an urban legend, in 3 parts.

PART ONE: Denial.

Two newlyweds, blinded by love, have moved to the Big City of Seattle, and are looking for their first place to rent as Real Live Grownups.

Wife: La de da! Look at this cute house! Isn’t it cute? And charming? And cute?

Husband: It’s close to the bus line. In our budget. Has space for my tools. It’ll work.

Wife: Um, is that rat poison in the cupboard? Have you had an, um, rodent problem?

Shifty Landlord: Yeah, we had a small problem with mice months ago but it’s fixed now. I just haven’t thrown the box out yet (belch. scratch). The house has been vacant for six months so it’s all clear. No problems.

Wife: La de da! Rainbows! Unicorns! Sparkly things!

Husband: If you say so, love…

PART TWO: Reality.

In this scene, we find the newlyweds on Night One of their New Life, surrounded by unpacked boxes and blissful ignorance.

Husband: Did you hear that?

Wife: What, the sound of hope and promise? Isn’t it beautiful?

Husband: No, the sound of a rodent. Or rodents, plural. It sounds like a Rodent Party in the attic!

Wife: Oh my. I don’t think we were invited.

Later that day….

Shifty Landlord: Huh. I’m shocked to hear there’s a problem. I barely believe you, but I’ll send someone out when I get around to it. Right after I get done counting all my money.

Wife: Um, thanks?


In this sub-scene, we find the newlyweds on the morning of Day Two of their New Life, surrounded by unpacked boxes and sneaking suspicions.

Husband: Hey, love? When you get a minute, no rush, you may want to come in here.

Wife: (struggling to stand while her wobbly knees start to buckle under her) Honey? Um, please tell me you want me to come see a rainbow. Or a unicorn. Or something sparkly.


Wife: (from her fetal position on the ground) WHAT?!?! WHAT?!?? OH MY GOD WHAT??!

Sewer Rat: Hey, fella. I’ve got myself in much more of a mess than you do. Now can you get me out of here? I can’t get my grip on the sides of this slippery porcelain and I can’t hold on for much loooooonnnnnggggerr……

(Sound of scraping claws on wet porcelain and then – PLOP! – water splashing).

Wife: (through fits of hysteria and heavy crying) What should we do? What should we do? What should we do? This is not my beautiful life! This is not my beautiful home!

Husband: (slams down lid) Get the cats! Pack a bag! We’re out of here!

PART 3: Moral of Story.

When you find yourself in new situations, keep your eyes open. And the lights on. And the lid down.

In conclusion, I have added “make therapy appointment” to my To-Do list after reliving this traumatic, you-can’t-make-this-crap-up memory.

Do you (normally) leave the lid up or down? I’d love to hear from you!

10 thoughts on “an urban legend, in 3 parts.

  1. Down! Mainly to discourage both the little one and the dog from “exploring.” But also because I’m secretly afraid of sewer rats, snakes and other un-namebles sneaking into our house undetected. And the next tjme my husbands expresses his doubts that this could EVER happen, I’m showing him this post.

  2. OMG! I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry– holy cow! What a great story! And I always keep the lid down, before the flush too so no yuckies splash in the air and land in my mouth, nostrils, or eyes. Yes, that totally happens. At least, that is what I am telling Emma Mae!

    • I knew I liked Boyfriend! Rats are a HUGE problemo in this area – especially north Seattle (Ballard) where we were renting that house. There’s an entire staff on the city’s payroll devoted to JUST rat patrol! I’d rather have my eyeballs poked out with a blunt pencil than work that job.

  3. I was just talking about the horror stories we have with our older home, but I have to say – not even finding a broken tombstone buried in our yard (or the other myriad of things we’ve found) compares to live, unwanted creatures in your home. You win. (probably not a game you wanted to win at, did ya?) lol

    • Ha! You’ve got that right. Gotta love old homes, though. For all of their charm and stories. The house we just sold in Seattle was built in 1923. When we bought it 12 years ago and were remodeling (the entire thing) we found a love letter that had been buried behind the bathroom wall. We bought the house from a gay couple and they were moving to San Francisco to get treatment for one of them who had AIDS. They told their whole story in the letter. It was really beautiful, and really sad, too.

  4. Pingback: stage fright, you’re not the boss of me. | just begin from here.

Don't leave a reply tomorrow when you could leave a reply today!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s