Thursday, January 24, 2013

We've all had it happen (or will at some point).  You hear suspicious noises, check out the garage/attic/crawl space, etc.  Oh crap!  We have a squirrel!  I love squirrels.  Anyone who knows me knows that I love to watch them.  In fact, in college, I scared off a record number of hawks to protect "my squirrels."  Yes, I'm a nut.  But here's the thing - if you get into my house, all bets are off.  So how do you get rid of the squirrel.  Of course, I'm the sort who wants to give him a chance initially - trap him and let him go somewhere FAR, FAR AWAY from my house.  But some squirrels just don't want to play nice...hmm, then what?  Traps?  Poison?  A strange electrical device purchased off late night TV?  Not me!  I say if the bugger isn't smart enough to take a hint, it's garage door time!

I'm pulling into my parents' house when I notice a bar across the garage door window.  I open the other door and go to investigate...oh, it's just a piece off the screen door which my dad stores in the garage.  I grab it...crunch...what's that?  A piece of a terracotta pot.  Uh-oh, doesn't bode well.  I start investigating my mom's side of the garage...what are all those tiny black rubber pieces?  More broken crockery?  Checking out my mom's car (just seconds before putting my hand on the trunk) I realize that something has peed all over it.  Yup, no questions here - we have a rodent.  There's bits of eaten bulbs all over the place.  Part of the weather stripping inside the garage door is totally chewed off.  The garage door ain't looking that great, for that matter.  I get a broom, have the girls sit down, and start sweeping.  I'm making banging noises, too, in the hopes that I can scare the sucker out.  

I have to open my mom's garage door to sweep everything (biodegradable) out.  I then go to close the door...what the?  It bounces back up!  So I check the area to make sure nothing is in the way, then I press the button again.  This time it goes down, but it won't seat properly.  These garage doors rails are 25 years old, and the garage doors aren't exactly spring chickens.  Sometimes they get off track a bit.  I ask the next door neighbor to come over and hopefully help me re-seat the garage door so it doesn't have a crack at the bottom.  Bad enough I cleaned up for ONE squirrel.  "Hey guys - look!  Squirrel Ho-Jo!"

Did I mention my dad has spent hours, days...weeks...MONTHS trying to get squirrels out of his attic?  One particularly determined squirrel caused him a lot of grief.  At this point we are no longer trying to promote the squirrel population around his house.  It's important I mention this.  

So the next door neighbor and I start investigating and realize that there is something caught in the top of the door.  My dad has carpet padding that he has rolled up and stored over the top of the garage door.  This padding (which you keep because "you never know when it will be useful," especially if you were hoping to have a massive allergy attack by using dusty, mite-infested padding) is  wrapped in black plastic garbage bags.  One of the garbage bags is hanging down and caught in the door.  It has a small lump in it, but given the deteriorated condition of the carpet padding, it's entirely possible it's just foam.  So the neighbor says, "I'll get a stool.  You open and close the door, and I'll grab it and shove it through."  No sweat!  The girls are getting INCREDIBLY bored by now.  Let's get this show on the road so we can move on to our next activity!

So I open the door.  He gets on the stool.  I close the door.  He reaches for the lump.  "AAAUGH!  IT'S DEAD!  IT'S DEAD!  IT'S DEAD!!!!!" he screams.  I jump.  The girls stare at him in fascination, all thoughts of the box they've been playing with lost.  I hit the button to stop the door, and say, "Oh that..."  He looks at me in shock.  A piece of....grey...fuzzy...body part...drops to the floor...ICK!  Oh, seriously????  It must have gotten tangled in the garbage bag when it went up there to sleep.  

He looks at me and says, "So, good is your husband with dead squirrel?"  At that moment, liquid drips out of the bag.  I stare at him in shock.  "Did I kill it with the garage door?"  He peers warily at the item in question, then says, "I think so...critters usually lose their bowels right after..."  He beats a hasty retreat. you mean to tell me that after all those weeks and months of killing squirrels all it took was a GARAGE DOOR?!?  

Did you ever take one of those tests in high school to help you figure out which career would be a good fit for you?  One of my many suggestions was "bug and rodent extermination."  

FYI:  DH stood outside the garage and held the ziploc for it to drop into.  I stood inside the garage and had to cut the garbage bag, cursing that stupid squirrel at every instance.  It was kind of stuck in the middle.  It involved a lot of whacking the garage door button.  

And for the record, my husband says that it was probably dead shortly before I got to the house.  But I like to think it was justice...and there are squirrels out there very afraid of my parents' house...