Ever tried to defeat Godzilla by throwing tomatoes? That's what my past week has felt like. In reality, I was only sweeping, scrubbing, shampooing, sanitizing and setting in order my father's recently rented and utterly charming historic relic of a house.
Hard work but a nice respite from computer monitors.
It's a lovely little house. Well, it is now that I've vanquished the mutating bacteria and leviathon lizards.
The former tenants were animals - literally and figuratively. They were dobermans and drug dealers who left the house in such a state of disrepair that it sat empty for months. But my Dad, who is on a very limited income, was offered a meager rent in exchange for making the house liveable.
I said I'd help.
First, I had to get a tetanus shot.
As I was cleaning black muck beneath the drip pans on the stove and exhuming several perfectly preserved rodent skeletons, I wondered if there might still be DNA left in any of those tiny bones that, if left undisturbed, would have indirectly affected my Dad's food. Remember Roger Corman's Wasp Woman? Cosmetic queen turned wasp killer because she ingested too much of a mad doctor's wasp serum?
I'd just saved my father from sprouting claws and a long bald tail!
But how had those rats died under there anyway? Why didn't they scurry away when the burners came on? Maybe they were too stoned from inhaling all that meth the former tenants went to jail for cooking up. Inhalants can do weird things to creatures, you know.
Most likely though, it was death by dog urine.
The dog urine saturated a carpet on the enclosed patio and the odor consumed the house like an omnipotent blob, wrapping its stink around everyone who entered. You may walk in that house clean but you walk out with a yellow tint on your flesh, wringing dog pee out of your shirt and knowing this must be what a fire hydrant feels like.
Oh, and here's an important safety tip. If you should ever find yourself in rubber gloves pulling up oily dog pee carpet to replace it with vinyl tile, be prepared to sand blast the yellow-orange stained concrete underneath (bleach alone is not enough) and don't forget your mask lest you inhale powdered dog urine and find yourself scratching, digging up trees, and gnawing your own tail. Spare me the crude jokes about licking yourself, gentlemen, because after five minutes in this house, you'd be better off drinking out of a stopped up toilet.
Oh look, mail lady.
More on the house later.
Oh, no! She's getting away!
I'm not even expecting anything and yet I have this sudden urge to run her down --- and bite her on the ankle.