You are not logged in.


Welcome to the one and only Spiceislander Talkshop.

#1 Jan 20, 2018 11:20 am

New Historian

A Rat's Tale

We were three men sharing a flat, none of whom particularly liked cooking or cleaning, but somebody had to do it, every day. If you didn’t keep the kitchen clean in the heat of summer, the place would quickly become overrun with roaches and other vermin. Like the time we found the remains of a dead cockroach in the tin of condensed milk - at the bottom!

So every third day, like clockwork, it would be your turn to cook and wash up. On those days, you’d invite your girlfriend du jour over for the evening, “for dinner”. The menu never varied much: mincemeat or chicken, and if we were broke, bully beef. Shopping on Saturdays involved voting on almost single every item. Plain or crunchy? Appleton or Gold Label? Red Stripe or Heineken? Not helped by the incessant shortages of life’s basic commodities, like rice, cooking oil and detergent. It was like buying drugs: you had to beg Mr. Chin the shopkeeper, who’d squeeze out a few precious items and furtively slip them to you, in a brown paper bag.

One evening, me, Tom and Shacks were cooking and chatting away in the kitchen, recording a voice cassette that we planned to send to Gerry and Pat in London, when…


A monstrous grey rat darted out from under the sink, scampered between our legs and ran behind the fridge, scaring the shit out of us! We jumped into action, me and Tom keeping the beast at bay while Shacks ran for weapons. When we were in position, armed with frying pan, cutlass and tennis racket, we gingerly pulled out the fridge, to flush him out. Watch out! He charged at us, in a frenzied attack. Thwack-thwack-thwack! Hey, watch out with that cutlass!

You might think that three armed men against one itty-bitty rodent was unfair advantage, but we knew who held the upper hand - him! He got a few glancing blows, but just shrugged them off and doubled back under the sink. This was getting serious.

We could hear him scratching around under the sink, getting ready. But for what? We soon found out, as he launched another attack, bouncing off the walls with the three of us in hot pursuit, whacking at him while frantically dodging his Kamikaze counter-attacks. Get him! Watch out!!

Twice we had him cornered; twice he escaped. Both sides rested, breathing hard, gathering strength. This time he was lurking behind the stove, and it took a lot of careful shoving to flush him out – we didn’t want to rupture the gas line. Finally, he launched himself one last time, straight at us. No messing around, this was to the death. He actually screamed. Or was that me? Running out of hiding places, he escaped from the kitchen, ran down the hallway and into the bathroom.

Hah, got him! The bathroom didn’t have any closets or fridges to hide behind, just open space. As he cowered behind the toilet, we slammed the door and came in for the kill. The end was swift and brutal. With Shacks atop the bathtub and me flailing away from the floor, the rat finally succumbed to the accumulation of blows. He lay still, blood oozing from his mouth. All was quiet, save for pounding hearts and panting.

I picked him up by the tail and dropped him into the toilet. We saluted our brave foe - by pissing on him (sequentially, I might add). Which of course wasn’t a smart move, but fortunately he didn’t clog up the toilet. We returned to the kitchen and poured three stiff shots of rum to salute our hard-fought victory, and calm our “rattled” nerves.

Only to find that we hadn’t turned off the cassette recorder! We played back the tape, and heard twenty minutes of total mayhem, with the three of us screaming amidst the crashes, bangs and wallops. Finally, we heard the flush of the toilet, in the distance. We finished off the tape and sent it, unedited, to Gerry and Pat in London, who loved the soundtrack of world war three. Pity they don’t still have it; we used to tape over cassettes and re-send them, to save money.


#2 Jan 20, 2018 12:02 pm


Re: A Rat's Tale

New material... AT LAST!!!!

I have just waged war on a varmint who chose to cohabit for about a week without paying rent.

Little tell tail traces.... getting bigger as it found a decent food supply... I gave it large portions of Klerat, but still it raided the little bag of starter feed I was holding for an egg that I hoped was going to hatch.... By the time it had consumed the poison the table looked like it had been used by a messy gymnast splashing talc all over the place, and doing a tap dance.

I closed down doors, I left poison in the closed rooms, I patrolled with the rifle.... The little bugger even came and watched Netflix with me on an adjacent chair.

I left the bathroom door open by mistake, and the dog.... normally banned from the house.... but the wifes away... disappeared and returned from said bathroom.... at which point I though.... oh sheite, and looked at the rat bait, and I wasn't sure if had been consumed. So at 8pm it's off to the Vets.

Sally is given an emetic injection and dutifully brings back dinner, but apparently no poison. While processing the paperwork Sally looks up at me as if to say How clever of you to know I was going to be ill... I have not enlightened her... smile After walking her around to avoid great gobbets of vomit in the car we finally got home just before midnight.

A few days later the downstairs gets a bit.... you know.... so Victory I think to myself.

Later a buddy is with me and tracks down the carcass to the top of a spot lamp.... under the protective grill.... Great. So now I have to dismantle the spotlight to get it out.

On going up stairs said buddy says... hang on, I can still smell a dead rat, and slopes off in search of the body...  "Here it is", and yes there it was underneath the bed next to the wall. So 2 to Expat, nil to the Rats.... Only the one downstairs left a parting gift, it ate its way out of the kitchen via the mosquito mesh.


#3 Jan 20, 2018 7:47 pm


Re: A Rat's Tale

As usual, a great read, New Historian! Your sentences get me many times including this example which had me wincing once the last few, telling, words were read: "Like the time we found the remains of a dead cockroach in the tin of condensed milk - at the bottom!" If you don't mind, I noticed that you left out -- to readers' imaginations -- how much of that thick, custardy, sweet milk you enjoyed vis a vis your roommates. I venture that 1/3 was a fair share. Condensed milk is good . . . especially the top portions!

Expat had a nice introductory response that was great: "I have just waged war on a varmint who chose to cohabit for about a week without paying rent." The feeling I got from that sentence is that cohabiting is not that bad, just pay one's way. Rent helps!

Our life experiences can fill many pages. On reflection for all of us, humor lends so much to our ability to carry on even after scares and challenges of various sorts.

New Historian, keep writing!


#4 Jan 20, 2018 7:54 pm

New Historian

Re: A Rat's Tale

The garbage collection in Bim is so godawful, last year we had an infestation of rats, big fat f*ckers. One night I was alone in the house, and one of them casually walked thru the kitchen door, looked at me, then scooted down the corridor - into my bedroom! I slept in the spare room, half an eye open! Next morning I cautiously ventured into the bedroom, but thankfully Ben had bolted. That day I bought some of those huge rat traps, with the serrated edge. That night I put two out, and had staggering success: three dead rats, two in the same trap! Glad to say the infestation has subsided.


#5 Jan 21, 2018 1:26 pm


Re: A Rat's Tale

Hehe. Well not too
Three dead rats , eh ?


Board footer

Powered by FluxBB