My wife startled me awake; it was late, around midnight.  “What was that?”  “There’s something in your closet.”  As I groggily began to waken I heard a sound emanating from the bedroom closet, it was too loud to just roll over and take care of it in the morning, it sounded like a Los Angeles Lakers’ victory celebration without the pyro-technics.  This needed immediate attention and struggling to find my glasses in the pitch-black night, I hopped out of bed staggering toward the mirrored closet door as blood rushed up to my brain.  Flipping on the light switch, the banging sounds got louder.  I felt something nudge me from behind and was surprised to find Jo Ellen right behind me like I was some kind of human shield.  I slowly slid the closet door open…

YEEK!  Did I say that or was it Jo Ellen?  I cannot remember but an 8-inch rat was clinging to my navy blazer at eye level about a foot from my face, so close it could’ve poked me in the eye with its tail.  Now what?  I quickly tried to ascertain my situation but found myself empty-handed, barefoot, wearing only baggy boxer shorts.  I did what any brave husband would do in this situation… I slammed the sliding door shut. 

I was not prepared for this battle so as my wife quickly evacuated the room, I retreated too, shutting the door behind me so I could compose my thoughts and determine a plan of action.  It took a few minutes but I went downstairs and collected latex gloves, a flashlight, an Albertsons grocery bag and a broom.  Adrenalin was kicking in as I began to get dressed but in the rush to wear something a little more protective than my underwear, I caught my latex glove in the zipper as I whipped up my pants. 

Balancing a flashlight and broom in one hand while trying to untangle my gloved finger made this choreography a little clumsy.  Finally dressed and battle ready I approached the fearful closet door and slid it open.  Looking up to a top shelf where wires within a plastic sleeve in the attic go through the ceiling to TV components I found another rat sliding down the wires like it was some kind of rodent fire pole and this was a 3-alarm fire.  

I was outnumbered and did not have WMD’s for this situation.  Is this when I burn down my own house?  Collecting my wits I retrieved several snap traps from the garage, baiting them with a delicacy, Jif creamy peanut butter.  Heading back to the scene I could hear scattering sounds and caught several intruders in my flashlight beam as they ran along the far side baseboards.  YIKES, I set the 2 traps and left with the door sealed shut.

Joining my wife downstairs in the guest room, now referred to as the Panic Room, I slid into bed next to her.  This battle had just begun and I was going to need reinforcements.  This Halloween story will continue next week.

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