Patsy Porco


In Humor on August 4, 2009 at 9:37 pm
Happy Fall, Willing Subscribers!
Call me crazy— Not all at once, for the Love of God! You’ll wake the dead.
Anyway, call me crazy, but I think my family is being sent the seven plagues of the Egyptians, all in the form of wildlife.
First it was a bat…twice. Nothing is creepier than seeing a hysterical bat swooping all over your downstairs. And then, after we caught it and humanely returned it to the outdoors, it returned. Luke caught the second one in a sheet. Watching Luke race around the house while flailing a sheet at a bat was almost worth the trauma caused by, and to, the bat.
Then it was a mouse, or a rat. When Frank saw it several days ago in the laundry room, he said it was a mouse. When it ran by my foot yesterday morning, it looked like it was a foot long. Chuck at the hardware store said if it was a foot long, then it was a rat. When I related this to Frank, he said that I saw the mouse streaking by and it looked longer than it was. Who to believe? Since Luke and I were the trap-setters, I chose to use a rat trap. I figured if it was mouse, a rat trap could catch it, but if it was a rat, a mouse trap would be too small. So, we smeared peanut butter on the trap, set it and waited, to no avail. 
This morning, a squirrel broke into Luke’s bedroom. Apparently, chasing a frightened baby squirrel around the upstairs, while shrieking at it, is not the way to catch a squirrel. He’s still in Frank’s and my bedroom. I just saw him minutes ago through the louvered doors, scampering across the hooks on the door. I was just in that room for two hours, vacuuming, putting away laundry and cleaning out my closet, all the while waiting for the squirrel to make his appearance. He never made a sound. But he was there, all the time. Every time Luke and I saw him run across the room, he literally disappeared. This is the trickiest squirrel I’ve ever encountered in my bedroom.
Before we had discovered which bedroom the squirrel was in, my friend NAT (she says she’s too shy to be named in my newsletter) suggested setting up our dog’s crate in the hallway and putting peanuts in it. So, for several hours, while I was vacuuming, I was also tripping over a giant crate. The squirrel had no intention of venturing out of his hiding place just for a few peanuts and, to his mind, certain death.
NAT also suggested that once we narrowed down which room the squirrel was in, we should open the window, turn out the lights and shut the door, so the squirrel would find his way out. The article NAT had read on the Internet stated that a squirrel would be drawn by the light from outside to the window. So far, the squirrel hasn’t figured out that that’s how he’s supposed to act, but maybe that’s because it’s currently daytime and not any brighter outside than it is inside. I hope other animals don’t find the open window before the squirrel does. We could have a menagerie sleeping with us tonight. (Yikes, I hear it scampering on the hooks again. I’ll be right back.)
So, Luke and I just spent 15 minutes chasing the squirrel from one end of the radiator (his hiding place) to the other and back. When I pulled the front of the radiator off, he ran under my dresser, where he still is. We stood quietly, armed with a towel and a sheet to throw over him when he came out, but the plan failed when he failed to come out, or be scared out. The latest plan involves leaving walnuts around the base of the dresser. So far, the squirrel hasn’t fallen for this ploy.
Frank (who is at work) said that he’s not sleeping in our room until the squirrel is out of there. Luckily, the exterminator is coming tomorrow for the mouse/rat and the moths (oh yeah, we’ve been infested with little moths since March).
On to another topic: my friend, KDiM, said that my newsletters aren’t very newsworthy and she suspects that I use the term “newsletter” rather loosely. So, in the interest of verisimilitude, here’s my latest news:
It is very dangerous to put one’s fingers into the bottom of the vacuum cleaner when it is still on. The roller is very painful when it slams into your fingers. So, if you have a clog in the bottom of your vacuum cleaner, turn it off first before inserting your fingers. I learned this firsthand this afternoon.
I was going to suggest hosting a ladies’ night at my house, but I fear that the wildlife invasion might be off-putting to some of you. Therefore, I will bring the subject up again, once my house has been cleansed of the riffraff.
I think I saw a deer prance by my office door. Until next time….
If you want to Unsubscribe, you’re nuts (in honor of the squirrel).
  1. Your advice for cleaning out a vacuum cleaner is also useful for lawnmowers — my neighbor (who we’ve nicknamed One-Armed Jim) taught me that one.

    Maybe you should try smearing peanut butter on the roller bar of your vacuum cleaner. “Hi, Billy Mays here for the Squirrel Sweeper…”

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