Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! My last blog was a special Halloween story that, in my opinion, was a perfect way to end the day. It is difficult for me to tell a story with a Thanksgiving theme I am sad to say. It could be that I am not creative enough to connect Thanksgiving with wildlife control or maybe I am just too lazy to think that much into it. At any rate I do, in fact, have a shorter than normal but very serious story about sleep deprivation, psychosis, violent desperation and a touch of rodent empathy. Before I start the story I need to make it clear to everyone that reads my blogs that I never use customer’s real names or addresses. Sometimes, I also use bad language or words that some deem inappropriate. A good example is in the last blog I wrote. I believe I mentioned a “disembowelment orgy” which I mean..come on.. who would be offended by that?! That “offensive description” paints a vivid image of the scene in the story! Also you may catch a few of the more classic curse words from time to time. We are all adults.. please find your safe place and move on with your lives! No more PMs about my potty mouth ha! That’s what’s great about blogs. They are meant to be whatever the blogger wants them to be. I want to tell an entertaining story without worrying about being too bleached and professional. I also, accurately paraphrase what the customer actually said. I never change the actual words in my stories. In this particular story I will be addressing the customer as Mr. Bill because he reminded me of Bill Murray and his golf course gopher troubles in the classic comedy Caddy Shack. I spoke to Mr. Bill on the phone and he told me that he was having an animal issue in his attic again. He told me he had rats, grey squirrels and flying squirrels at different times in the past and he was, according to him, “At my breaking point with these damn varmints”. I didn’t know what he had in his attic at this point so I agreed to come inspect for him and identify his pest and get rid of them. He was very short on the phone and for some reason sounded like he was out of breath from some physical activity. I’d find out soon enough!
I arrived at Mr. Bill’s house in the late afternoon. It was a normal home in a normal suburban neighborhood with lots of trees and shade which is a typical habitat for rodents. He had a one story home with a steep high roof. This meant his attic would be very spacious and easy to move in. I walked up to his door to knock like I always do, my hands folded in front of me like a door to door bible salesman and a goofy grin. I knocked on the door expecting him to open it and say,”Hi I’m blah blah” and then I say ,“Hello I’m Jim blah blah” and then we shake hands and he asks me nicely to come in. Nope.. none of that happened actually. I went to knock on the door but it flew open as my knuckles made contact with it. A rough looking middle age gentleman with camo pants and a wife beater T-shirt was standing there. He had the eyes of a broken man, a man who had not slept in days because of his rodent torment. He was desperate to stop the constant scurrying and thumping over his head all night. He had a shotgun in one hand and with his other hand he grabbed my arm and pulled me inside and said, “Get your ass in here..i got’em on the run!”. He said, “you Jeff?”. I replied, “no, actually I am Jim”. He looked at me and said, “Well Tim, I don’t know what the hell you plan on doing but you need to see this shit first”. Not wanting to upset the man I agreed and smiled. I said, “I’ll follow you”. He took me to the hallway and said in a soft whispering voice, “That’s the attic ladder, don’t talk because they will hear you and watch out because the ladder is broken in the middle”. Since I am such a great listener I proclaimed loudly, “haha I will watch out for the broken step for sure!”. He looked at me and said, “Goddamn it Tim….Shhhhhh. They will hide on us.” So, I smiled and nodded and I followed him into the attic unsure of what was to become of me.
We proceeded into the attic where we were both standing side by side looking at a dark and spacious attic with tons of insulation on the floor. He had it replaced twice in the past and had the insulation company put extra in the second time. There was nowhere to walk because the wood was completely covered under 3 feet of fluffy white stuff. Mr. Bill had a pistol grip shotgun and a flash light. He told me he knew how to “draw them out of hiding”. I was about to ask him how until he started making a series of clicking whistling and slurping sounds with his mouth. I wanted to laugh but he was holding the shotgun. In my mind I was debating on whether or not I should say something constructive or just laugh. Come to find out my decision was an easy one. I abruptly sneezed from all the dust in the insulation. When I sneezed, a flying squirrel jumped out about ten feet in front of us. He was sitting on a rafter with his huge eyes just staring. At that very moment I realized the truth. The squirrel was the victim here. He gave me a blank stare like Mr. Bill did except this one was of a truly broken squirrel. For days he had been dodging shotgun fire and listening to Mr. Bill click, squeak and slurp. He had to endure the sound of Mr. Bill hitting the ceiling all night with his broom stick. The flying squirrel was just trying to survive! He probably had a family up there too. Little Ricky, Pedro, Beavis, and Willy. Mr. Bill wasn’t desperate.. he was dead set on satisfying his blood lust and vengeance! As my epiphany slowly faded away, I looked at Mr. Bill, then he raised his shotgun and pulled the trigger. Luckily I covered my ears in time. A shotgun blast rang through the house and attic. The squirrel had somehow cheated death and scurried away. The attic ceiling was peppered with bird shot and Mr. Bill didn’t look happy. I quickly formulated a plan that would keep the customer happy while eliminating the shotgun variable from the equation. I said,”Mr. Bill, I have a way to get rid of these suckers much faster than a shotgun”. He looked excited and said, “Really?!” I said, “Oh yes sir!”….. There was a strange awkward silence after that. I didn’t give him an explanation I simply said, “I will bring you a quote!”. I knew what needed to be done to impress Mr. Bill. I was a hitman for hire after all. I would have to use KGB style techniques. Cyanide pills, piano wire strangulation etc....but since I didn’t have any of that on hand I used standard rat traps….. It took me a week of going up there and checking traps to make sure I caught them all. I found a ton of lead bird shot in his attic ceiling. He had been doing this for a long time apparently. He told me he was able to get some sleep finally because there was no more noise! I told him I was a “Skilled Assassin”. He said, “You are the noisiest damn assassin I have ever heard”. He had a point so I didn’t argue with him!