Stanley was searching for the perfect apartment closer to his employment during the planned relinquishment of his current apartment to his sister. Mrs. Papoof and her son, Felix, showed Stanley a suitable apartment between their house and the adjoining double garage. For a single guy it seemed perfect. Stanley signed the one-year lease and paid the deposit and the rent. The move was easy and smooth.
Stanley cultivated a congenial relationship with this new landlord and her son. Mrs. Papoof would occasionally ask Stanley to pick up a cherry pie from the local bakery, which he gladly did, and he would also visit with her once in a while to keep her company, as she dealt with the shingles. She was in her 80's. The only time Stanley actually saw Felix was when he stood by the kitchen window, for he resembled a giant squirrel nibbling on some nuts.
After a week or so, Stanley started hearing crunching sounds above the ceiling almost the same time every night. He advised Mrs. Papoof about this, but he still kept hearing those horrible crunching sounds night after night. It started driving Stanley crazy.
At the end of the summer, Stanley noticed a bunch of tiny ants on the inside of his front door. Mrs. Papoof gave Stanley a few of those very small and circular poison ant traps to place on the apartment floor. One night Stanley heard one of those ant traps rolling around on the floor near the shower stall. Stanley marveled at this sound and then switched on the lamp near his bed. He just couldn't believe his eyes; a dirty-looking rat. He immediately jumped up and phoned the landlord.
After this surprising event, Felix was dispatched, and he placed some plastic chicken wire in the hole behind the shower stall. Nope--that didn't work. He then filled the hole with that expanding foam stuff you get at the hardware store. The next night, Stanley heard that ant trap rolling around again. After switching on the lamp, Stanley saw another rat. It apparently ate some of the sheet rock around the filled-in hole to get back in. The rat needed some water too.
Mrs Papoof called an exterminator the next day, and, within a week, the rats were gone. But before they were absolutely gone, Stanley was woken up by one of those roof rats, which was crawling on his chest in the middle of the night; no sleep again. The poison trays that were placed in the attic spaces finally worked their magic. But poor Stanley continued to hear those awful crunching sounds at night. The next day he observed a few squirrels entering the attic from the side of the roof. Just as Stanley was able to observe Felix from his front window, he also saw the squirrels on the roof. Mrs. Papoof graciously offered Stanley a have-a-heart trap to eradicate these critters. Where the heck was Felix? Stanley informed Mrs. Papoof he'd do it for her; for himself for sure.
Armed with plenty of peanut butter and crackers, Stanley was catching three to five squirrels a day. "How many squirrels could be in that attic?" wondered Stanley. He even spray painted their tails blue so he could see if they were making their way back from eleven and a half miles away where he transported them. The only problem Stanley found with this particular method was that he was attracting and catching all of the neighborhood squirrels instead of the ones in the attic.
The lease was finally up. After packing, as Stanley left the not-so-perfect apartment, he observed several squirrels with blue bushy tails performing acrobatic maneuvers from the tree branches above the apartment roof. Stanley fled for his life.
Copyright (c) 2010 by George Warholak. All rights reserved.