Why I should keep rat poison around the house
If you're an attentive reader or if you've subjected yourself to a visit to my house, you'll know that I have a brain-damaged housemate, Toula. She's in fine form this weekend.
First, I have a nice young lady over on Saturday, and she's brought a little alcoholic beverage for us to drink. We're sitting in the living room, and Toula shows up to hang around for some awkward conversation.
"Watching TV?" she asks, as we are obviously doing so.
"Have you seen this before?"
"No. She brought it over on tape to show me."
"Is it a good show?"
"Yes. That's why we're watching it."
"Just what Pete needs," Toula chortles. "More TV to watch!"
I stare balefully at her, attempting to murder her with a psychic attack of raw, naked hatred.
Then she blurts a demand: "Well, aren't you going to offer me a drink?!"
"Would you like a drink, Toula," I sigh, even though it's not really mine to offer.
"Well, I think I deserve one!" she exclaims. I'm not sure why she deserves one. Maybe as reward for showing my guest such a good time, or maybe because she's providing me a very good reason to move things away from her into the bedroom, or maybe because she just needs one to cope with being so pathologically dim. But I get her a drink, wishing that I had some rat poison to stir into it.
And as it happens, I have a real, justifiable need for rat poison later in the weekend. Today, she has her boyfriend over. (He also has something wrong with him. I'm not sure what it is. I think they met in some kind of group for people with brain problems, although I think he may just have mental problems rather than damage.) I make a point of not interrupting them, less because I don't want to spoil their good time by talking to them and more because I don't want to spoil my own good time.
However, I eventually hear him call me from the kitchen, "Pete? I think you have a mouse."
Why tell me and not Toula, who also lives in the house, and who as the landlord's daughter should be the one hearing about this? Because they want me to be the one to deal with it. I'm not biting.
"Oh yeah?" I answer, not taking my eyes off the TV.
"Yeah, I just saw it in the kitchen."
"Yeah, that's where mice like to be, all right."
"Do you have any traps?"
"You know, I think we probably do. I think Toula might know where they are."
Eventually, they decide to take things into their own hands. Snap! "Eek!" I hear from the kitchen. And again, Snap! "Ouch!" Once more, Snap! "Agh!" And finally: "Hey, Pete, where do you put the peanut butter on this? On or under this plastic thing?"
I walk out into the kitchen to see that they're setting the trap and then attempting to bait it by buttering some peanut butter onto the trigger with a knife, which of course sets off the trap each time and scares them witless. (Or more witless, I should say.) I resist the urge to suggest that they might have more luck if they used the light touch of their fingers to apply the peanut butter to the loaded trap, and instead point out that they might want to bait it then set it. "Oh!" Toula says, real wonder in her voice. "That's really smart!"
But it's not really smart. It's just not completely fucking idiotic.