FIRST, let me congratulate the persons who designed and built the coil spring on the Brand X Rat Trap. They did a d#%m good job.
I felt the need for a rat trap recently when I espied one of the critters pushing aside the bluejays and cardinals that had gathered around the pile of peanuts I had dumped on a low table in my patio landscaping. I have fed the birds for years, and, apparently, have also fed this particular rat.
I don’t want to exaggerate his size. He was somewhere between a Shaquille O’Neal basketball shoe and a Bad Boy Riding Mower.
B-I-G, big, very big, enormous. Take my word for it. I KNEW there was a reason that the neighborhood cats were avoiding my yard. It had to be Mr. Rat.
After watching Mr. Rat have his way at the bird buffet table, I went to a local store and bought myself one of the aforementioned rat traps.
I carefully read the directions and they seemed simple enough: You place some attractive bait in the proper place; then you huff and puff and you bend the spring-loaded wire over so that you can hook the tripper pole to the bait thingy and it holds the spring-loaded wire in place.
The object, of course, is for Mr. Rat to nudge the bait thingy thereby jostling and releasing the hook so that the spring-loaded wire whams into the unfortunate but unlikeable Mr. Rat.
I should have taken note of some small print: YOU SHOULD WEAR PROTECTIVE GLOVES WHEN ATTEMPTING TO CONNECT THE WIRE POLE TO THE BAIT THINGY, it said.
Hah, I harumped to myself, this is simple enough and I won’t have any problem.
I fixed up an irresistable mixture of peanut butter and bran flakes, and mashed it into place on the bait thingy.
Then, I huffed and puffed and pushed the spring-loaded wire over so that the tripper pole could be slipped into place.
Wham! Well, the spring-loaded wire managed to get away from me and it slammed down real, real hard where Mr. Rat’s head should be.
The problem was that it was my left thumb and forefinger that was where Mr. Rat’s head should be.
Yes, darling, it did hurt.
It made me promise myself to be more careful next time. I didn’t have any protective gloves but I tried to get the trap ready anyway. I bent the spring-loaded wire over and carefully hooked the tripper pole into its proper place on the bait thingy. Then I carefully released the whamming wire. The hook was supposed to keep it in place.
Wham! It whammed too fast for me to get my fingers out of the way, and they took a second blow.
I tried again and again. No luck. And my fingers were turning purpler after each try.
I took the rat trap to the office, figuring that the women there would have a better mechanical understanding of what to do in order to get the trap ready without losing any more fingers.
“Louie,” one of then snapped, “You’re bleeding all over the place.” And sure enough, I was.
One of them — I don’t want to mention her name because I don’t want her to get The Big Head just because she figured out how to make the rat trap work painlessly — managed get it all put together without wounding herself.
I took the trap home and put it in place in the landscaping smack dab in the middle of Mr. Rat’s route to the buffet.
It took less that five minutes for the trap to do its thing. Rats just cannot resist peanut butter and bran flakes all smushed together. on a bait thingy.
This time I found some work gloves and picked up the trap and the rat. The rat wasn’t squirming or anything like that, but I swear it was looking at me.
I disposed of it in someone’s yard. I won’t tell who, but they made me mad recently saying bad things about Mr. Trump.
THIS WEEK. The Perseid Meteor Shower. Supposed to be great!
NICE VISIT. Just had a nice visit with the twins — Sticks and Stones.
I KNOW I WROTE this thrice before, but out of 113 million-plus Americans, are Hillary and The Donald the best candidates we can come up with?
THINGS I LEARNED from opening email: People will believe anything if you whisper it.
To which I might add: Or put it on Facebook.
HE SAID: “Great ambition is the passion of a great character. Those endowed with it may perform very good or very bad acts. All depends on the principles which direct them.” Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France
SHE SAID: “Do the one thing you think you cannot do. Fail at it. Try again. Do better the second time. The only people who never tumble are those who never mount the high wire. This is your moment. Own it.” Oprah Winfrey, entertainer
SWEET DREAMS, Baby