High and low, their pellet like droppings cover my garage, there wasn’t a shelf or square inch they’d missed. When I waddled downstairs on Saturday morning, bleary eyed, I was greeted by fresh rat droppings underfoot. Not my preferred way to wake up, I prefer Enya playing softly while a pot of tea is brought to my bedside. Thanks to rats attempting to take over my home whilst I slept in a gin-included slumber, I was now wide-awake. Rats are not capable of subtlety. Their musty droppings covered my garage floor, they were everywhere, yet, they were so evenly sprinkled, like Jamie Oliver tossing mint over a salad. My name is Mel, and I have a rat problem.
This is what true adulthood is, it’s not being able to vote, or drink or have control of the TV remote, it’s dealing with rodents. My skill set in life is very limited, I can write things, I can tell you if there’s coriander in something and I know the words to most John Farnham songs. Yes, if there was nuclear war I’d be eaten on day one in the bunker. What are you meant to do to deter rats from your garage? It’s a pretty unwelcome site as it is, boxes of memories from high school are piled high on top of each other, no one wants those, especially not my mum who’s run a strong campaign over the past ten years to get them out of her spare room cupboard. The only other stuff in the garage is things to do with the car, roof racks, bottles of dashboard cleaner and rat chewed manuals on how to attach the roof racks.
So I headed to the central help hub for inner city types with domestic problems, Bunnings. I waited until a man in his 50’s asked if I needed any help, he didn’t even work there, he could see the blank stare in my face as I stood in front of the vast selection of rat and mouse ‘solutions’. The main solution is to murder them, just in case you thought Bunnings sold any mini UN models for mediation with the rats. However the choices on how you can solve your rat problem seem to be based around how squeamish you are. Len, began to talk me through the options, ‘if you don’t want to touch ‘em, get bait, or if you prefer, get a trap, but you’ll have to dispose of the little bastards’. Where was this subject in university? There’s bait, live traps, and ‘neck snappers’ as Len called them. To be fair, I did do ethics and philosophy, so this is like a practical exam in that. I had to weigh up how much of a monster am I? Turns out, I’m a bait and trap combination style rat killer. ‘Yeah hit him hard, they should get the message’ said Len as he made his way over to the paint aisle. He seemed impressed by my two pronged rat disposal system.
I set up my bait and traps in locations around the garage that cartoons showed me rats like. I expected to wake up to bulk rat bodies, strewn across my garage, and others huddled in the corner waving a white flag, packing up their home and moving on. That’s not quite what happened, they ate some of the bait, but not all of it, they spread it, mixed with their now green droppings all over the outside stairs. The traps had no peanut butter left but weren’t set off. I’m no scientist but I think they’ve evolved to know exactly how much bait they can eat without dying, like me and pork belly, I know my limits. Len, if you’re reading this, let’s meet up at Bunnings this Saturday, I can’t do this without you.
As originally published in The Courier Mail
Brisbane Comedy Festival 2016
Mel Buttle: Quite Unsavoury
Tuesday 1st March- Sunday 6th March 2016
Tickets on sale December 1st