There are many words that the husband can say to me to make my heart melt, but the nicest ones this week were the ones he said to me as he was going to work on Tuesday morning...
'Before I forget, the Ratman will be here at 3.00 today. Will you be here?'
Would I be in? Silly question really. If the Ratman, or Andrew as I would rather call him (because that is his name) was planning on coming to the house, then I most certainly would be in. Anything to stop those critters in my loft stomping up and down all through the night.
I must confess, I don't like the idea of killing mice. After all, I live in the country and its really an occupational hazard to have them visit over the winter months. A few years ago, I used to set humane traps laced with chocolate spread, catching as many as four at a time. I'd put the trap in my car, and drive a good ten miles before releasing them at the site of a derelict farmhouse. This happened several times, and I imagined that the newly released mice would be greeted by the old timers with 'Chocolate spread?' As the newbies nodded, the old timers would nod sagely muttering about the strange habits of the human race. As it was, many of my friends thought the same about me, so I eventually relented and called Andrew in.
So Andrew turned up with all his equipment, and headed into the loft. I have to say, he was marginally quieter than what we've been putting up with for the last week, and for a second I wondered whether whatever was up there had got him. But no, he eventually tipped up in the kitchen where a cup of tea was waiting for him. He'd covered all bases up there, with mouse and rat traps being set all over the loft with a smattering of poison just in case the traps were avoided by the more wily of the invaders. He said that there would probably be a lot of noisy activity first, then a few loud bangs after which it should quieten down.
Now there are many things I could write following this sentence, but I fear that it might be a bit close to the knuckle for the more gentle souls amongst you. Needless to say, he was talking about the scuttlings, so I am hopeful that by the weekend, the only noises I hear at night are the owls, foxes and the husband's gentle snoring.
Every time I see Andrew, it reminds me of a home many years ago, when as a single lady, I had to call Pest Control to deal with some rats. I picked a random number from the Yellow Pages the end result being two brothers turning up with bags of poison and several Little Nippers (I thought the rat may have warranted something larger than a Little Nipper, but who was I to say).
Making polite conversation over a cup of tea, I asked them how long they'd been doing this. Turned out it was only three years. Now these two were in their late twenties, and I was interested as to how they became pest controllers. So I asked....
'What did you do before this then?' thinking that there must be a natural progression to the giddy heights of pests.
'We were both Bingo callers', said the younger brother. 'Two fat ladies and all that'.
Well, you didn't need to make it personal.......