Laughter (and a lot of soap) Is The Best Medicine

Sometimes, I’ll be going for a walk in my neighborhood or just straightening up my house when out of nowhere, my brain remembers some hilarious and/or horrifying thing that happened to me. And now that I have a blog (and I’m all about no mystery) I can share these stories because if you can’t share the horror, laughter, or embarrassment at your own expense, what’s the point?

A couple of years ago, I had to get my tonsils out. I’d had strep dozens of times as a kid and then as an adult, I just kept getting tonsillitis. After getting it six times in 15 months, my doctor said my tonsils needed come out. Since I was working for myself as a hairdresser, I scheduled the surgery 10 weeks out so I could schedule clients around the surgery and take a couple of weeks off to recover. During that 10 week period, Wil was asked to appear at a convention in Germany which he agreed to attend. He ended up leaving 3 days after my surgery and by then I was feeling alright so it was totally fine that he was away. My throat was swollen and it was hard to talk, but other than that, I felt pretty good.  I had a friend come hang out with me every evening to keep me company and help me out with walking the dogs and stuff but otherwise, I was on my own during the day.

It was springtime so it was warm and sunny outside. I had my back doors open for fresh air that also allowed for our dogs and cats to lounge out in the sunshine and come in and out of the house as they pleased. I was still in my pajamas and robe in the middle of the day, resting on the couch and reading a book.

The quiet in the backyard was interrupted by the sound of Watson  meowing in the distance, the volume of his voice getting louder as he neared the patio doors. I walked over to see why he was so talkative when I noticed he was announcing his arrival with a huge rat in his mouth. I scrambled to shut the doors so he couldn’t bring the rat inside, saying “NO NO NO NO NO NO!”  but the dogs had noticed the rat at the same time I did so they jumped to their feet to investigate. This made Watson take off through the house before I could shut the doors, running under the living room sofa and down the hallway with the rat still in his mouth, finally stopping in our guest room to lay his “gift” on the carpet.

Watson stood next to the rat, beaming with pride as the dogs watched from the doorway. The rat wasn’t injured at all. It stood up with most of its weight on its back feet, as if to make itself look taller somehow. I got Watson and the dogs away from it, then ran to the closet to get a broom and dustpan to scoop it up and take it outside. You know, because that’s a secure way to hold a live rat in place while you carry it through your house.

When I came back to the room, Seamus was walking back toward the rat, his ears up and his eyes huge with curiosity. I walked over to him as he was putting his nose right up in the rat’s face to smell it. I leaned over to grab his collar just as the rat hissed and bit Seamus in the lip. As if in slow motion, I heard Seamus let out a high pitched “Aaii!” (much like the sound of say, stepping on a chihuahua) as he whipped his head straight up. The rat was holding onto Seamus’ lip but was launched into the air, where it slapped me right in face before falling back to the floor.

The rat ( I’m sure completely traumatized by this entire experience) stood on the carpet again, hissing at all of us over what just happened.  Watson and Seamus looked at the rat and then at me but all I could do was just stand there, laughing so hard there were tears coming down my face (also because I couldn’t get all the laughter out of me on account of my swollen throat so it came out in the form of tears).

Somehow, I managed to scoop the rat into the dustpan, attempting to hold it in with the bristles of the broom while I continued to laugh/cry and walk through the house and out the front door. The rat kept peeking its head out of the broom, hissing at me, which only made me laugh harder. I walked it down our driveway and across the street, arms out as far as I could get them while still balancing the rat, broom and dustpan, and released it near a storm drain. (I’m pretty sure I saw it stop and flip me off as it disappeared into the darkness.) As I walked back toward my house, I looked up to see three different neighbors in their yards watching me. I decided it was best to not try to explain myself and just look down and walk quickly back inside.

Once inside, I ran to my bathroom and scrubbed my face with soap (no joke) FIVE TIMES trying to get that warm rat fur face slap feeling off of me, tears of laughter still streaming down my face. When I was done, I decided to call Wil because who cares that he’s all the way over in Germany, he needs to hear this story NOW. I got his voicemail and instead of just saying “Hey, call me when you get a chance” I started telling the story, laughing so hard that I was crying, all while trying to talk with a swollen throat. All he heard was “It’s me, oh god *cry cry* call me when you get this *gasp cry* I have to tell you something.”  Not the ideal message to leave your spouse who’s in another country and knows you’re alone, recovering from surgery and sounding barely coherent. Wil called back in a panic but the panic turned to concern as listened to me relive the story, laughing and crying my way through it. He kept asking me if I was ok  which of course, I was. I mean, who gets slapped in the face with a live rat that launches off your dogs’ face and gets injured? NOT ME, BABY.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go wash my face again.









