Monday, March 18, 2013

Dale versus Rat

Cleanliness is next to godliness or so the saying goes.  If there is any truth to that, I've fallen quite a ways from the heights I was perched on back in the good ole US.  The sand is untamable.  I just can't keep it out.  The dust is literally in the air so it is a question of sand or locking myself into a hot box.  Breeze is life.  There are bugs too.  You get used to them.  You've got to clean up any trace of food or you'll be dealing with flies and cockroaches within the hour.  And obviously keeping yourself clean is a must.  I've been dreaming up a whole post describing shit I didn't expect in regards to simple skin care.  Sand, sweat, and swarms of insects.  These things can be dealt with and adapted to.

But rats?  No.

Just going to my kitchen to grab a late night handful of peanuts (basically my only snackable food) and I turned the lights on.  There is a scurry.  That's not odd; bugs scurry when you cut on the lights.  You learn to light the latrine up for a few seconds before entering.  Took me a couple seconds before it trickled in that cockroaches don't knock over glass bottles.

I look behind my little fridge and think I'm dealing with a snake.  But no, that's just a tail curving around to the far side.  I sneak to get a better look in the dark and honestly thought it must be some sort of possum-like creature.  I open the backdoor and prepare to throw things and scare it out.  A moment of clarity reminds me this is Africa and I don't actually know what I'm dealing with.  I grab a large heavy stick that is normally used to mash millet into mush (well by people who have time for such things; I've just sorta used it as a large mortal and pedestal for garlic).

The first few things I threw didn't seem to disturb him and just bounced off.  So I snuck up behind and smashed his tail with my stick.  Instead of running away toward freedom, the bastard came right at me.  It was a rat.  Eight to ten inches long not including it's equally long tail.  And I smashed him in the head and sent him sprawling.  Ha, didn't even see it coming.  Yea, man using tools; suck it other species.

I thought he might be dead as he was all unmoving and such.  And what do we do with dead things?  We poke them.  He was not dead, but still nicely dazed and just rolled around.  I thought about ending it for him there, but then I'd have to figure out what to do with a dead rat.  Beyond the poking.  So I just kept smacking him along the floor till he was out the door.  Close and lock.

Think I might get a dog.