Hola, amigos. I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya, but I been puttin' out fires left and right. First off, the brakes on my Festiva are going soft on me. It's not all the time, and the problem goes away after you pump them a few times, but it's got me all paranoid. I only drive the back roads to get to work, which takes me an extra 20 minutes, because I don't want to smash into some guy and have no way to get around.
Second, I was getting flak because I wasn't pitching in at work. That's full of shit, and I don't like it. I go in, put on my blue shirt, punch the clock, and make sure kids don't play the Xbox 360 too much. What else do they want? That place sucks. They're lucky I don't tell the boss to cram it in his ass and walk out of there with a flat-screen TV as my severance package.
On top of all that, the other night I was kicking back after a shitty day of work with a Domino's pizza and a case of Miller Genuine Draft to watch some videos. I made it through Independence Day and got halfway through Daredevil before I fell asleep. When I woke up, I decided to call it a night. I got up to turn off the light in the kitchen, but I didn't make it all the way.
There was this big-ass rat on my counter. And he was eating my pizza.
Now, Jim Anchower isn't a pussy. If I saw a rat outside, I'd be like "Hey, cool. It's a rat." Normally, I would have grabbed something and killed that rat dead. But you have to remember that it was three o'clock in the morning, and I wasn't thinking all that clearly. I ran out and slept in my car.
When I woke up, I decided that I should take a look at my brakes first thing and see if it was anything I could fix. I didn't see any leaks, so I added some brake fluid and decided to take it in next month. I was pretty grimy, but I didn't want to track anything into my house, so I went to the gas station on the corner to wash up.
I had a few hours to kill before work, but I didn't feel like going in my apartment, so I went in early. I grabbed a spare shirt and was pretty out of it the whole day. It's not easy sleeping in the front seat of a Festiva when it's 40 degrees out, even with the seat all the way back. Good thing someone brought in donuts, otherwise I would have fallen asleep on the floor.
At the end of my shift, my manager came up and asked me if I could stay late and help with inventory. I was almost like "Yeah, good luck with that," but then I remembered that they wanted me to be more of a team player, and there was a rat at my house. I wasn't scared, but it was a hassle that I didn't want to deal with just then. Plus, I could use the overtime.
So I wound up staying there until like midnight. I would have stayed for more overtime, but they were all wrapped up, and they locked everything down. Since it was still on the early side, I decided to check the scene at my old haunt, The Gamey Doe. I hadn't been there in a while, but I remembered that it was $4 pitcher night. I ran out without grabbing my wallet, but I had just enough in my change tray for a pitcher and a bag of peanuts.
When I pulled up, the lights were all out and the door was locked. For a second, I thought I was abducted by aliens and was suffering from lost time, but then I saw the sticker on the door. The Gamey Doe was temporarily closed for health-code violations. It had to be rats. I knew it. This was a full-on invasion.
Well, there was still five beers at my house, and I sure wasn't going to sleep in my car another night, so I decided that I should just go back and call it a night. I made sure to make a lot of noise unlocking my front door so I would give any rats time to scram. I'm not scared or anything. I figured that the less I knew about the rat, the less I would think about it. Then I opened the door a crack, felt around for the light switch, and turned it on. Nothing. That bulb had been burned out for a month now, but I never bothered to replace it.
I left the door open and went inside to the kitchen light switch, singing "Living Loving Maid" in order to let anything know that I was here. When I flipped the switch, I didn't see anything. I grabbed a beer and closed the door.
Two beers in, I started to feel hungry. It was too late to order a pizza, but I remembered that I left the pizza on the counter when I left. I looked at it and saw that a good chunk of it was eaten by the rat. Not a whole slice or anything, but enough. I thought about cutting away the part the rat ate and keeping the rest, but there was no way of knowing if he walked on it, so I had to throw the whole thing out.
The only thing to do was to go to bed. I went to the drawer where I kept my stash and saw that the rat had been there too. He chewed through my baggie and ate some of my choicest buds. I thought about throwing it out too, but since I was smoking it and not eating it, I figured that I didn't have anything to worry about. I packed a bowl and went to sleep. I ain't seen it since, but I know it's around somewhere.
Now I got to figure out what to do. That rat made me throw out about five bucks worth of good pizza and probably ate $20 worth of weed. I got to tell my landlord that there's rats in the apartment, but that's going to be more of a hassle than the rats, since I'm a month behind on the rent. I figure the best thing I can do is to wait until someone else in the building sees a rat and leave the calling to them. I hope they nail that fucker good. In the meantime, I'm going back to storing my weed in the freezer.
Jim Anchower joined The Onion's editorial writing staff in 1993 after several distinguished years on The Come Back Inn dishwashing staff. He comments on community-affairs, automotive, and employment issues. He attended LaFollette High School in Madison, WI.