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!