Sunday, March 7, 2010

Mrs. Noah of the Ark should've asked for a divorce

If I don't count the house I grew up in, I have lived in 14 different dwellings in my adult life- In the last 20 years. I have stories. Boy, do I ever have stories.

My very first apartment was in an old brick house owned by slumlords. I somehow got super lucky in my find because it was a downstairs place and took up half of the lower floor of this old house. It had high ceilings, beautiful woodwork, new carpet, a huge kitchen, and an ornamental fireplace. But the entire year and half I lived there, I also had subletting critters who came over unannounced and uninvited!

I don't remember the order or appearance of these beasts but by the end of my lease I was sure I didn't want to be a pet owner or work in a zoo.

There were the ants. LOTS of ants. I had scrubbed and cleaned and cleaned and scrubbed and then one day I opened a cupboard and there were ANTS everywhere. They were the tiny little ones and they were inside of bags and boxes and cereal and a whole lot of food stuffs had to be tossed out, which sucked because I was a poor college student. What was even worse about this... and I can't believe I'm telling this because it's never been spoken aloud in the last 20 years is... I had eaten a chocolate covered Entenmann's donut out of the box in the middle of the night, without turning on any lights, and the box was in that cupboard. And the next morning the entire box was slathered in ants and I am 100% positive I... well... ingested... ants. Oh. My. God. To this very day I canNOT eat a chocolate Entenmann's donut. I can barely eat any chocolate donut. I just cannot do it. And as I type this I'm throwing up in the back of my mouth a little. Ewww.

One night I was laying on the couch watching the television, and I heard a weird scraping noise from INSIDE the fireplace. It was cemented over and an ornamental grille thingy was in front of it so to hear a scratching noise was a bit like "The Tell-Tale Heart" sort of shit and I hid. I didn't call for help or go check it out; I hid in my bedroom closet and fell asleep in there. I woke up the next morning, still alive and all. But days later a super nasty smell trickled into the apartment from the fireplace. Finally, the landlord came over and somehow got into the fireplace and found a dead bird and a nest full of dead baby birdies. And yes, they smelled gross even though they were so small!

There was the day I heard crashing in the basement. There were two ways into the basement- one was through my apartment and one was through an outside, old fashioned lift up cellar-door entrance. I looked out the window and saw the landlord's truck so I just assumed he was in the basement. A few days later, a smell drifted into the apartment, this time from the basement. When I opened the basement door, I about gagged up my dinner from the stench. There was something or someone dead in that basement. I had to see what the fuck was going on. My reasoning was, "it was dead already so no matter what it couldn't hurt me, so I should go see what it is." (Yes, I am the girl in the movie who decides to look around outside in the middle of the night wearing high heels, after finding the dead body of my friend. I can hear you all screaming that I deserved to die or not to open the door or don't go down there. In the movie, that is, not real life.) So, I take a baseball bat, turn on all the lights, call my mother on the phone and tell her what I'm doing and she's to call for help if I get hurt and I leave her on the line while I go into the scary, limestone, cobwebby, smelling, Norman Bates basement all alone. And there in the middle of the basement floor is what I think is a small dead man wearing a fur coat and I scream bloody murder and hyperventilate and drop the bat and run pell-mell up the stairs, slamming the door and down the block, screaming the whole way. To my mother. I think I hit her house before she realized I was no longer on the other end of the phone.

My mother was a reasonable woman and was convinced there was not a homeless, dead midget wearing a fur coat in July laying dead in my basement (the logic of an irrational hysterical woman who was me hears: we're a small town so we don't have homeless people and if they're homeless they couldn't afford fur, there's only 2 midgets living in town and they're both women, and why would anyone wear fur in July in the Midwest, let alone die in my basement where there are more convenient places to expire. What mother probably really said was something like, "CALM DOWN MAGGIE!!!!") and so she doesn't call the police, the FBI, the CIA and the fire department like I'm begging her to do. Instead she calls the landlord. And my ex-husband who wasn't my ex then.

So the now -ex- then -present, and the landlord and me all troop into the basement to see the largest dead opossum on earth. That was really BLOATED and laying dead in the middle of the basement floor. Did I mention he was probably the biggest opossum in the world and if he wasn't dead I bet he would've been in Guinness, or something? Hell, in the sort of dark when I was alone and trying to be all brave and Stephanie Plum like, it DID look like a dead midget wearing a fur coat. Though I don't know midgets with tails......

Oh no, the fun of this apartment isn't over yet. I had a bat. Yes, a BAT. Not a batman (because I sure wouldn't be swinging a broom if Batman Clooney, Batman Keaton or Batman Kilmer were in my apartment, but if it was the Adam West Batman, I would whack him with a broom... hmmmm) Yes, I had a bat. Around here we get fruit bats and in the summer time they circle belfries and will sometimes swoop in an open front door. So I was told.

I was soooooooo "lucky" to have a bat. Which led me to calling my dad in the middle of the night to come to my apartment and kill it. He shows up in his pajamas and a ball cap with a broom and tennis racket. I hid in the bathroom with the door locked. I might've been curled onto the shower floor, in the fetal position, rocking, but I don't remember. I do know, he killed the bat. Wicked back-swing on my Daddy-O.

Last but not least was the night I had a mouse. And I was pissed. I had a stupid black cat who was strictly indoors and that idiot cat managed to alert me to the mouse. And she managed to catch it- ONCE- by the tail, pinning it with her paw. And when the mouse moved, the cat simultaneously hissed and jumped and then ran, thus releasing said mouse. My ex husband- who was home and was just 'the husband' then, is STANDING ON A FUCKING CHAIR shrieking like a little girl. I had it. I had been overrun by the underbelly of Noah's damn ark and I was tired of it. I grabbed the broom left from the bat incident and ran around the house screaming at the mouse and *thwacking* my broom until I GOT it. I made the Asshole I Was Married To get off the chair and hand me a bucket and I flipped it over on the mouse because I didn't want to kill it and get mouse blood and guts on my carpet- the landlord wouldn't give me my deposit back if that stained. Then I used a magazine and scooped him into the trash can, went out the front door, across the street, behind the local library and set it free.

I moved two weeks later.

Dr. Doolittle I ain't,


Bragger said...

I hate to laugh at your misfortune, but this was HILARIOUS! I don't like critters either. One morning when I was living in an older farm-type house (with the SOB I was married to at the time), I went to make toast and the loaf of bread MOVED. I almost did too. Should have.

Curley said...

OMG! So funny. I to hate to laugh at you. As you know I lived in town and have had bats in the house I grew up in. They are the only thing I refuse to deal with on my own. Now living in the country we deal with mice all the time. I have no problem wacking them with a shoe and chucking them outside. And I never get blood on the carpet. They have very tiny brains.

Anna said...

Oh man as I'm sure it wasn't hilarious when you were going through it, I am CRACKING up now! I can tolerate all of those things but not ANTS bugs are NOT allowed in my house EVER!

Now I'm not sure if I will be able to eat a chocolate donut again either.

Jimmie Earl said...

Hilarious! You should have "Moving Monday," and blog about experiences at each of the places you lived. I am sure I could help you remember incidents from each place! Do you know that would take up almost a half year of Mondays?????

Shirl said...

Hello I'm still making my PS visits. Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a sweet comment. What a cute pink post you have this week. Love it.
Blessings, Shirl
Shirls Rose Cottage

Deborah said...

Just wanted to remind you that thrift shops are a great source of cheap books. My budget doesn't often stretch to B&N either and I often read in the tub so cheap is good for me. My brothers and brother-in-law were the same way with my books every time I moved. I suspect them whenever I miss a book.

Maggie said...

Bragger- the bread MOVED??? OMFG- I would've died right there myself. Or killed the bread with a broom. I've gotten good at hitting things with a broom.

Curley- you say they have tiny brains so matter of fact-ly, that i cracked up laughing!

Anna- sorry about the chocolate donut and ants. But I am glad I made you laugh!

JE- oh I might make it a Moving Monday story for sure! We can brainstorm!

Shirl- thanks for visiting.

Deborah- I love to this the thrift stores and Goodwill, as well as rummage sales for books! I'm ready for spring and summer so I can find the book sales! Thanks for visiting, joining and commenting. Come again soon!