22 thoughts on “Laughter (and a lot of soap) Is The Best Medicine

  1. Best. Rat. Story. Ever!!
    The worst rat-experience I’ve ever had was having my dog chase one through my house and have it dart between my feet! Funny but not ideal. Thanks for sharing!

  2. This is like slap stick comedy! I love that wanted to tell Wil right away. You guys are so sweet:)

  3. Oh Anne!!!!! I love that you have such a great sense of humor about things like this!!!

  4. I’m really sorry your life is so dull, Anne. 😉

    I am wondering about Seamus, though. Obviously he survived since he’s still with you but did you have to take him to the vet? I’m thinking a rat bite could be real trouble.

      1. And rodents have the cleanest mouths of nearly any species that bite us and our pets. Cats are the worst, then dogs, then lots of other carnivores, but rodents? Very little chance of getting anything from them, mouth bacteria-wise, and they don’t transmit rabies due to their small size meaning anything that bites them to give it to them kills them. They don’t live long enough to transmit it. (In fact, the only way we’ve been reliably able to study rabies in rodents and lagomorphs is in a lab.) They get a bad rap, but they shouldn’t. Heck, it wasn’t even them that caused bubonic plague, but the fleas on them.

        Occupational hazard that I get occasionally bitten by lots of critters. One doc visit for a dog bite about a decade ago, and one hospitalization for, yup, a cat bite (severe infection within six hours – yay, cat mouths!) a few years back, but when a rodent finally tagged me, I washed it and moved on. A rodent bite is not even worth mentioning 99% of the time. Clean little creatures, those. At least in the mouth department. Feet, fur, and fleas? Not so much. But mouths and such? Not a big concern. Wash and monitor, as always, but just not a biggie.

        Now, onto something else entirely: Anne, your stories crack me up, because they’re so “real life.” A bat got into my house one evening when we had the doors propped open and we had a similar experience, but we got it outside, too! (And boostered the kiddos rabies stuff just in case for that species. *grin*) Thanks for sharing and reminding me of that whole experience!

  5. I once had a possum crawl into our garbage can. I tipped the can on its side so the possum would leave. It didn’t, so I kicked the end of the can. No matter how many times I kicked the garbage can it refused to leave. I finally dumped all the garbage on the driveway and dumped out the possum with it. It just LOOKED at me. So I picked up a stick and chased the possum into the garden. Then used plastic shopping bags to put the garbage back in the can.

    At the end of all of which I realized my neighbors were watching from across the street as – from their POV – I kicked my garbage can, dumped all my trash on the driveway, shook a stick at it, and returned the garbage to the can.

    Is it necessary to mention that they never spoke to me again?

  6. “trying to get that warm rat fur face slap feeling off of me” best description ever. You’re much more brave than I would have been, though. I’d have lost my mind at that point, haha.

  7. Oh Anne, I love reading your blog, that made me laugh so much. Don’t ever change! xx

  8. absolutely fantastic! I am SO happy to know that I am not alone in falling into deeply absurd situations and being able to find the hilarity in it. you’re AWESOME!

  9. I love that you can laugh at yourself! It was Charlie Sheen who said, “If you can’t laugh at yourself, you are missing the best joke of the day!” (he would know, wouldn’t he?)

  10. I laughed until I cried just reading this! And I shuddered too when I got to the part about it hitting you in the face. What an exciting life you lead Anne! And now I think I need to go wash MY face! 😉

  11. That was just soooo cool. I’m laughing hard as my back will allow.
    I was giving my cats their biscuits and heard the lumber muscles wrench over a hip where the femoral head pelvic plate grind….
    Screaming ….. still funny ;).

  12. You are so much better than I! I would not have been laughing, lol. I would have been screaming! I have a phobia of mice and rats….*shudder* But your story is hilarious!

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