Monday, August 30, 2010

The Blecch Factor

Had a really ugly incident the other day.

I started to notice a fairly nasty odour in the car. Initially I put it down to kiddie flatulence - as you do.

As the day wore on, though, I began to notice the entire garage smelled... kinda nasty. Like carrion, in fact. I figured that probably a rat had taken some of the bait I'd laid, and had died somewhere inconvenient. Ugly.

Unfortunately, when I drove down to collect the boys from the bus stop, I turned on the heater. And that was when I realised the appalling stink had nothing whatsoever to do with the garage, and everything to do with whatever had died under the bonnet of the car.

I turned off the heater. I came home, and turfed the kids. Then I opened the bonnet, and began he search.


And yet... the stink got more penetrating, more nauseating. Clearly, I was missing something.

Our weekly cleaner came out to the garage on her way home. She wanted to know what I was doing. I explained. She agreed the smell was vile, and joined in the search.

It was she who discovered the first clue: blood spatters around the battery. Hmm! Mystery!

She also noticed the second clue: a green rat-turd sitting under the battery-holder. So! The theory about a rat taking a bait was looking better. But... where was ratty?

Ah. I found him. As close as possible to the windscreen, wedged between the engine block and the firewall -- one big mother of a dead-ass rat. Seriously big. Size of my two fists, I think.

Stupidly, I reached over and pulled on the dangling tail. It promptly degloved, leaving me with a hideous, stinking strip of ratskin in my fingers. I gagged, threw the rat skin away, washed my hand, and found a gardening glove. Meanwhile, the cleaner laughed at me while I struggled not to puke.

Round two; properly gloved, I slid my hand into the cramped space, latched onto a back leg, and pulled gently. Ratty moved -- a little. Then the skin over ratty's hips burst open, and thick brownish ooze dribbled out. The stench went nuclear, and I literally reeled back, gagging and choking.

The cleaner fell about laughing. I just fell about.

Somehow, I managed to avoid vomiting, despite the truly astonishing stench. After much thought, I devised a plan.

I live in Tasmania, after all. And it's winter. So I reversed the car out of the garage, and left the bonnet open. All night. In the morning, I came out with new gloves and a garbage bag -- and I removed the dead, stiff, frozen ratsicle from the engine of my car without further incident.

Yay for winter!


  1. what is it about rats and stink? I remb\ember finding a dead ratty cleaning out the shed at my old place in the UK. Really nearly made me puke..

  2. Great title, instant Mad magazine flashbacks. And yes, dead rodents bring the stink. With sourness.

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  4. Mmmm, ratsicle :) I bonded quite well with one of my GF's cat's over catching a rat.

  5. Cats are disgusting with ratsicles.

  6. The visuals are hilarious! Course for myself I would have grabbed the blasted BBQ tongs and fished that bugger right out from under the (what did you call it? a bonnet?) the hood, as we would call it.Hehe.

  7. Thinking outside the box for FTW, that rat has had it's revenge I'd say.

  8. hmm, I'll bet ratty was chasing somewhere warm in which to curl up, feeling a mite under the weather. Up side, he was to be to get inside vents or the likes, bigger up side, not tucked in under the exhaust manifold, although, if it was there, the smoke would have been a tell tale much sooner.

    Pulled a dead stinking cat from inside the radiator shroud once when we were working in a an exhaust shop, fan was shot to bit, moggie had taken on the internal curvature of the fan..not good. . GREAT FKN DESCRIPTION!.

  9. Canadianmade: I did use tongs in the end, when the fucker was frozen. But if I'd tried it earlier, he would simply have fallen apart into moist, oozing, stinky, hairy pieces of unidentifable rat-squeezings.