Clearly, Because This is Part III of What Could Have Been a Two-Sentence Story, The Director of This Overblown Epic is Kevin Costner

Thus, from then on, I couldn’t sleep on the couch. I couldn’t stay on the main floor after Groom went up to bed. Part of our marriage vows is that he will never leave me alone in the presence—real or implied—of a rodent, just as I will never leave him alone in the presence of a woman wearing a wig, a polyester track suit and chunky gold jewelry who has just squawked, “I tell you this, hand to heart: you’ve never experienced delicious dining until you’ve been on a Disney cruise.”

Sticking to the agreement, every night, he toted me up the stairs with him at 10:30 p.m., right about when I was waking up for the day…and when my bladder was ready to do some serious and repeated unloading.

You know me not at all if you doubt that I actually tried taking the screen off the window in our bedroom, so that I could hang my rear out the hole and pee down the front of the house during the night time hours. Unfortunately, the house had been built in 1892, when windows were designed upon a presumption of Outhouse Existence and People Who Are Not Damn Pampered Wussies. So no luck.

Note the distinct lack of urine trickling out the upstairs window.

I also tried to get my substantial posterior angled so that I could use the Girl’s widdle portable potty up in the bedroom. Woefully, after it got snagged on my thigh that one time and drenched me with an outpouring of just-released still-warms, I abandoned that strategy.

The solution came in the form of one of our finest modern inventions (provided you are willing to embrace the notion that chemicals and toxins constantly leeching into your food constitutes a fine example of ingenuity): Tupperware.

We had a good-sized tupperware bowl, just waiting to be initiated as Chamber Pot of the 21st Century.

Tuppy and I got tight there, for a month or so. Tuppy ruled. Tuppy cradled. Tuppy caught. Tuppy also challenged my husband’s love for me, as he’d wake up every morning only to be greeted with the impressive inches of my night’s work, right there, next to the bed. I’d blanch with him and grumble, “Yea, I know. But I need you to walk with me as I carry this down to the bathroom to dump it out. Rodents aren’t afraid of urine, even that of a woman as powerful as I. Just, er, look up at the ceiling as you walk down the stairs. That’s not at all dangerous. Maybe whistle a little.”

Tuppy and I continued bonding for several weeks. During this time, Groom and I came to a gradual acceptance that the scat we were tracking went beyond shrew or vole in size and heft. This hunch became a certainty one evening when, having braved an extra half hour on the couch by myself, I glanced towards the kitchen and saw a large blur, somewhat like the Tasmanian Devil, whirring across the doorway.

Screaming, I ran up the stairs, planted my foot firmly into Tuppy, who sat on the floor, awaiting my nocturnal visits, and hobbled frantically over Groom, who was reading in the bed. “There’s…an…enormous…horrifying…beast…dancing…with bloodlust in its eyes…calling on all dark magic…in the kitchen!” I managed to whoof out.

Naturally, when Groom went down to look, the kitchen was all innocence and light. He found nothing.

Except a spoon and a bowl of ice cream, which he was savoring entirely too casually upon his return to the bedroom–where I sat, a quaking mass of raw nerves. Licking fudge off his upper lip, he remarked, “Well. So. I’ve been thinking about it. And I’d say we should get a live-squirrel trap. We need something big for what we’re dealing with.”


“No,” he responded, digging into the bowl for another bite. “I think we have a rat.”


Heck, yea, there’s a Part IV coming. Truth be told, I’m in manic grading week, looking ahead to final exams, and so I’m drawing out this story in an attempt to get over the end-of-semester hump.

Just wait until the end of next fall semester, when I plan to turn a story about a stubbed toe into a seven-part series of posts that detail in 97 sentences every aspect of the moment I shouted, “Oh, that really hurt!”





23 responses to “Clearly, Because This is Part III of What Could Have Been a Two-Sentence Story, The Director of This Overblown Epic is Kevin Costner”

  1. yinyang Avatar

    While you are a masterful storyteller, I do not believe there is any overly-long story that can rival the books in the Left Behind series.

  2. flutter Avatar

    I so would rather have had the squirrel…

  3. chelle Avatar

    hahaha I never thought to place a tupperware container next to the bed … what a convenient commode!

