find out what happens, the end is picturesque ! Very similar to this...

There are aerosol cans which can be used as flamethrowers for burning out wasps nests... might have worked here...

Bet that rat had nightmares for the rest of his days ! Sheesh ! Napalm for rats...

Lorac said...

Amazing you were both alright! I can imagine the looks on your faces. Great story!

Lorac said...

I am a little behind on the meme.I will get to it though and thanks!

Lorac said...

I almost forgot! There is a Premio Meme Award for you at my site. Please go and collect it!

Lorac said...

Almost forgot, to receive the award you will list 7 things about yourself and give the award to 7 more bloggers that you like!

Marja said...

Great story what an exciting upbringing with explosions and a rat
Me and my cousin had a simular experience with a rat coming out of a pipe. My uncle shot him. We were hiding inside by than.

SINCERITY said...

LOL! Wow! What an exciting afternoon that must have been! Too bad it was in the days before digital cameras and youtube.

Ratini the rodent escape artist!

meggie said...

Or course I laughed out loud!! After having many Rat encounters to relate of Gom's ratty affairs, I loved this story.

the walking man said...

There are a few other rats where the world would benefit from having an encounter with you mother.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Watercats,
I 'm glad the rat got away too. I don't think I would have enjoyed witnessing rat parts all over my backyard. :)

jelica,
Wow. Precision zucchini. Although I prefer my zucchini lightly fried or grilled without rat brains.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Kat,
Looking forward to seeing your DVR list but I recently changed my computer and loss the bookmark to etcetcetc. I also notice you have removed the link from your site. Help!

Rebecca,
Cats creep me out by the way they play with their prey. :)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Ivan,
Check Jelica's comment about a precision zucchini. Sound better than even the bazooka.

Owen,
Napalm is the very thing that comes to mind when those flames shot out. I have heard that toilet tale and some variations of it. All very funny.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

kat,
I found my way to your DVR list!

lorac,
Thanks. On my way to pick up the award. Thanks for considering me.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Marja,
Sounds a little messy.....after your uncle blasted the rat, I mean. :0

Sincerity,
Almost like a Tom and Jerry cartoon, isn't it?

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Meggie,
Yet another use of the aerosol.

Mark,
I am sure my mom was highly feared within rat circles.

Dr.John said...

That was a great story. Too bad she didn't get the rat. Didn't know bug spray would explode. I have to file that fact away.

geewits said...

That's great! What a crazy memory. No wonder you're so fun.

secret agent woman said...

Good grief! I"m glad you and your Mom weren't hurt!

Jo said...

Oh, that's too funny. Ya gotta feel sorry for the rat, though, poor little thing. Didn't your mother know that rats are rodents -- just like certain little squirrels?

Molly said...

Your mama sounds like a formidable woman!

kat said...

I see you found me anyway etcetcetc

I am so glad :-)

Mr. Charleston said...

Why is it women freak out over rats and snakes?

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Dr. John,
It's the sort of thing that MacGyver would use to get out of trouble.

geewits,
Ah, so I CAN blame my upbringing. :)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Secret agent woman,
Thank you for your concern. As you will note, almost everyone else is rooting for the rat!

Jo,
The problem is rats have had a bad PR agent. You know, they are better known as all-devouring rats from the movie Willard and for spreading Black Death. It's only recently that they tried to make them look cute in Ratatouie.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Molly,
Won't argue with that!

kat,
yes, i do have my methods!

Mr. Charleston,
Well, I think the women accuse men of being filthy rats and sneaky snakes which may explain why men are more comfortable with both! :)

Gina said...

OMGoogdness! I LOVED THIS POST!!!

I once wrote a short story about a mouse named Maude who lived with her husband and children in a Victorian home. I was imagining her husband the type who resisted moving his family indoors when life outside was so much more adventurous! Your wrap uip at the end there sounded so much like it! Thank you for sharing that LGS. It was sooo great.

Gina

Gina said...

OMGoogdness! I LOVED THIS POST!!!

I once wrote a short story about a mouse named Maude who lived with her husband and children in a Victorian home. I was imagining her husband the type who resisted moving his family indoors when life outside was so much more adventurous! Your wrap uip at the end there sounded so much like it! Thank you for sharing that LGS. It was sooo great.

Gina

Gina said...

OMGoogdness! I LOVED THIS POST!!!

I once wrote a short story about a mouse named Maude who lived with her husband and children in a Victorian home. I was imagining her husband the type who resisted moving his family indoors when life outside was so much more adventurous! Your wrap uip at the end there sounded so much like it! Thank you for sharing that LGS. It was sooo great.

Gina

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