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There is something dead somewhere,

said Dave.

"Something...dead long enough to hatch a fly."

We are hunters.

Searching dank and dark corners.

Not too long ago, our neighbor and her teen daughter moved out in the middle of the night, leaving an empire of rats. A science experiment gone wrong, the rats took up residency first in their home and then made their way to freedom: the rest of the neighborhood. At first we set some humane traps, catching one or two, but the obvious infestation became too much as they trolloped through the walls in constant party mode, twerking and grinding through the night. So we brought in the big guns--big, killing machine traps set just about everywhere by the kindest rat assassin named Cameron (I am very fond of Cameron's gentle nature). This paved the way to catching toes, Huck's nose, and the mop. We've been fairly obsessed with our rats. See what I did there? "Our" rats. These disgusting, resilient creatures have captured my respect. They are so good at being rats--at eating through walls, wires, couches, and well, just about everything. Completely unapologetic. We finally caught the kingpin of our ragtag crew: Biggie Smalls.

Snap! Guillotine engaged. Oh...and there's the tale-tall smell. We got one! Biggie Smalls was absolutely epic--majestic in proportion, easily the size of a bunny with a tale as long as my forearm. As I pulled the couch away from the wall to retrieve him, not even Huck would go near him sensing the larger than life ratness. "Oh you big playa, may your afterlife be a party." I whispered and Dave took him off for burial. If only I drank. I would definitely pour one for my homie.

The remaining rat party crew has been adrift without the big guy. We haven't heard from them since Biggie's death. There's a fly and a faint scent, which means there is death somewhere. Always the DA, Dave looks for decomposition clues. We'll find it (hopefully soon) and we'll close the book on our hip hop rodent chapter.

Things happen to us or for us. I'm reluctant to be a victim, so I choose the latter for most things, including and especially Biggie's tenure at Camp Wilson. Peyton and I have been discussing people who annoy us at great length. There's no shortage of annoyances, so how do we deal? Biggie left us with the following lessons learned in no real order of importance with the exception of #1:

1) Hip hop is the salve for most issues.

2) Take the time to consider the annoyance. Is it trivial? If yes, get over yourself and get on with something else.

3) If not trivial, calmly go forth and address it. BUT, before you have a conversation or set out for blood, take a good, long look at yourself. We are usually most bothered by the things in others that we recognize in ourselves.

4) Don't be afraid to BE EXACTLY WHO YOU ARE. The more solid you are in yourself, the less annoyances will get under your skin. Biggie was not concerned with any of us or the death traps we set for him. He lived large until the very end.

5) Know when to call in a professional.

6) Know when to wear headphones.

Back to the death hunt. As you were, kind reader.


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