  4. Shania Avatar

    I’m loving the rat story. Although I wish it were a squirrel (somewhat less ick factor)

  5. furiousBall Avatar

    happy mother’s day, hope someone is making you some bananus pancakes

  6. heartinsanfrancisco Avatar

    Please forgive me but I’m still laughing at the Disneyesque image of a pregnant woman trying to pee in her toddler’s widdle potty, to say nothing of hanging her posterior out a second story window. (Kind of like a Tom Waitts song involving a bus, but I digress.)

    The 21st century Chamber Pot has wonderful design capabilities. Surely Martha Stewart could whip up something cute with a little ruffled skirt when she returns from her Disney cruise.

  7. Becky Cazares Avatar
    Becky Cazares

    Tupperware really SHOULD have developed the deluxe bedpan model – possibly in varying sizes. They’d have made millions from rat-fearing college professors and possibly families of six on annual summer camping trips in a too-small trailer with only an old Folgers can under the sink for those pesky midnight urges!

  8. Becky Cazares Avatar
    Becky Cazares

    Oh, and what an absolutely darling house! It suits you.

  9. citizen of the world Avatar
    citizen of the world

    Now rats, I have to say, I don’t care for. It’s the tails.

    The title alone made me laugh out loud.

  10. Minka Avatar

    Please come to my blog and get what’s waiting there fo you – I think your blog is lovely!

  11. monica Avatar

    oh no, I’m sitting here in an open office trying to muffle my giggling with tears of laughter running … my colleagues are giving me those indulgent “get a grip” looks.. You are so funny! I love it! can just imagine you and groomeo with Tuppy slopping down the stairs..

  12. phd in yogurtry Avatar
    phd in yogurtry

    What, no film for your bloggership? Along the lines of Fionnula Flanagan monologuing from her chamber pot. (from “James Joyce’s Women”)

  13. Jeni Avatar

    Now that’s what I would call “Yankee Ingenuity!” For sure. I always knew Tupperware was a multi-tasker’s delight of a tool, but a chamber pot? Never would have thought of it for that usage. Too funny! And come fall, I’ll be looking forward to any 7-part piece you want to post!

  14. Jill Avatar

    You needed one of these:

    Now everybody can pee out the window, down the side of their house! The wonders of modern technology.

  15. Pearl Avatar

    You’re killing me here!

  16. musingwoman Avatar

    A rat?! Noooooooo.

  17. Jazz Avatar

    I’m loving this. More more more!!!

    Um, but there’s no way squirred/rat poop coud have been mistaken for two year old poop. It’s much too small.

    I had a squirrel in the cottage who, since I tried to trap him, got his revenge by pooping on all the important surfaces: dining room table, kitchen counter and stove, washroom counter. No poop anywhere else. He knew….

  18. movin down the road Avatar
    movin down the road

    can I come spend a weekend at your house? Seriously. It’ll give me better blog material

  19. lime Avatar

    oh sweet fancy moses, you got me. i can handle mice, squirrels, moles, voles, and various other members of the order rodentia but rats? AAAAIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! where’s tuppy????

  20. Pam Avatar

    Not being familiar with racoon poop in any way, shape or form. I’m guessing that a racoon may be your creature. Rat poop I’ve seen- too small.Of course, I’d be more familiar with Tasmanian Devil poop, but we have a hard enough job keeping them alive in Tasmania, let alone them dog-paddling or devil-paddling across the ocean to your bottom drawer. God Jocelyn what is this thing?

  21. actonbell Avatar

    You needed one of those chamber pots. My mom used to have one, but the silly woman had flowers in it, or some such. And I agree that a squirrel, or chipmunk, would be way preferable to a RAT. Ugh.

    great story:)

  22. Fragrant Liar Avatar
    Fragrant Liar

    Since I hadn’t read the first parts, I thought, she is really stoned. And then I thought, why is she hanging her butt out the window? And then I thought, it’s a Twilight Zone episode. And then I thought it was a horror movie when you said there was a big rat loose in your house. That part I understood. Guess I’ll go check out Parts I and II.

  23. Karen MEG Avatar
    Karen MEG

    A RAT!!!! OMFG, that would be 10x worse than a squirrel.

    Did I ever tell you about the time a squirrel lived in the attic above my room and did time trials every night as I was trying to study? Dad caught it with a peanut butter sandwich, but it peed all over him when he moved the trap.

    We could have used Tuppy for the squirrel in that scenario…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *